American football is an adaptation of rugby football played in the United States during the autumn and early winter months. Its popularity has spread worldwide and there are amateur and professional American Football leagues in Europe, Scandanavia, Asia, Australasia and elsewhere.
The game has fans worldwide who love to bet on American Football and it is the matches played at the highest level in the United States that attract the most betting interest. Benefiting from global TV broadcasting, bookmakers have demands from every country where gambling is legal, to accept bets on American Football.
Most bets are taken for matches in the NFL, (National Football League) which culminates with a playoff tournament for the final championship game, the Super Bowl. The NFL is broken up into two pools of 16 teams (National Football Conference & American Football Conference) with the top four from each division qualifying along with two wildcard entries for the NFL Playoffs. The Playoffs are played in knockout format with the teams seeded according to their conference finish and the winners of each conference final go head to head in the Super Bowl, the biggest event in the American Football calander.
College football in the United States also a big following outside the country and bookmakers offer betting markets on the NCAAF (National Collegiate Athletic Association) and from Canada the CFL attracts a lot of betting interest.
National Football Conference Contenders
Atlanta Falcons couldn't manage back-to-back victories last season and may struggle again with no target for quarterback Matt Ryan now that Tony Gonzalez has retired.
Arizona Cardinals will hope to be quicker out of the blocks this year and will once again call on their defense to grind out the tougher games, keeping receiver Larry Fitzgerald fit could see them improve on last season.
The NFC South title went to Carolina Panthers last year, but they fell at the first hurdle in the playoffs and could struggle after losing key personnel in the offensive line.
It all went wrong at the end for Chicago Bears who missed the playoffs after four losses in their last six games and their suspect defense suggests they may fall short again.
Eight-time NFC chhampions Dallas Cowboys also have issues in their defense following departures of DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher and a season-ending injury to linebacker Sean Lee, but Quarterback Tony Romo could put them in the mix for a playoff berth.
Detroit Lions ost six of their last seven games despite holding a fourth-quarter lead in each resulted in them missing the playoffs for a second consecutive year and it will be new coach Jim Caldwell's task to bring discipline to a talented, but underacheiving squad.
American Football's most successful side Green Bay Packers missed quarterback Aaron Rodgers for half the campaign last year, but still managed to win the NFC North title, so should be considered among the favourites to win the Superbowl.
Minnesota Vikings couldn't win on their travels last season which is a real concern with no base this year, as their stadium is being rebuilt, although having running back Adrian Peterson fit and well will be a huge boost.
New Orleans Saints have quarterback Drew Brees on top of his game and an improved defense, so will be a popular bet to go all the way after losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks in the second round of the playoffs.
New York Giants left it too late after a slow start and missed the playoffs for a second consecutive year after winning the Superbowl, but have a capable pair of hands in running back Rashad Jennings.
Seatlle Seahawks secured the NFC West division title and went on to record a comfortable victory over Denver Broncos in the Superbowl, maintaining their form into the new season will be the ultimate challenge.
Sam Bradford's knee injury puts St Louis Rams' playoff chances in doubt again after they missed out for a tenth consecutive season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers can perhaps hope to land the wildcard pick at best after a poor season last year and the rebuilding starts now for new coach Lovie Smith.
Washington Redskins sank without a trace at the end of last season, losing eight in a row and will be looking to bounce back with the help of talented quarterback Robert Griffin.
American Football Conference Contenders
Baltimore Ravens missed the playoffs for the forst time since 2007, but quarterback Joe Flacco should get increased protection from a new look offense, while wide receiver Steve Smith and linebacker C.J. Mosley boost the squad this year.
Promising wide receiver Sammy Watkins could have a big season for Buffalo Bills who will be conting on quarterback E.J. Manuel's passes to end the NFL's longest playoff drought, having not made it in the past 14 seasons.
Cincinnati Bengals could be lively outsiders for the Superbowl after winning the NFC North title last year. They have a tough schedule, but if quarterback Andy Dalton continues to improve and running back Gio Bernard can kick on then anything is possible.
