How to Bet on the NFL in California

When California becomes a legal sports betting state, there will be many NFL betting sites vying for your attention. We’re here to guide you through betting on NFL games online, including the basics of NFL betting and info on all the local teams.

Whether you’re a beginner, a DFS enthusiast or have wagered on NFL action before, we’re ready to show you the ins and outs of legal NFL betting. We’ll also supply you with information on some of the bonuses you’ll see once California legalizes sports betting.

We’ll cover the standards like moneylines and spreads, but we’ll also go over some game and player props, which are becoming increasingly popular in the US. And when it’s legal here, we’ll also have live NFL game odds for immersive betting on Sundays. Let’s dive into how to bet on the NFL online.

For now, sports betting in California has yet to be legalized. However, one social sportsbook gives California football fans one betting option.

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Best sportsbooks for NFL betting online 

We’re going to see many excellent football betting sites once California opens up to legal sports betting. And while it’s hard to predict which ones will come through the door first, we can still discuss some of the top NFL betting sites out there right now. They all bring hundreds of ways to bet on NFL Sundays and Monday Night Football and employ creative spins to entice users.

Let’s talk about some of the biggest NFL betting apps you’ll possibly choose from when the time comes.

DraftKings Sportsbook CA – NFL props, great app

//logo version 1.0.0 - Nov 2021 You’ve probably heard of DraftKings before via daily fantasy sports or its many commercials. It’s one of the most popular choices for many reasons, not just great bonuses and promotions.

When it comes time to bet on NFL games, DraftKings offers a substantial number of game and player props that are hard to beat in the industry today. You have dozens to choose from in each game, and you can also easily put together a same game parlay (SGP) with your favorites to enhance your payout.

It’s also easy to navigate and put together your bets whether you’re on a desktop, phone or tablet using the DraftKings Sportsbook app.

FanDuel Sportsbook CA – Known for same game parlays

//logo version 1.0.0 - Nov 2021 If NFL parlays are more your speed, you may want to consider FanDuel Sportsbook. It strives to be the home of SGPs and allows you to customize your parlay with dozens of choices for each NFL game.

FanDuel also enjoys putting together SGP promotions, such as bet insurance for specific games like Monday Night Football. You’ll be able to wager up to $10 bonus and get your money back as a bonus if your parlay loses by a leg.

The FanDuel Sportsbook app is one of the easiest to use on the market today. It affords full access to NFL bets of your choice, plus deposits and withdrawals with just a few taps.

Caesars CA Sportsbook – Great NFL odds

//logo version 1.0.0 - Nov 2021 Sure, you may know Caesars thanks to its initial solid marketing campaign full of celebrities like Halle Berry and Patton Oswalt, plus sports stars like Eli and Peyton Manning. But Caesars is much more than just a pretty face and a well-known gambling brand.

Whether you’re on a desktop or the Caesars Sportsbook app, you will find excellent NFL odds that can compete with any other NFL betting site. Couple them with a slew of NFL promotions throughout the season, and you can string together some good deals that mean more profit when you win.

BetRivers Sportsbook – Year-long contests

It may not be one of the best-known brands, but that allows BetRivers Sportsbook to be more creative with its offerings. That includes season-long NFL contests, whether it’s a pick ‘em format or one that compounds a bonus as you bet on weekly NFL action.

For those who don’t need all the bells and whistles, BetRivers’ app has an easy-to-navigate format. This allows you to quickly find the type of NFL spread bet or any other wager you want to place with a simple search function.

BetMGM Sportsbook – Excellent NFL promotions

//logo version 1.0.0 - Nov 2021 There are many things BetMGM gets right when it comes to betting on the NFL. But what puts it over the top is not just Jamie Foxx’s involvement but some high-quality NFL promos that keep you satisfied all season long.

That can include profit boosts, odds boosts on specific markets, parlay boosts, parlay insurance and more. Downloading the BetMGM Sportsbook app allows you to get push notifications for these and other promotions, so you won’t miss the best ones. You’ll also get great NFL betting odds and dozens of markets for each game that you can sandwich with BetMGM’s One Game Parlay offering.

How to bet NFL games online in California

If you’ve heard anything about NFL betting, you likely know the three most common bet types:

  • Moneylines
  • Spreads
  • Totals

While these are nowhere near the only ways to wager, they are ubiquitous. Let’s discuss what they mean in the context of the game.


