Cable and satellite previously ruled as the primary source of television watching. However, thanks to a growing trend in cord cutting, streaming options such as PlayStation Vue, Hulu with Live TV, and even over-the-air (OTA) antennas offer alternatives to pricey cable plans. Yet, sports watching is notably difficult. Learn all about how to watch NFL games in this complete guide to stream NFL games live in 2018! We will cover everything from existing OTT streaming services, Kodi addons, and even websites where you can find free streams. We published a complete NFL streaming guide in 2017. This is an updated version of that guide for 2018 season.
College Football and NFL Watching Guides 2019:
- Complete guide to stream college football live in 2019 – TV, OTT, Kodi, etc
- 12 Best websites to watch college football online for free in 2019
- 5 Best Kodi Addons for Sports 2019 – College Football, NFL, Soccer and more
- Complete guide to stream NFL games live in 2018 – TV, OTT, Kodi, and More
- 5 different ways to watch ESPN live on any device using Kodi, OTT services, more
- 20 Best addons for Kodi 18 Leia with installation instructions – 2019
- 6 Must have Kodi addons for Broadcast TV streaming
Table of Contents
- NFL Games Watching Guide 2018
- 1. Watch NFL Games Live with OTA Options (Over-the-Air)
- 2. Stream NFL Games Live in 2018 with OTT options
- 3. Kodi Addons for Streaming Sports
- 4. Websites to Watch NF Games Online
- Devices to Stream NFL games - Roku, Nvidia Shield TV, Firestick, and more
- How to stream NFL games live in 2018: Final thoughts
NFL Games Watching Guide 2018
NFL games air on a variety of stations. Most pre-season games air on NFL Network, with some on NBC, ESPN, Fox, and CBS. Sunday afternoon games play on CBS and Fox. You'll find Sunday Night Football on NBC. Thursday Night Football is largely on NFL Network, with select Thursday night games on Fox or NBC. Then Monday Night Football falls on either ABC or ESPN. [Read: 9 best websites to watch college football online for free in 2017]
- Fox: Sunday afternoon NFL games, Thursday Night Football
- CBS: Sunday afternoon NFL games
- NBC: Sunday Night Football
- ABC: Monday Night Football
- ESPN: Monday Night Football [Read: 5 different ways to watch ESPn live on any device]
- NFL Network: Shows select Thursday and Saturday games
1. Watch NFL Games Live with OTA Options (Over-the-Air)
Many channels where you can watch NFL games live in 2018 are freely available over-the-air. Thus, with an OTA antenna option, you may watch NFL games without cable for free and legally. Just add one of these best OTA antennas and you're ready to go. You may hook up an antenna directly to your TV, or connect it to a TV tuner for DVR capabilities. Notably, the WeTek Play 2 is an awesome streaming box with OTA functionality.
Best OTA Antenna for free over-the-air TV channels:
2. Stream NFL Games Live in 2018 with OTT options
With an OTA antenna, you can watch NFL games live and for free. But you'll miss out on games aired via premium channels. Plus, out of market games may be tough to watch. As a die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fan (fly Eagles fly!) located in North Carolina, it's difficult to watch Eagles games solely with an over-the-air antenna. Enter cable replacement streaming sites. These services allow you to watch live and on-demand TV on virtually any device. So-called over-the-top (OTT) streaming services provide access to premium content without a traditional pay TV service. [Read: 10 Kodi addons to watch NFL live on your Kodi media center]
If you want to watch NFL games without cable, an OTT streaming service is an excellent choice. These are the best over-the-top streaming services which allow you to watch NFL games online in 2018:
Cord cutters can watch NFL games on Sling TV which cleaves its lineup into two packages: Sling Orange and Sling Blue. Or, you can select both tiers for a more comprehensive set of channels. Sling BLue carries Fox, NBC, and NFL Network. Thus, with Sling Blue you can stream Sunday and Thursday games. Sling Orange has ESPN which allows you to watch Monday Night Football online without cable. NFL RedZone is available to Sling Blue subscribers a la the Sports Extra package. If you want to use Sling TV to watch NFL games live without cable, your best bet is a combined Sling Orange and Blue package. [Read: Intro to cord cutting: Sling TV review]
DirecTV Now boasts ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN News, ESPNU, NBCSN, FS1, FS2, and NFL Network. Local channels including CBS, Fox, and NBC are available in select markets. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to live stream CBS, NBC, or Fox in my area. A major perk of DirecTV Now is that it includes NFL Network, where 13 of the 17 Thursday Night Football games are broadcast. You'll find simulcasts on Amazon Prime and Fox for 11 of those. However, to stream NFL Network on DirecTV Now, you'll need to upgrade to the Just Right package. Still, DirecTV Now sports arguably the best pricing structure when considering its massive channel lineups. [Read: Intro to cord cutting: DirecTV Now review]
Since FuboTV targets sports fans, it's a decent pick as a means to watch NFL games live without cable. Its roster features Fox, CBS, NBC, and NFL Network. Therefore, you can watch Sunday afternoon games, Sunday Night Football, and Thursday Night Football. Oddly, there's no ESPN inclusion so you won't be able to stream Monday Night Football games on ESPN. NFL RedZone is available as an addon however. Overall, FuboTV is a solid pick to watch NFL games without cable.
