Football is the most bet on sport in the United States. This is also true in California, which is home to three NFL teams (LA Rams, LA Chargers, SF 49ers) and several quality college football programs.
On this page I will recommend a betting site for California residents, touch on the regulatory climate of sports betting in the state, look at the three most popular football bets, and finish with a straight forward 3 step guide you can follow to bet on football online.
Best Sportsbook For California Residents
Bovada.lv is our recommended betting site for California residents interested in betting on football online. Bovada has served the US market since 2012 and continues to be a popular and trusted betting site that accept California residents.
Sport Betting in California
At this time it is not legal to operate a sportsbook in the state of California. This doesn’t look likely to change in the near future after two ballot measures that would have introduced regulated sports betting to California both failed to pass via vote during the November 2022 midterms. No progress has been made since the failed ballot measures.
That said, if you live in California you can still bet on football games through online betting sites that are licensed and regulated outside of the USA, while still accepting American bettors. Bovada.lv is one such site. They are licensed and regulated in Antigua, while still accepting American players.
Check out our California section to learn more about sports betting in the state.
Popular Football Bets
The three most popular football wagers that soak up the majority of betting action on all football games, are the point spread, money line and over/under bets.
Here is an example of the odds from a past Fresno State vs San Jose State college football game from Bovada.lv:
The point spread is the most popular football wager because it levels the playing field between the two teams. In the above example Fresno State is a -7.5 point favorite. For a spread bet on Fresno State to win they would have to win the game by 8 or more points. San Jose State is the +7.5 underdog, so a San Jose State spread bet is a winner if they win the game outright or lose by 7 or fewer points.
Money Line (To Win)
The money line is simply a bet on which team will win the game. The odds for each team represent the risk vs reward of the bet. In the above example Fresno State is a -290 favorite, which means you would have to wager $290 to win $100 betting on Fresno State. San Jose State is a +240 underdog, so a $100 bet on San Jose State would win $240 if they pulled off the upset.
The over/under is a bet on the amount of points scored in the game by both teams combined. The oddsmaker will set a total and you can bet on whether the number of points scored will be over or under this total. In the above example the total is set at 52.5 points. Over bets would be winners if 53 or more points are scored, while under bets would win if 52 or fewer points are scored.
How To Bet On Football From California
Follow this three step guide to bet on football games online from anywhere in California.
Step 1. Open A Bovada.lv Account
Click the above link and fill out the overlay sign up form on the home page to open your account.
Bovada is the most popular online sportsbook serving US residents and our top rated betting site for California bettors.
Step 2. Deposit
After logging into your Bovada account click on the ‘Deposit’ link under your accounts silhouette drop down menu. Select one of the deposit methods (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Bitcoin, Ethereum), enter your deposit amount, and follow the instructions to make your deposit.
You can cash out any winnings via bitcoin, ethereum or check through the mail.
Step 3. Place Your Football Bets
- Click ‘Sports’ from the top menu bar and select ‘Football’ from the secondary sports menu.
- Use the ‘Football A-Z’ drop down menu to navigate to the type of football bet that you want to place.
- Select the odds of the bet you want to make and enter your risk amount on the Bet Slip.
- If you are happy with the risk and potential winnings, click ‘Place Bets’ to lock in your wager.
Here’s a screenshot showing the clicks for a bet on San Jose State (continuing with the example above):
Ready to bet? Click here to visit Bovada.lv.