A moneyline NFL bet is the most basic of football wagers. It refers to a straight bet where you pick a game’s winner. The favorite, or the team most likely to win, will be denoted by negative odds. The underdog, positioned as the likely loser, will have positive odds. Here is an example of how moneyline betting odds look:

  • Los Angeles Rams -240
  • San Francisco 49ers +180

As you can see, the bigger the favorite, the smaller the profit. Still, it could fit your betting mentality if you’re looking for less risky bets. The Rams are favorites here at a -240, which means for every $10 you bet on the Rams you’ll win $4.17 (plus your initial $10 bet back) if they win for a total of $14.17. If you bet on the Niners and they win, you would win $18 plus the initial $10, for a total of $28 since they’re at a more considerable risk of losing.

Point spreads

When a team is favored dramatically, you can look toward NFL spread bets for a more even chance. Here, a point total is assigned to a favorite as a handicap and spotted for an underdog. Sticking with the example above, we could see an NFL point spread set as follows:

  • Los Angeles Rams -6.5 (-110)
  • San Francisco 49ers +6.5 (-110)

Your first question here may be what does -110 mean, and why is it the same on both sides? On spread bets, the spread is set so you have an even chance on both sides. Sportsbooks take their cut on these wagers, referred to as the vig, which is why you don’t have even (+100) odds. The Rams will have to win by seven or more points if you bet on them, while the Niners can lose by up to six points. A $10 bet would get you $19.09 in return.


Finally, totals bets refer to the over/under total of the combined game score for both teams. This number fluctuates depending on the offensive power, but you usually see this number between 45 and 50. Here’s an example with the Rams and 49ers:

  • Over 47.5 (-110)
  • Under 47.5 (-110)

Since this is a balanced type of wager similar to the spread, you’ll see those -110 odds again at most sportsbooks. Winning a $10 bet on either side of this will pay back a total of $19.09.

Betting on NFL quarters/halves

With the increased legalization and popularity of NFL betting, you’re no longer limited to those three main bets listed above. When we’re talking about game betting, there are now multiple markets per quarter and half. This wager makes for an exciting alternative, as you can bet on a team that starts hot out of the gate or one that specializes in fourth quarter comebacks. Or break down a game into multiple bets to maximize your chances of winning.

These NFL game prop bets are available both pregame and live and can include:

  • Winners of each quarter or half
  • The total number of points scored per team
  • Total yardage over/under

Other notable NFL bets available 

The enjoyable part of betting on the NFL is you don’t have to fit yourself into a box to get in on the action. Since there are dozens of different bets, chances are you’ll find the one you feel most comfortable with if you do your research. Some sportsbooks offer more than others, but here are some unique ones that may catch your eye during the NFL season:

  • Highest Scoring Half allows you to bet whether the first or second half (which includes overtime) will be the higher scoring of the two.
  • First Offensive Play from Scrimmage lets you predict what the first play will be (pass, run, for how many yards).
  • Longest Field Goal is an over/under where you decide whether there will be a long kick in the game or not. This gives an edge to domed stadiums like SoFi Stadium to bet on the Chargers or Rams.
  • Margin Of Victory lets you bet on a team winning by a span of points, such as 0-6, 7-13, 13+. The betting odds are better on this than a spread bet usually, but you only have that point window to win, so it can be riskier.

New wagers come out every season, so keep your eyes open.

NFL player props

NFL player props allow you to break down the game to the individual level and wager on player performance. That’s the beauty of it. You usually concentrate on a team’s success, but player props allow you to bet if someone’s going to struggle against a stingy defense or non-ideal weather conditions. While Super Bowl prop bets are the most mainstream, you can now wager on them every game, every week.

Some of the most popular NFL player props are the Touchdown Scorer markets. This prop covers the first and last touchdowns scored, and scoring a TD anytime during the game. Cooper Kupp made this quite popular with a streak of touchdowns across many games. Bettors were rewarded for his efforts in the TD Scored Anytime wager.

Since there are so many eyes on the quarterback position, you’ll find plenty of related player props for yardage, total completions, passing touchdowns, rushing totals, rushing touchdowns and more.

Don’t think it’s just about the offense either. Bet on whether strong defenses like the Rams or 49ers will register sacks or interceptions.

NFL futures betting

Futures betting allows you to make wagers on how the NFL season will play out. The most notorious of these is a bet on who will win the Super Bowl. There are plenty of others too. Depending on the bet, futures for next season are typically offered almost immediately after the Super Bowl’s last play.

You will find these bets under the “Futures” section of NFL bets for each sportsbook. They are available directly before a schedule is released and move to a separate tab once the Week 1 games are announced. NFL futures odds are better the further you are from the start of the season. You’ll see some of the futures disappear or severely shift in odds when the season starts.

