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When it comes to football betting the NFL is king, while college football is perhaps the queen. The NFL dominates all forms of betting in the United States, while College Football is usually a solid second choice. NFL betting begins with the Hall of Fame Game each August and continues with four weeks of preseason action. The Preseason action in NFL betting is just a blip on the radar compared to regular season NFL betting. The regular season begins each September and the handle on NFL games at online sportsbooks is large. There are 16 games each week early in the season before the bye weeks begin, so all 32 teams are in action. Regular season NFL betting runs through late December with NFL playoff action beginning in early January. NFL betting culminates with the Super Bowl each February.

The first professional football game in the United States took place in 1895 in the town of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, between a team representing Latrobe and a team from Jeannette, Pennsylvania. In the following ten years many professional teams were formed, but the pro game attracted only limited public support during its first 30 years. The first league of professional football teams was the American Professional Football Association, formed in 1920.

In 1922, the APFA gave way to the National Football League. Red Grange, the famous halfback from the University of Illinois, provided a tremendous stimulus for the league when he joined the Chicago Bears in 1925 with his exciting play drawing large crowds. Thereafter, professional football attracted larger numbers of first-rate college players, and the increased patronage made the league economically viable.

Strategically, the early NFL game was hardly distinguishable from college football. There was no attempt to break away from collegiate playbooks or rules. For 13 years the NFL followed the NCAA Rules Committee recommendations. In the league's early years, players considered the low-paying NFL a part-time job and held other jobs during the day.

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The game of football has a history of constant rule changes, implemented to bolster the excitement of the game and to increase player safety. In a constant attempt to maintain public interest in the game, NFL rule makers review trends in their sport. For example, in the early 1970s, the hash marks were brought in closer to the center of the field to give offenses more room to throw wide.

The move, which increased scoring and made the game more exciting, also helped bolster the running game. In 1972, 10 NFL runners gained more than 1,000 yards in one season for the first time in history. During the next season, Buffalo Bills' running back O.J. Simpson rushed for more than 2,000 yards, the first time a player had gained that many yards in a single season.

By 1977 scoring was the lowest it had been since 1942, while offensive touchdowns had fallen to their lowest levels since 1938. The rule makers enacted serious measures after this low-scoring 1977 season, fearing a loss of public interest in the defense-dominated game.

The present-day NFL game is immensely popular. It is played during the late summer, through autumn, and into January. Professional teams play four exhibition games before the start of the regular season, followed by 16 regular season games and playoffs, if they qualify.

The NFL is a big business for players, owners, advertisers, and other industries tied to the sport. NFL franchises generate huge revenues for host cities, in addition to promoting civic pride and national exposure. Thus, cities often compete for teams, offering prospective teams bigger and better stadiums, guaranteed fan support, and various economic incentives.

College football betting is behind NFL betting in terms of popularity, but it should be noted that there are far more college football games taking place than NFL games. There are routinely 50-70 games on the board each week in college football. The college football regular season begins in late August and concludes in early December. The college football postseason begins in mid to late December when the first of the bowl games take place. College football betting concludes with the College Football Playoffs, where four teams compete to win the College Football National Championship.

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