Football Sunday is a tradition in many American households, and the same holds in Pennsylvania, where fans root for two of the NFL’s premier franchises. If you have ever watched a Steelers or Eagles game and hoped to get in on the action to make things more lively, you could consider placing an online wager on sports.
But how do you bet on NFL games online in Pennsylvania and is it legal? We will discuss all of that in more, so you can make your football days even more entertaining.
How to Bet on the NFL
While it may seem as simple as depositing a few dollars and picking a winner, betting on the NFL comes with many varying options. If you are not familiar with gambling lingo, you may find yourself confused about the concept of moneylines and parlays. We will clear all those concepts up for you so you will not be surprised when you open up a betting app.
Moneylines are by far the most straightforward wager to make on an NFL game. If you bet a moneyline, you only need to determine the winner of the game. Though it may sound simple, the payout is the part that often trips up new gamblers.
We will look at an example of the Pittsburgh Steelers taking on the Baltimore Ravens in Maryland. The Ravens have home-field advantage and are favored in the game, so you may see the moneyline written as -300. -300 means you need to bet $300 to win $100 back.
The underdog Steelers may have a moneyline written as +220. These odds mean if you bet $100 and win, the casino will pay you $220.
Of course, you are allowed to bet any amount of money on a moneyline bet you choose, but payouts will always reference these ratios. If you are not strong with math, you can use a bet calculator to determine the payout you receive with any wager amount.
Betting with moneylines means big payouts for heavy underdogs and smaller payouts as a team is more favored.
Outside of the outcome of the game, you can bet on several other aspects of the game with a moneyline. Gamblers call most of these wagers prop bets; PA residents have several prop bets to choose from. You can bet on the total score of the game that is over or under a certain threshold, or bet on a player to throw for over 300 yards in a single game.
Since many prop bets in PA are harder to predict and have more variability, you will often see high odds for players accomplishing the feat.
You may have heard gamblers in your life or movies talk about the spread or point spread. When someone says a team is favored by 5.5, they are talking about the point spread. Knowing what the spread is and which team is favored allows you an edge when betting on the NFL.
We will use the example of the Philadelphia Eagles hosting their rivals the Dallas Cowboys. The Eagles are a great team and are slightly favored over an accomplished Dallas squad.
In this scenario, the Eagles’ point spread is -2.5. This point spread means they are favored to win by 2.5 points, and if you bet on the Eagles you only win your bet if the team wins by three points or more. While this may seem more disadvantageous than a moneyline bet, you get better odds on point-spread bets. They typically have a return of nearly 1 to 1, so if you bet $50 and win, you receive around $50 in winnings.
On the other side of the equation are the Cowboys, who the casino lists as +2.5. These odds mean if you bet on Dallas with the moneyline, you win if the team wins or loses by less than 3. So in a scenario where the Eagles win 20-18, a Dallas moneyline bettor is still the winner.
When you make a futures bet, you are gambling on a long-term outcome of a season. Futures are all made with a moneyline, and casinos give players several options for what they can bet on.
Perhaps the most common futures are over/under on win totals. You may see the Steelers predicted over/under at 7.5. If you bet the over, you believe the team will win 8 or more games and vice versa. You can also make flat bets on the team making the playoffs or winning the Super Bowl.
Aside from betting on teams, you can make wagers on individual players and awards. If you believe Jalen Hurts will win MVP or Offensive Player of the Year, you can make those wagers at the beginning of the year. As there is a high level of variance with any futures bet, the odds are quite high, with the favorites still being listed by the casino at odds of +350 and more.
If you think a certain player is going to have a monster season in stats, you can bet on them achieving the over on a certain threshold. For instance, if you think Najee Harris of the Steelers will rush for more than 1,000 yards, you can make that wager.
Many online sportsbooks offer live betting, where you can bet on a game while it is ongoing. The odds will constantly fluctuate as the ebbs and flows of the game happen, and intelligent gamblers can find excellent odds during regulation. With so many NFL games to bet on in PA, you can often get a leg up on the casino with live betting.
Parlays are high-risk and high-reward; these wagers are a combination of multiple bets into one slip. For example, you may make a wager of the Steelers covering the spread at +7.5, the Eagles winning straight up, and the Buffalo Bills covering at -4.5.
If you turn these bets into a parlay, you need to have every single one held to receive a payout. While the risk of one of these missing is much higher than if they were all individual bets, the payout is massive for correct parlay wagers.
Where to Bet on NFL Games Online in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania has nearly 20 licensed online casinos you can bet at, but here are a few we like.
When you want to bet on NFL games online in Pennsylvania, why not start with a casino that is from the Keystone State? BetRivers is the official sports book of the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh. The company was one of the first to open up sports betting in the state.
FanDuel began its life as a daily fantasy site but quickly opened its sportsbook once Pennsylvania legalized online gambling. FanDuel remains one of the biggest sportsbooks in the country and has partnered with several leagues.
BetMGM is the official app of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. If you want to gamble with a company with plenty of history, consider trying out BetMGM.
Another website that began life as a daily fantasy site, DraftKings is arguably the most popular sportsbook today.
All Sportsbooks in Pennsylvania
- Caesars Sportsbooks
- Barstool Sportsbook
Is it Legal to Bet on NFL Games in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania was one of the first states to open up online gambling in 2017 when Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law House Bill 271. All Pennsylvania residents over 21 are eligible to gamble on sports or at a casino.
To register for any sportsbook app, you must verify your identity with your social security number and address. Once the sportsbook has confirmed your identity, you may place your first wager.
Gambling Tips for New Bettors in Pennsylvania
If you are new to gambling, we have a few tips so you can try to win more than you lose.
Shop around spreads before making a wager. While spreads are often similar at every casino, minuscule changes may give you the edge you need to turn a loss into a win. Likewise, every sportsbook runs promotions for current and new players, so take advantage of any of these when making wagers.
Only bet within your set amount, and keep long-shot parlays to a minimum. While it may seem tempting to make an 8-leg parlay and hope it hits for a big payout, the odds are extremely low. Make reasonable bets that stay within your limits. Do not bet all your money on one game, no matter how much of a sure thing it may seem.
Information is king in gambling, and make sure you do research before putting down a bet. Casinos are intelligent and always find an edge, so you need to do the same by understanding trends, history, and conditions for the next game.
Conclusion: Bet on NFL Games in Pennsylvania
If you want to spice up your football watching, try to bet on NFL games online in Pennsylvania. If you stay within your limits, you will find it is the perfect way to add extra drama to every matchup. Always gather as much information as possible and keep in mind all the terms and definitions we gave you. Happy gambling!