  • Super Bowl: The most common bet is who will win the Super Bowl, but futures bets allow you to bet on the two teams that will go, the winning conference or the winning division. You can even bet on any team from California to win it all.
  • Conference Futures: Bet on who will be the AFC or NFC winner and head to the Super Bowl. You’ll often see the Rams, Chargers and Niners near the top of these futures.
  • Division Futures: Pick the winners for the NFC and AFC East, North and South divisions. Some sportsbooks like DraftKings allow you to bet on how many division wins each team will have, along with their finishing positions and the division standings order.
  • Awards Markets: Have an idea of who may be the next MVP? You can bet on NFL awards as soon as the prior season ends with more favorable odds than what you’ll get during the season. You can also wager on Offensive and Defensive Player Of The Year, Rookie of the Year and the Comeback Player Of The Year.
  • Player’s Next Team/Draft: Betting on the NFL Draft is one of the more popular offseason NFL wagers. There are plenty of props tied into that event, including where specific players will go, what number they’ll be drafted and what team will draft at what position. When it comes to free agency, you can also wager on where a big-name player will end up.

NFL live betting

By now, every major sportsbook in the country offers live NFL betting. When the doors are opened for legal sports betting in California, you’ll also be able to experience it here. Many bettors use it as a companion piece while watching on Sundays to get a feel for the game flow and strike when they lock into something appealing.

The most common use of NFL live betting is when a big favorite falls behind early. This can set more favorable odds if you think a comeback is in order. This scenario can also affect spread bets and give you a chance to hedge your bets if you made a pregame wager on a team that falls flat early. These odds will change after the result of each play.

Here are some examples of live NFL bets and props you’ll find:

  • Next Touchdown: A simple live bet is who will score the next TD in the game. That could be a team or a specific player.
  • Quarter Markets: Who will win a specific quarter? Whether you’re in the first or fourth, you can bet on who will be in the lead at the end of it, who will score the most points in it and player props like yardage and receptions.
  • 6-Minute Markets: With 60 total minutes in each game (unless it goes to OT), you’ll find the game broken down into six-minute chunks where you can bet on how many touchdowns will happen, who will score them, yardage, total points and more.
  • Race to TDs: A mark is set throughout the game depending on the amount of scoring. You can bet on who will be the first to score two, three, four or more touchdowns in the game.
  • Odd / Even: As the game progresses, odds will change as to whether the total score will end on an odd or even number.

What happens if the game goes to overtime?

Overtime is generally considered part of the whole game. Moneylines, spreads and over/unders aren’t affected. Player props also count overtime. If your game goes to OT and you need a few more yards from a receiver, you still have a chance.

Game props are handled a bit differently, but most include overtime. That means if you bet on props such as the highest-scoring half or quarter, note that overtime is included in the second half or fourth quarter stats.

Some more particular NFL prop bets, like betting on a 60-minute moneyline, moneyline 3-way in the playoffs, or a double result (a team winning at halftime and full time), only cover regulation time and do not include overtime. Always check whether whatever wager you’re making includes OT.

How do you get paid on NFL bets?

Generally, California sports betting apps will pay out the result of an NFL bet at the completion of the period of time that bet covers. This action is an important distinction. Some live NFL bettors will gamble each quarter and sometimes use the money from prior quarter winnings to complete the rest. So if you won a bet on who will be in the lead after the first quarter, you’d get paid right after the quarter ends.

Most sportsbooks in the US abide by this and pay out within a minute or two of the settled bet. This includes any time touchdown and first touchdown scorers, since it’s contingent on the result of a play and not the game.

If the wager is specific to the game’s result, such as player props, you will have to wait until the completion of the game for payouts. Still, you will typically only have to wait a few minutes unless there are some official stat considerations or something pending from an official scorer.

Sportsbook rules for NFL betting

There are a lot of specific rules for betting on the NFL that vary by sportsbook. It’s important to research at all sites to see what could affect the outcome of your specific wager. That said, many of the rules surround a game not being played straight through or shorter than the minimum time allowed for the game. You can have your bet voided if a game is:

  • Halted and not completed within 48 hours of the scheduled start date;
  • Not finished within the same NFL schedule week it was played;
  • Changes venue and the home/away teams are switched.

Specific rules can apply to kickoffs, extra points, two-point conversions, field goals, punts and next-play live betting. Always read up on the rules at your sportsbook, so there aren’t any surprises.

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