Types of NFL Pools

By Alan Kirk ; Updated April 12, 2017
The whole family can participate in football pools.

There are many types of competitions, or pools, that you can conduct during football season for the NFL season. In a football pool, players pay an entry fee, and then the person managing the pool distributes money from the fund created by the entries to the players with the best scores for the week. The number of top finishers paid and the percentage each is paid vary from pool to pool and is up to the pool organizer to define before the pool starts.

Pick the Winners

In NFL football pools where you just have to pick the winners, your goal is to pick the greatest number of teams that win games in a given week. In case there is a tie, contestants frequently pick the combined score of the Monday night game, and the player involved in the tie with the closest guess, without going over, wins.

Beat the Spread Pools

In an NFL pool that uses a betting line known as the spread, players must guess the winner of the game, with a slight adjustment to the score. One team in each game is the favorite and will have a predetermined amount of points deducted from its score. The winner of that game is then determined by comparing the score of the two teams after the favored team has the predetermined number of points deducted from its score. The deduction used for Beat the Spread pools is frequently found in a local newspaper or website that announces the official betting lines announced by sportsbooks at casinos in Las Vegas.

Over and Under Pools

In an Over and Under Pool, players compete to see who can guess most accurately the final scores of all the games of the current week. An exact score does not have to be predicted. Instead, contestants must guess if the score will be higher or lower than the predicted final score of the two teams combined. This predicted score can be found in national newspapers and websites that list wagering lines established by Las Vegas casinos. The player that makes the most correct guesses of over or under wins the pool for the week. If there is a tie, the player involved in the tie who guesses the combined score of the Monday night football game, without going over, wins.

Confidence Pool

In a Confidence Pool, players choose winners for each of the games that week. They then get to assign a point value to each of the winners. The numbers go from one through the number of games played that week. A contestant should assign the highest point value for that week to the team he thinks is most likely to win of the teams he predicts to win. The number one should be assigned to the winner he is least confident will win. For each correct guess, the player gets the points assigned to that winner. The player with the highest combined score for the week is the winner. Once again, players guess the combined score of the Monday night game, with the tie being broken and the winner based on who is closest to the total without going over.

About the Author

Alan Kirk has been writing for online publications since 2006. He has more than 15 years' experience in catering, management and government relations. Kirk has a bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Maryland.