In its infancy, professional football was a far cry from the game that rules today as number one in the hearts and minds of the vast majority of American sports fans. The American Professional Football Association was born in 1920 and prospered mainly in industrial towns in the midwestern US, with dominant teams like the Akron Pros, Decatur Staleys and Canton Bulldogs. The Chicago Cardinals, today's
Early pro football struggled to gain any traction with the media, which rarely devoted more than a few lines of type to the sport, or with the general public, which preferred the pomp and pageantry of college football.
While Jim Thorpe, a 6-1, 190-pound strapping young man who'd been an Olympian and a Major League Baseball player, was professional football's first star and drawing card, the NFL - as the APFA was rechristened in 1922 - didn't become a legitimate sports entertainment option until the Galloping Ghost ambled on to the scene.
Red Grange was the most talked-about star in college football when he played at the Unviersity of Illinois. He even had his own agent, C.C. Pyle, an unheard of entity in the sporting world of the 1920s. Grange signed in 1925 with the Chicago Bears before graduating from college amidst public disdain that he would sell his wares to a sport considered to be dirty and profane.
It didn't take long for the Galloping Ghost to gallop his way into prominence and take pro football along for the ride. There were 36,000 on hand for his NFL debut. To capitalize on his popularity, the Bears embarked on a barnstorming tour. They played 18 games in three months, at one point eight games in 12 days, and Grange pocketed $100,000 from his share of the gate receipts, which included a record crowd of 73,000 in New York City.
Pro football had arrived as a major-league sport and in the collective conscious of the masses.
Best Football Sportsbook Odds
We have the best football sportsbook odds for you below so make sure to check the page regularly to source the bets that suit your strategy best.
What Are The Football Standings Today
Here's where you will find the up to date NFL standings. The beauty of wagering on football and likely the reason why the NFL has become the No. 1 betting sport in America has to do with the beautiful simplicty of the game.
How To Make Money Betting On Football
There's just one NFL game per week, so for the football bettor, you've generally got seven days to do your homework and plan your strategy. This isn't baseball, where there's a game every day, or hockey and basketball with their 80-plus game seasons.
The NFL bettor has all that lead time to plan their wagers and then really only has to make a brief commitment to following their teams during the week. It's less of a grind and the season is the shortest in terms of time consumed of all the four major sports as well.
The most common form of wager on football is the spread. Say, for example, the Seattle Seahawks are listed at minus-3. That means the Seahawks are favored and to cash a winning ticket, they must win by four or more points.
If instead you bet the Detroit Lions at plus-three, that would mean the Lions were the underdogs and you are getting three points, so if the Lions lose by less than three or win the game outright, then you are a winner.
The moneyline is another football betting option and it is simply a straight wager on which team you think will win the game. Odds are set based on a $100 bet, so if the Dallas Cowboys are -160, it means the Cowboys are favored and a bettor would be required to wagering $160 to win $100.
On the other hand, should the Washington Redskins be listed at +140, they would be the underdog and a $100 bet on them would return $140 if the Redskins were successful and won the game.
The over/under or total is another popular method of wagering on football games. A point total is established by a sportsbook and then the bettor must opt to wager that the outcome, the combined points scored by both teams in the game, will either finish over or under that total.