The point spread
A sportsbook sets a handicap showing by how many points one side will win, and gives you a 50-50 choice. Then you decide whether you think one side will win – or lose – by more than that margin.
The end-of-season playoffs are the culmination of every NFL season. The top teams across the sport pit themselves against each other with the ultimate aim of reaching, and winning, the Super Bowl.
Football has a global appeal far beyond the borders of the United States and Canada. This is underscored by the popularity of online football betting on a host of markets that add engagement for the bettors.
In this guide we'll tell you:
Each year the NFL playoffs thrill and enthral fans across the US, Canada and beyond. Here’s how it works.
The NFL is divided into two conferences, the AFC and NFC, with 16 teams in each
Both conferences have four divisions
The champions of each division qualify for the playoffs
They are joined by two wildcards from each conference, teams apart from divisional winners with the best overall record
The teams face off in a single-elimination knockout tournament
That process produces overall winners of the AFC and NFC
Those sides then meet on neutral territory in the Super Bowl
Betting on the NFL playoffs is the same as on regular season games. Let us give you a simple guide to the way the odds work.
Take the example of a match between New England Patriots and Jacksonville Jaguars. The odds, expressed as decimals, may read:
This means that, for every C$6 you stake on the Patriots, the favourites, you win C$4. If you put C$4 on the Jaguars, the underdogs, you win C$5.
Odds can be presented in other formats, such as fractional and moneyline (also known as American) odds.
Most sportsbooks let you decide on the way you want to see prices. But check out our useful Odds Calculator to see how they compare.
If you believe your team can win its division, you can bet on this. The sooner you do this, the bigger your return should be.
Let’s say you think one team is a shoo-in for its conference. You can wager on this well in advance too.
All right, so you reckon your favourites can go all the way and join the list of Super Bowl winners. Time to get an early bet on.
The first organised American football matches take place1920
For the first time, the top two teams play off to decide the season’s winners1932
The champions of each conference meet in an NFL Championship Game1933
Green Bay Packers win Super Bowl I
The NFL expands to 16 teams, with the conferences each split into two four team divisions
The four divisional champions meet in the NFL playoffs1967
The playoffs expand to include eight teams1970
The total number of playoff teams rises to 101978
Pittsburgh Steelers win their fourth Super Bowl of the 1970s1979
Two more wild cards are added, bringing the number of playoff teams to 121990
Buffalo Bills lose in the Super Bowl for the fourth year running1993
New England Patriots win the Super Bowl for the first time2002
New Orleans Saints win the Super Bowl, less than five years after Hurricane Katrina devastated their city2010
New England Patriots win their sixth Super Bowl – all since the turn of the century2019
Betting on football playoffs in Canada is enormously popular and increasingly easy to do. The vast majority of sportsbooks now offer you the chance to add to your engagement with sporting action by betting on it.
To find out everything you could possibly need to know about football betting in Canada, check out our home page.
A post-regular season competition involving the best 12 teams from the NFL. They meet in a series of single-elimination matches that culminates with the Super Bowl.