NFL Playoff Odds & Betting Guide VA

With sports betting now deemed legal in the Commonwealth and all surrounding areas of the state of Virginia, now’s the time to familiarize yourself on how to bet the NFL playoffs for when they come around in early 2021. Sportsbooks are expected to open their doors to the public in January, so the timing couldn’t be better.

Though “The Old Dominion” doesn’t have an NFL franchise to call its own, many have flocked the way of the Washington Football Team, Carolina Panthers, or Tennessee Titans due to their proximity. Should any of those teams qualify for the playoffs, you’ll now be able to legally wager on all point spread, total, moneyline, exotic bet, future, and team/player prop outcomes for each of those teams’ respective playoff games.

Though Virginia does pose restrictions when betting on collegiate sports, the NFL is entirely up for grabs. It’s exciting times for the state of Virginia as it enters the 21st century when it comes to betting. No longer are horse racing and the state lottery your only options.

Best VA online sportsbooks to bet on NFL playoffs

There haven’t been any announcements made as to which sportsbook operators will open their doors to the Virginia betting public, but if you’ve watched T.V., listened to the radio, or surfed the internet over the last year, you probably have a good idea of who to expect. The following is a list of no-brainer candidates that will soon be accepting wagers be it in brick and mortar sportsbooks, online or mobile betting.

  • DraftKings – The company put itself on the map by revolutionizing the daily fantasy sports industry. Its multi-game options and enormous payouts saw it quickly rise to the top of the DFS landscape, and it’s doing the same thing in every state that’s already legalized and started accepting bets in the United States. From its full scope of sport offerings to uncanny promos and attractive bonuses and bet boosts, DK is a lock to be one of the first entities to book Virginians NFL playoff bets come January.
  • FanDuel – Seemingly always the bridesmaid and never the bride, the folks at FD have given Goliath a major run for its money in the sportsbook landscape. With multiple deals landed to be the primary sportsbook of many professional teams across numerous sports, FanDuel isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Their app is arguably the best in the business, and they’ve proven time and time again to be the first to market by having zero inhibitions about opening lines when others just watch.
  • BetRivers – With a deal already in place to possibly become the sports betting provider for the Portsmouth casino soon-to-be-built, the odds of Rush Street Interactive being one of the first companies to book bets in the state of Virginia are extremely short. Backed by one of the more impressive apps in the business that constantly improves with every update, BetRivers is going to succeed in Virginia without a doubt, especially with it the only company that offers a dedicated loyalty program to sports bettors and not just patrons playing table games or slots.
  • William Hill – The folks from across the pond have already taken over Las Vegas. Now they have their sights set on expanding across the entire United States of America. With almost a century worth of Bookmaking experience under its collective belt, Virginians can bet confidently with WH knowing full well they’ll be taken care of. They’ve already set up shop in just about every other state that legalized sports betting, so you can bet your bottom dollar they’ll make a push to open their doors to the Commonwealth as well.
  • Caesars/BetMGM – The first thing that comes to mind when seeing either of these company names is gambling. Each is synonymous with the act and both mega corporations are highly likely to snag a license once they are doled out in the coming months. Caesar’s has already partnered with the casino development in Danville, while BetMGM already opened a stone’s throw away in Maryland with MGM National Harbor. It would be foolish to think either would willingly allow both DFS companies to win at the game of Monopoly in the great state of Virginia.

Tips for betting on NFL playoff games

Once the regular season concludes and the NFL playoffs commence, sportsbooks have a pretty good understanding of every team that qualified. With that, the NFL playoff betting odds and lines from the point spread to the totals will be extremely sharp. In other words, you won’t find linemakers making many mistakes.

All they do is set the market and allow for the betting public to move the line one way or the other. It’s up to the prospective bettor to read into the action on both teams and make an informed judgment for themselves on which offer to back. The following are a few guidelines to keep on the backburner when attacking the NFL playoff betting lines.

1. Experience matters

The playoffs are a completely different animal than that of the regular season. Teams and players that have participated in them more recently have a leg up on an opponent making its first appearance. Simply from a “been there done that” perspective. This frame of mind becomes even more paramount for a team throwing a quarterback under center that’s making his first-ever playoff start. They normally tend to struggle that first time out.

2. Know the matchups

In the playoffs, it’s more important than ever to pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of every team. Doing so gives you an excellent baseline to help you decipher which team owns the key advantage that could lead to cashing a ticket.

For example: if an outstanding running team squares off against a better than average overall defense but one that struggles to defend the run, that team would own a serious advantage that could lead to a dominating game script that shortens the game and keeps the ball out of the opposing offense’s hands. If the running dominator just so happens to be installed as an underdog by linemakers, you just hit the jackpot. Rushing dogs are money in the bank in the postseason. One only has to look as far back as 2019 when Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans reached the AFC title game much to the surprise of the betting public.

