The National Football League (NFL) hosts a series of games to determine the winner of the entire NFL. Being one of the most popular sports in the entire United States, all eyes are set on the whole regular season as they kick off in early September. 

You may wonder how the games are planned with such a huge fan base and watchers. Everything needs to be as smooth sailing as possible so that it wouldn’t disrupt the flow of the events and not disappoint a big crowd. So, to enlighten you, here is a brief explanation of how the NFL regular season works.

What is an NFL Regular season?

The NFL consists of two conferences, namely the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC), consisting of 16 teams with 32 teams in total.

The regular season runs for 18 weeks, the 17 weeks being from early September to early January. Meanwhile, the remaining week is the bye week, where the teams take some time off to rest up and prepare for the remainder of the season. 

After the regular season, the playoffs start with 14 teams from both conferences (7 teams from AFC and NFC with four division winners and three wild cards each). The playoffs take place around January and February. It’s a single-elimination tournament leading up to the Super Bowl, a popular sporting event in the USA. 

The Super Bowl is the NFL’s annual final game that determines the league’s champion. The game has been played on the second Sunday in February since 2022. Just this year, the Los Angeles Rams won over the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-20 to become the Super Bowl LVI Champions.

How Does the NFL Season Work?

The NFL uses the rotation system and ensures that every team will get to play against one another in at least four years. The teams will alternate seasons where they will host nine games of the regular season with one preseason game or eight regular games with one preseason game.

To help you better understand, here is the breakdown of how the NFL make their schedule:

  • The schedule will have six divisional games where every team will play in their divisions two times (one at home and one on the road).
  • Every team will then play four games against the other division within their conference (two at home, two on the road).
  • Another four games against another division in the other conference (two home, two on the road).
  • In their conference, two games against other teams from the two remaining divisions will take place. The matchup this time will be based on division ranking from the last season (one home, one on the road).
  • The last game will be based on the division ranking from the previous season. It’s an additional game against another conference team from the division that they are not scheduled to play with. 

All in all, 17 games will be played by the 32 teams during the 8-week regular season. This means 272 games are supposed to be played during the whole regular season of the NFL.

Betting on NFL

If you’re into betting, betting on the United States’ major professional football league means more opportunities to win and bring home money. Additionally, there are betting options that beginners can partake in. 

  • Moneyline.  To participate in this bet, you’ll only need to try to predict who will outright win in the game. You can take advantage of the   NFL lines to determine which team has the better chances in winning the game
  • Prop Betting. This type of bet is usually unrelated to your other bets and can be used as a side bet. It focuses more on what’s happening during the game, like who’ll score first, the coin toss, which team will have the highest quarter score, and many more.
  • Totals. This bet involves the sportsbook, who’ll present a number they predicted to be the combined total score of the playing teams. As a bettor, you would need to stake whether you think the actual combined scores would be more than or less than they presented.
  • Parlay. This bet is composed of two and more legs of NFL bets. In simple terms, it’s a wager with multiple bets placed. The only way you can win is if all your bets are correct. You will lose your parlay bets if you lose even once wager out of all your parlay legs.
  • Futures. Betting on this type of bet means you’re placing stakes that’ll not take place anytime soon, like the NFL Playoffs and the Super Bowl. Futures are usually presented during the NFL Kickoff or a few weeks after the official start of the regular season.

Final Thoughts

18 weeks of the NFL regular season means 18 weeks of fun for the fans. It gives more reason for the fans to prepare and wait for the weekend for the games. The schedule also helps the participating sports bettor prepare their wagers so they can easily stake and watch the game. If you’re a fan who wishes to do the same, it’s never too late to try and win!