American football is a popular sport for fans and sports bettors alike, and the sport attracts all the best players in the world.
The annual Super Bowl is every year followed by millions of fans, and bettors just love engaging with the excitement and the action that only such a universal event can offer.
But to place a successful bet on the NFL, it is crucial to first gain an understanding of the rules of the sport.
The Object Of The Game
The goal is for a team to score more points than their opponents during a specified amount of time.
To successfully add points to the scoreboard, teams must move the ball down the pitch. This happens in phases of play until such time as the ball reaches what is called the “end zone” where touchdowns take place.
A touchdown can be reached either by passing the ball to a different player or running it into the end zone.
Another important term relating to points-scoring is “downs”. Each team is awarded 4 downs (chances) to move the ball forward a distance of 10 yards. Should all 4 downs have been awarded without a team making it over the 10-yard mark, the ball will be given to the team on the defense.
During a game, each team will have 11 players on the field. If this changes and a player is sent off mid-game, the NFL odds may well reflect this if betting is taking place live.
A team will typically consist of a quarterback, a group of defensive players, and a group consisting of those players who are fast on their feet and able to kick the ball further.
A typical football field measures 100 yards long and 60 yards wide. Lines are drawn at 10-yard marks. End zones are usually 20 yards long.
How Points Are Scored
For every touchdown, a team is awarded a total of six points. Following every touchdown, the attacking team will be given the opportunity to kick the ball to score an additional point. For this to be successful, the ball must be kicked in such a way that it passes between the two upright posts.
Field goals can be scored at any point during the game, with a successful kick awarded three points.
Whenever a player manages to tackle an opposing player in their own end zone, that player’s team will be awarded 2 points.
The rules are relatively straightforward, although the action on the field moves fast:
- Games last for 1 hour – divided into four 15-minute quarters. This includes time for rest: 2 minute-breaks between the quarters, and a 15-minute rest at half-time.
- Failure to cover the required yardage after 4 downs results in what is called a turnover (handing the ball over to the opposing team).
- A coin toss at the start of the game determines who gets the ball first. This also determines which side of the pitch they’ll be starting on.
- Each game starts with a kick-off.
- The quarterback or coach calls for the attacking team, and the defensive captain calls for the defensive side.
- A team on the receiving end of a turnover will have the option to either kick the ball or try to make up yards.