3. Don’t overreact

Most bettors are quick to come to conclusions after watching a single game. The effort is fresh in their memory bank which allows for quick decisions as to which team to back the following week. If a team goes off the following week to far surpass oddsmakers’ expectations, don’t just take it for what it was. Dig in and try to figure out exactly how said team was able to perform at such a high level. Did the opponent have an integral piece to their defensive puzzle bow out during the game? Did their opponent turn the ball over with reckless abandon to help set their offense up with exceptional field position all game long? Read the box scores and see for yourself if the win was earned or just handed over.

Betting on NFL Playoff futures

A futures bet is a result that is decided over some time. Sometimes long. Sometimes short. Betting on NFL playoffs futures isn’t for everybody. A portion of your bankroll must be able to be set aside for a set duration until the final determination of said bet can be made.

NFL playoff futures bets can be made before the season kicks off, during the season, or right before they begin as well as throughout. Keep in mind, line value on teams making the playoffs or winning games in the playoffs are more attractive the further away the second season is when the bet is originally made.

With that, you stand to make more money on a team doing something in the second season the earlier you bet them to do so. So, if you ever have a feeling about an NFL team making noise in the playoffs early on in the regular season, back it up with a bet immediately and don’t allow for sportsbooks or the betting markets to rob you of any line value.

Live betting during NFL playoff games

Live betting has taken wagering on the NFL to an entirely new level. While pre-game betting still rules the roost, live betting has caught on like wildfire! What betting a game live means is wagering on the outcome of the matchup as it plays out right before you.

Point spreads, moneylines, and totals are adjusted for the game according to how it is playing out. The game within the game allows for you to possibly add more money to your bankroll by doubling down on a pre-game bet if it starts well. It also allows for minimizing losses should your initial bet go up in flames early. There’s also a chance you could wind up cashing live bets on both teams provided you play your cards right and pay attention to every detail of the game.

Live betting also serves as an excellent entry point should you want to see how a matchup shapes up early on before getting involved. Every NFL playoff game can be a live bet from the opening kick-off until the clock reads double zeroes.

NFL bet types explained 

  • Point Spread: This is the handicap linemakers establish for every single game. It more or less evens the playing field by forcing the better of the two teams to not only win the game but do so by a certain number of points. Let’s say a team is favored to win by seven points over its opponent. Said team would be listed at -7, while the underdog getting the points would read +7. That means the favorite would need to win the game by eight points or more to come out a winner, while the underdog would need to either win outright or lose the game by six points or less. If the final margin of the game falls exactly on seven, neither team would have covered the point spread deeming the result a push and the wager amount would be refunded back to the account. The point spread can be wagered upon for the full game, first half, second half, and in-game or live betting.
  • Over/Under: The O/U or total of a game represents the combined score of both teams in the matchup. You can wager on a full game, first half and second half totals. The total also changes for the game when live betting. Let’s say an NFL playoff matchup bestows a lofty total of 54. For the over to cash in, the teams would need to combine for 55 or more points. On the flip side, the under world come out the winner should both teams go on to combine for 53 points or less. If the final score lands exactly on 54, the bet would push and all monies put down on the wager would be refunded back into the account.
  • Moneyline: This wager type deals with picking the outright winner of a given matchup. No point spread is in play when wagering on a team’s moneyline. All that team would need to do is win the game by just one point for the betting ticket to cash. However, more money is needed to be put down when betting the favorite, while less money put down on the underdog normally brings back more than what was initially staked. Let’s say a team is a 7.5-point favorite. That would equate to a moneyline in the neighborhood of -375; that means you’d need to throw down $375 just to win $100 for an overall return of $475. A bet on the underdog at around +310 would bring back $310 on a $100 wager with a bring back of $410 overall. As you can see, the rate of return on betting the underdog in that scenario is much more appetizing. Keep in mind, however, linemakers installed that team as a decided underdog for a reason.
  • Props: Slowly but surely, this form of betting on the NFL playoffs is becoming the most popular. The reason why is because of the payoffs. There are also many of the belief that they’re the best way to take advantage of weak lines with sportsbooks more concerned with the more popular point spreads and totals. Some of the more popular prop bets include “Who Scores the 1st Touchdown” or the total number of touchdowns a specific quarterback throws in the game. It seems like there’s a prop for everything these days, and the market is only expected to get even more exciting with the amount of new technology currently being created to make viewers of the NFL playoffs become even more of a part of the game than they already are.