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In recent years, the popularity of American Football has grown beyond all recognition outside of the US. This is thanks largely to the increased exposure that the sport receives courtesy of live NFL games being shown each week during the season on Sky Sports and Channel 5. The demand for the game has grown that much in the UK that there has been one regular season game played at Wembley each year since 2007.
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The NFL season runs between September and January, culminating in the biggest game of all, the Super Bowl, which is contested between the best team from each of the NFL's two conferences, the NFC and the AFC. The majority of games take place traditionally on a Sunday afternoon in the States. At least three games are shown each week in the UK, which, due to time differences on either side of the Atlantic are shown on Sunday evenings. The first of the three games kicks off at 6pm British time, followed by a game at 9:15pm before the final Sunday game kicks off at 1:20am UK time on Monday morning. The first two Sunday games are shown on Sky Sports with the late game being shown on Channel 4. There is also 'Monday night football' each week throughout the regular season, which kicks offs in the early hours of Tuesday morning on our shores and is shown on ESPN.
Towards the end of the season (middle of November onwards), there are also games shown live every Thursday and on some Saturday nights. In addition, all the games during the play-offs as well as Superbowl are broadcast live for the viewing pleasure of British and European Grid Iron fans, many of whom will attribute their passion for this sport to the strategic and tactical nature of the game, not to mention the athleticism of the players and excitement of 'big plays' as well as the glamour and not forgetting the Cheerleaders!
Given the growth in popularity of American Football in the UK, British bookmakers continue to increase the number of betting opportunities that they offer on NFL games as fans look to highten their interest in the action. Just like football matches, you can bet on just about every feasible outcome in an American Football game but the most popular bet types are handicap betting, total points betting and accumulators.
Like all major American sports, the advent of overtime means that virtually every NFL match ends in a win or loss result, this means that in the betting, bookmakers don't price up a draw or tie as a possible outcome. Therefore, only one of the two teams can win. Often there is a strong favourite and therefore handicap betting is a popular bet, this is where one of the teams recieves a given number of points start and the favourite must surpass this given margin in their vitory if the bet is to win.
Another popular bet is betting on the number of points that will be scored by one or both teams in the game. Because American football is split in to two distinct units of defense and offense some teams are notorious for being big scorers or having a great defense or a combination of both. Therefore, punters who follow the stats closely will be aware when two teams with strong offenses are likely to contest a shootout and as such the points total will be high and equally, there will be many occasions when two strong defenses come head to head to battle a low scoring affair.
Because the majority of games are all played on Sundays in the NFL, this lends itself perfectly to fans backing two or more teams to win on the day to form an accumulator bet. Whether it is just a win accumulator or a bet made up of several handicap bets the fact that fans can follow their selections throughout the day make American Football excellent for fans of accumulators.
If you are new to the sport of American Football we would recommend that that you take your time to assess the best teams and how the game dynamics operate before betting but once you begin to understand the rules and know how everything works it can provide great entertainment.
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