Most bettors between the age of 18 and 21 are familiar with football and tune in to watch popular professional and collegiate leagues like the NFL, NCAAF, and XFL. Football tops the bill in the United States for the sheer volume of viewers and sports bettors alike. Our Under 21 football betting guide provides information on how to bet on the NFL and NCAAF and shows you the best sportsbooks offering 18+ football betting odds, including competitve betting lines for under 21 Super Bowl betting.
The American Gambling Association (AGA) estimated that in recent years there was over $100 billion wagered on football alone, and that 98% of all sports betting happens at legal online sportsbooks accepting bettors under 21. Read on to find out more about these industry-leading sportsbooks, the laws involved, and the best football betting sites that cater to 18 and up customers.
Is It Safe To Bet on NFL And College Football Games Under 21?
Yes, sports bettors can engage in football betting safely and legally at legitimate online sportsbooks like the betting sites in the table above. While not all under-21 football betting sites are reputable and trustworthy, we’ve done the background check for you and provided the safest sportsbooks on the net, all just a click away.
We invite you to look through these 18-and-over football sportsbook sites and investigate the wealth of betting options each one has available. Signing up as a member is not required to browse, so have a look around at each one of these reliable NFL and NCAAF betting sites to see what each has to offer.
Where To Bet On Football At Under 21
21 and under football bettors in the United States can wager on NFL and NCAAF at a domestic sportsbook or with an international football betting site.
Since the NFL and college football are among the most highly viewed sports in the United States, almost all domestic books will offer football betting. While some 18+ online gambling states have taken steps to provide regulated sports betting, many have not. The ones that do often require a minimum gambling age of 21. This leaves many 18+ football bettors with limited options.
Online sportsbooks are a more efficient and preferred option among many football bettors. Offshore football betting sites like the ones in the table above accept 18 and up sports bettors and provide lines on major US and international sporting events.
Online sportsbooks do come with restrictions in some states. Washington bans online gambling of all kinds, and operators won't accept accountholders from a handful of US states. On the bright side, no federal laws prohibit US residents from wagering with an online gambling site, and there is no history of penalization.
Betting on NFL
The National Football League is one of the premier sports betting options in the United States and abroad, and under 21 betting on the NFL is the top betting option at participating online sportsbooks. Since 2014, the amount wagered on each Super Bowl championship game has exceeded $100 million. This includes popular entertainment betting options like Super Bowl commercial prop bets and halftime show prop bets.
The popularity of the NFL translates to competition between the sportsbook operators to provide the best-paying lines. This makes NFL betting and NFL playoffs betting not only lucrative, but a fun endeavor. Football is a game of inches, meaning that extra 1/100th of a yard can seal the difference between a win and a loss. People love watching the NFL for moments like the leaping one-handing catches and the last second 50-yard Hail Mary touchdowns. And bookmakers take such moments into account when trying to level the point spread.
Betting on College Football
The NCAAF, on the other hand, is one of the most popular collegiate sports in the United States, with millions of people tuning in every season to the biggest NCAAF championship games. The NCAAF features three collegiate divisions, but Division I – the highest level – sees most of the betting action on online and domestic sportsbooks.
Many consider the NCAAF to be the second tier of American Football under the NFL professional league. In terms of popularity on the betting lines, under 21 college football betting sometimes outshines its NFL counterpart. 18+ college football playoffs betting and NCAAF National Championship betting is also a popular wagering option as the season unfolds.
Other Football Leagues To Bet On
18+ bettors who like wagering on NFL and NCAAF games may also enjoy a range of different options provided by many online international sportsbooks. These include other popular US leagues and even some international football leagues.
In 2001 and in 2020, the XFL attempted to establish itself as an alternative pro football option to the NFL, but both efforts were unable to continue beyond the initial season. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Danny Garcia, and Gerry Cardinale have purchased the XFL and intend to begin play once again in 2022.
The XFL is attempting the become a legitimate professional football league that operates in the spring during the NFL’s offseason. XFL betting odds were prominent at 18 & up football sportsbook sites, and we expect so see them appear again once season schedules are announced.
The Canadian Football League is the highest level of professional football in Canada. The CFL features slightly different rules than American football, with fewer downs, longer fields, and a heavy emphasis on passing.
Because the games are aired in the United States and draw significant attention internationally, Canadian Football League odds can be found at sportsbook sites that allow for 21 and under customers to join.
Indoor And Arena Leagues
The most popular alternative professional league in the US is the Indoor Football League (IFL). The IFL started in 2009 and consists of 12 teams. It is currently America’s longest-running indoor football league with the most active teams. Other popular indoor and arena leagues include Champions Indoor Football and the National Arena League.