Cleveland Browns will once again look to their strong offensive line, but after a sixth consecutive losing season they have not made the playoffs since 2002 and could be about to struggle again.
Denver Broncos landed their 7th AFC title last year and went all the way to the Superbowl where they were outclassed on the night by Seatlle Seahawks. Peyton Manning will again be the ace in their pack as they bid to go one better this year with a new look defense.
Houston Texans suffered something of a meltdown last year after winning the opening two games then losing for the rest of the season. They certainly can't do much worse this season, but are a risky betting proposition.
AFC South champions Indianapolis Colts lost to New England Patriots oin the playoffs, but will most likely be back for another shot with talented quarterback Andrew Luck helped by Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw to give their running game some real firepower.
Jacksonville Jaguars remain a weak side and it's doubtful that the likes of Blake Bortles or Cecil Shorts can push them into the playoffs with such a questionable offensive line.
Kansas City Chiefs will look to get off to another good start and will be hoping their end of season slump does not carry forward. There are question marks with the offensive line and at wide receiver, but an injury free defense could see them make the playoffs again.
Miami Dolphins had their best season in five, but still missed the playoffs and an overhauled offense should free up quarterback Ryan Tannehill to do some damage.
AFC East champions New England Patriots lost the AFC title game to Denver Broncos. With Tom Brady at quarterback and a beefed-up defense, the Patriots remain the class of the AFC East and will be leading contenders to make it to the Super Bowl.
New York Jets missed the playoffs for the third year in a row, but arriving receiver Eric Decker and running back Chris Johnson should give their offense a boost and a better season is expected.
After missing their second consecutive playoffs, Pittsburgh Steelers need to crank up their running game to go with veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's passing, but their defense remains a concern.
San Diego Chargers clinched a wildcard place after a late winning run last year and were unlucky to bump into Denver Broncos after beating Cincinnati Bengals. Quarterback Philip Rivers was a revelation for the franchise last season and the Chargers could be the surprise package this year.
Tenessee Titans will be counting on their new look offensive line to end their five year wait for a playoff berth, but no improvement at wide receiver could see them miss out yet again.
American Football Betting Jargon
Betting terminology for American sports differs from the UK and Europe and American Football bettors quickly become accustomed to the betting jargon.
Game lines are simply the odds and the staple bets are for the Spread, where one team receives a handicap, Totals, a target points total for the game where bettors can back Over or Under the Total and the Money Line which is the odds for the team to win.
American Football games will play overtime to determine a winner, so there is no draw betting on the games. With those betting markets effectively reduced to a ‘two horse race’ the odds are quite short and punters looking for big wins from small stakes will opt to Parlay their bets. UK and European bettors will be familiar with the terms accumulator and multiple, which is what it means.
As you can probably imagine, with such a long season there are many twists and turns along the way and it is adviable to make use of American Football offers from online bookmakers to increase your chances of being profitable. One such offer is 888Sport's Overtime Payback which provides a free bet refund should your bet lose in overtime.
Top 5 Quarterbacks Of All Time
1. Brett Favre - 71,838yds
2. Peyton Manning - 67,098yds
3. Dan Marino - 61,361yds
4. Drew Brees - 53,605yds
5. John Elway - 51,475yds
Everyone has their own opinion as to who is the greatest quarterback of all time, but we have used passing yards as the deciding factor here.
Brett Favre made 297 consecutive starts which undoubtedly helped him to be the only American Footballer to top 500 touchdowns, while Peyton Manning still has time to overhaul the three time MVP in the twiglight of his career.
Dan Marino's stats fell down in the postseason games and he never won the big one, so would not be in many people's top five despite his phenomenal regular season record.
Aged 35, Drew Brees could also climb the rankings ahead of retired John Elway, while Patriots legend Tom Brady narrowly missed our top 5 with 51,208yds to date.