The NFL is the most popular sports league to bet on in the United States. This statement also rings true in California, which is home to the LA Chargers, LA Rams, and San Francisco 49ers.
On this page I will recommend our top rated online sportsbook for California residents, look at the regulatory climate of sports betting in the state, provide examples of the three most common bets you can make on an NFL game, and finish with a simple 3 step guide you can follow to place your NFL bets online.
Best Betting Site for California Residents
Bovada.lv is our top rated betting site for California bettors looking to wager on the NFL. Bovada has been serving the US betting market since 2012 and have proven themselves as a trusted secure betting site that provides a great betting experience for bettors from the United States, including California.
Sports Betting in California
It is not currently legal to operate a sportsbook in the state of California. It does not look like this will change in the near future after two ballots relating to the legalization of sports betting failed by significant margins in the 2022 Midterms last November.
That said, California residents can currently place bets through offshore betting sites that are licensed and regulated outside of the United States. Bovada.lv falls into this category because they are licensed and regulated in Antigua, while accepting US players.
Check out our California betting section to learn more about the regulatory climate of sports betting in the state.
Popular NFL Betting Options
There are three NFL bets that take the vast majority of action for each NFL game. These are the spread, money line and total.
The spread is the most popular type of NFL wager and you will often hear the point spread being cited on NFL talk shows. The spread indicates the number of points being spotted to the underdog in order to make the game even between the teams from a betting perspective.
The favored team must win by more points than the spread amount to “cover the spread”, while the underdog must either win the game outright or lose by fewer than the spread to “beat the spread”.
In this example the Chiefs are 3.5 point favorites (-3.5). Kansas City must win by 4 or more for a spread bet on the Chiefs to win. The Chargers are 3.5 point underdogs (+3.5). LA must win the game or lose by 3 or fewer points to beat the spread.
Money Line (To Win)
You can also simply wager on which team will win the game outright. The risk vs reward of a bet on either team is determined by the money line odds. A bet on a favorite will win less than the same bet on an underdog.
In this example the Chiefs are -200 favorites, which means you would have to risk $200 to win $100 betting on KC. The Chargers are +170 underdogs, so a $100 bet would win $170 betting on LA.
A bet on the total is a wager on the amount of points to be scored in the game by both teams. The oddsmaker will set a total and you can bet on whether the number of points scored will be over or under that number.
In this example the total is set at 54.5 points. Over bets will win if 55 or more points are scored, while under bets will win if 54 or fewer points are scored.
How To Bet On The NFL From California – 3 Step Guide
Follow this three step tutorial to bet on NFL games online from California.
Step 1. Join Bovada.lv
Click the above link, select ‘Join Now’, and fill out the sign up form on the Bovada website to open your account.
Bovada is the most popular betting site serving American bettors and our top rated sportsbook for California residents.
Step 2. Deposit Funds
Log into your new account and click on the ‘Deposit’ link under your account silhouette drop down menu. Choose your preferred deposit method (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Bitcoin), and follow the instructions to complete your deposit.
You can withdraw your winnings via bitcoin, bank wire or a check through the mail.
Step 3. Bet On The NFL
Click ‘Sports’ from the top menu bar, select ‘Football’ from the secondary sports menu, and select ‘NFL’ from the ‘Football A-Z’ menu.
Select the NFL bet that you want to make, enter your risk amount on the Bet Slip, and click ‘Place Bets’ to confirm your wagers.
Here’s a screenshot from last year showing the clicks after you’re on the ‘Sports’ page:
Are you ready to bet? Click here to visit Bovada.lv.