Because indoor football leagues vary in popularity, Arena Football betting lines are a little tougher to come by, but we do see them from time to time.
How To Bet On Football if You're Under 21 Years Old
To get started betting on football, you first should click on one of the links above to one of our recommended under 21 online betting sites. Once there, select join to be redirected to the sign-up page. Make sure to create your account using real information that the sportsbooks can verify for payout purposes.
You have the option of funding your account and accepting any promotional offers once you have created an account. After this, you can start betting on the NFL Super Bowl, or your favorite NFL and NCAAF games.
One of the essential steps is learning the common football bet types. Below we have broken down the five prominent bet types found on football moneylines at online gambling sites.
Football Bet Types
Points Spread – A point spread bet, simply stated, is a margin or set number of points that the favorite or underdog team must win or lose by. The underdog’s odds will be indicated by a positive sign and the favorite will feature a negative point spread.
Example: Green Bay Packers (+8) vs. Chicago Bears (-8)
The Packers must win by 8 points, While the Bears can win or lose by 7 points or fewer. INCORRECT
Using the above example, the Packers are predicted to lose by 8, and bets on them to cover require them to lose by 7 or less points. The Bears are favored to win by 8, and bets on them to cover the spread require them to win by 9 or more. (my addition)
Money Line – In a moneyline or straight bet, the favorite is given higher odds, and the underdog is given lower odds. Moneyline bets are placed on an outright winner of the football game, and don’t require keeping track of point differentials.
Example: Miami Dolphins (+170) vs. New England Patriots (-150)
Sports bettors can wager $100 on the underdog Dolphins to win $170, while Patriots bettors need to wager $150 to win $100 because they are favored.
Totals (Over/Under) – The sportsbook will predict the total combined points scored by both teams in a totals bet. Sports bettors wager whether the actual composite score will go over or under that set, predicted number.
Example: Philadelphia Eagles @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Total Points: 45
Over bet wins with 45 or more points, Under bet wins with 45 or fewer points. INCORRECT
Those that bet the over will win if 46 or more total points are scored, while under bets will win if 44 or fewer points are scored by both teams. (added this instead)
Futures – As the name implies, futures bets cover football games and events weeks or months before they happen. Betting early allows for 21 and under patrons to take advantage of futures odds that can provide much higher payouts.
Example: Odds to win Super Bowl LV: Chiefs (+180), Packers (+260), Saints (+305), Steelers (+400)
Prop Bets – Football prop bets are wagers that can include any occurrence during the televised broadcast of the game, from player stat totals, to whether a fan runs on to the field. Anything is fair game, and oddsmakers often come up with NCAAF and NFL prop bets that are intended to be funny and attract attention. (edited most of the prop bets section)
Most over-18 online sportsbooks feature popular Super Bowl props, with lines on commercials, the National Anthem performance, half time show, coin toss, and more.
Common Football Betting Mistakes
Being Unfamiliar With Football
We hope this goes without saying, but one should know the rules and regulations of NFL or NCAAF football before placing bets. Understanding crucial details such as turnover margins, home field advantage, team and player performance history, and more, is key to optimizing your bets. (edited the last sentence, what he had was unauthoritative)
Unregulated Sportsbook Use
One common mistake that stops 18+ gamblers from being successful when betting on football is using an unregulated sportsbook. Make sure you are using a legal online sportsbook that provides secure payouts, like the ones we recommend in this guide. We’ve done the homework for you, so don’t risk venturing outside of the safe and secure sportsbook network we’ve provided in the table at the top of this page.
Football betting is for entertainment and is not advisable as a method of income. Know when it is time to stop, and don’t chase underdogs just trying to hedge. Losses happen, so be prepared for them and don’t risk more than you’ve set aside to spend on football betting.
Lack Of Bankroll Management Skills
Sports betting can be a volatile market, with single players breaking out and changing the course of an entire game in seconds. Learning how to manage your money is essential. It's never a good idea to go "all in" on a single sports betting line. Experts recommend not to bet more than 3% of your entire bankroll on a single game and try not to wager more than 15% of your total bankroll each week.
Not Keeping Up
A successful football bettor must keep up on injuries and roster moves. Player and team statuses change often, so unless you keep up, you’ll be making an uninformed bet. There are several reliable references on the web to keep up with the latest NFL and NCAAF developments, so bookmark those and check the most recent details before laying any action on football odds. (redid this a bit)
Betting On A Team You’re A Fan Of
Seasoned football bettors know that putting your money on the line means making objective decisions and observations. Betting on your hometown NFL or NCAAF team just because you love them does not mean they have an increased mathematical likelihood of winning. Don't make this mistake; be sure to keep your bets objective.