If you'd been around for the birth of the NFL and it's difficult early years of growth, you would have never envisioned it evolving into the social, cultural and economic power that it has become in America. The league - originally known as the American Professional Football Associaition - was founded in 1920 in the shworoom of Hay's Hupmobile, an automotive dealership in Canton, Ohio, the city that today is home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The original franchise fee?
One hundred dollars, a far cry from the more than $900 millon that Forbes Magazine estimates each of today's 32 NFL teams to be worth.
The league opened with 13 teams, the Chicago Cardinals - later the St. Louis and today the Arizona Cardinals - being the only original franchise to carry the same nickname that it does today. The Green Bay Packers joined in 1921 and the Chicago Bears were born in 1922, the same year the league officially was dubbed the NFL.
Best NFL Sportsbook Odds
Ready to put some money down on the NFL? Look below to reference the most current, and best, game odds. It's an essential first step in the betting process.
The early years of the NFL saw many teams come and go. Only four of the original 13 teams in 1920 managed to complete the season.
The shaky status of the NFL was still of concern in 1935, when Heisman Trophy winner Jay Berwanger, the first player ever chosen in an NFL draft, opted not to pursue a career in pro football.
Between 1920-35, a total of 51 franchises folded, as the league moved from a center in the industrial cities of the U.S. Midwest to the larger markets on the East Coast. The New York Giants were welcomed into the NFL fold in 1925, the Boston (later Washington) Redskins in 1932 and the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles in 1934.
What Are The NFL Standings Today
This is where you will find all the up to date data on the NFL standings and staying on top of the standings is of paramount importance to the NFL bettor.
How To Make Money Betting On NFL
Some vital stats you'll want to calculate and keep in mind prior to any wager include team yardage differentials. Teams that generally outgain opponents and allow the oppositon fewer yards are going to win far more games than they will lose.
You should also look at the home field advantage. Which teams tend to dominate at home, not only in the win column, but also on the scoreboard?
Seek out the teams that win by significant margins while in their home stadium, because the likelihood of them dropping a home game will be slim.
Also, carefully watch the turnover totals of teams. Clubs that own negative numbers in terms of fumbles lost and interceptions are almost always going to lose.
Coaching legend Knute Rockne once said that football was a game played with the arms, legs and shoulders but mostly from the neck up and when it comes to making money betting on the NFL, it's that part of the body from the neck up that will offer the most value.
The most common wager on NFL games involves the pointspread. With this wager you give points for betting on a favourite and you get points by betting on an underdog.
For example, if you bet in the Pittsburgh Steelers at plus-three, it means the Steelers must win the game by at least four points in order for you to cash a winning ticket. But if you were to wager on the Jacksonville Jaguars at plus-nine, it would mean that if the Jaguars lost by less than nine points or won outright, you're a winner, too.
With so much parity in today's salary-cap driven NFL, the moneyline can be the best way to go when wagering on the NFL. The large majority of NFL games being decided by margins of three or seven points, so giving up points may not be in your best interest. By betting the moneyline, you simply are picking a winner.
Moneylines are set based on $100 bets. A -140 would mean you are betting the favorite and a $140 bet would garner a $100 return. If you bet on a team that is +165, that club is the underdog and a $100 winning bet would return $165.
You also might consider wagering on the total, or the over/under. A combined point total is set for every NFL game by sportsbooks and your choice is to wager whether the teams will score fewer or more points that that pre-established number.