Hulu with Live TV is an awesome way to watch NFL games on Hulu. It's one of the few OTT providers with CBS, Fox, and NBC streaming. Additionally, you can stream ESPN. There's no NFL Network, but with its array of channels you'll be able to watch Sunday afternoon and night games, Monday night NFL games, and 11 Thursday Night Football matches. [Read: Intro to cord cutting: Hulu Live TV review]
If you want to stream NFL games live, YouTube TV is a best pick. It's my preferred over-the-top cable replacement streaming service. That's because of YouTube TV delivers local channels streaming live. With local channels notoriously difficult to find in an OTT service, YouTube TV affords CBS, NBC, and Fox live. Moreover, you can watch ESPN. There's no NFL Network coverage. Nevertheless, you can watch the majority of Thursday Night Football games with YouTube TV, as well as all Sunday afternoon, night, and Monday night match ups. With the lowest package costing only $40 a month, YouTube TV is one of the cheapest ways to stream NFL games Live.
[Read: Intro to cord cutting: YouTube TV review]
Another SmartHomeBeginner favorite, PlayStation Vue carries tons of channels at an affordable price. PS Vue's Core plan yields ESPN and NFL Network. In certain markets, you'll be able to stream CBS, NBC, and Fox live. Tack on a $10 per month Sports Pack to gain access to NFL RedZone and a slew of other sports channels. Disappointingly, in my region, PS Vue only lends access to on-demand content from CBS, Fox, and NBC. You can remedy this using an OTA antenna in conjunction with PlayStation Vue. [Read: Intro to cord cutting: PlayStation Vue review]
DirecTV touts its exclusive NFL Sunday Ticket package. Yet, NFL Sunday Ticket isn't available with the DirecTV Now streaming service, only satellite subscribers. But for cord cutters, there is a streaming option for NFL Sunday Ticker. With a hitch though. DirecTV limits its NFL Sunday Ticket streaming offering to anyone that can't sign up for a satellite service. As such, many university students and apartment dwellers are eligible. Pricing is rather steep with Sunday Ticket To Go retailing for about $70 a month, and NFL Sunday Ticket Max clocking in at $95 a month.
If you're looking for access to CBS and don't want to bother with an OTA antenna, check out CBS All Access. This allows for live streaming of CBS along with on-demand content. At $6 a month, CBS All Access is incredibly reasonable.
For the 2018 NFL season, you can watch NFL games on Amazon Prime. The 11 Thursday Night Football games which are simulcast on Fox will be shown on Amazon Prime as well.
Want to watch every NFL game including out of market games? Take a look at NFL GamePass. At $100, it's not cheap. Moreover, while you gain access to live out of market preseason games, regular season matches are only available as replays, so you can't stream regular season NFL games live in 2018. [Read: Get NFL Game Pass with Live NFL games – Cheapest way for USA & Outside]
You can watch NFL games online in 2018 using the NFL mobile app. Any user can download the NFL app and stream live games to their phone. There's a slight catch though. You're relegated to watching on a phone or mobile device, and only able to watch in-market local games, plus Monday, Thursday, and Sunday night national broadcasts.
3. Kodi Addons for Streaming Sports
If you are still a fan of kodi addons for streaming sports then you can try some of the addons below. I say this because the world of Kodi streaming has changed significantly over the last year and many addons have been taken down. We recently published a list of 93 working Kodi addons which includes several streaming addons. If you decide to try one of these Kodi sports addons, then be sure to get a good VPN service for security and privacy.
IPVanish VPN Exclusive Offer - only $3.25 per month:
Windows, Android, Ubuntu
OSMC on RPi
♦ Hide your browsing (no logs), Anonymize Streaming and Downloads
♦ Circumvent Geo/Country Restrictions and access worldwide content
♦ Works on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Router, and more
♦ 250 GB of SugarSync Secure storage included
♦ Money back guarantee - Sign Up Now
Remember that Kodi addons come and go as the landscape is changing quite rapidly. Therefore, some may work and some may not. So proceed at your own risk.
USTVNow deseves a top spot on the list because it is one of the best legal Kodi addons for live TV. USTVnow is a streaming service that offers cable TV from the US which the name also implies. The service's original purpose was to offer overseas American soldiers access to their beloved movies and channels. The paid for content it provides is 28 channels such as plus AMC, CNN, ESPN, FX, TBS, and TNT for the price of $29 monthly this is without the digital video recorder option, if you want that included it will be $39 monthly. For a free signup you can stream NFL games live using the following channels ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, NBC, and PBS. [Read: Guide: How to install Kodi USTVNow addon]
PlayStation Vue stands as one of the top premium streaming services available. It is only of the only OTT services to offer a Kodi addon. Users now have a legal way to watch an extensive library of content, as well as watch live TV and sports on their Kodi devices. The PlayStation Vue addon has beaten Netflix to the platform in an unprecedented move. Many streaming services, paid or otherwise, are not always supported by Kodi. The handful that are available as addons are not always fully supported, or may not work perfectly on all devices. [Read: Guide: How to install PlayStation Vue on Kodi: Watch PS Vue on Kodi]
NetStreams Sports Hub
You can install the NetStreams Sports Hub Kodi addon from the Stream Army repository. This addon is one of the best Kodi working addons since it acts like a hub for various sports streams in order to let you watch sports such as soccer, basketball, rugby and so on. NetStreams Sports Hub addon can be installed from the http://streamarmy.co.uk/repo/ addon repository.
One of the best and oldest addons for Kodi media players, SportsDevil lets you watch sports events right from your Kodi device. It is a good addon despite the fact that its streams are provided free of charge. The SportsDevil kodi addon can be installed from the http://repo.theunjudged.xyz addon source.
With the BOOM! Kodi addon you will be able to stream sports to your Kodi media center. You can watch content about golf, football and many other sports. This is one of the best working Kodi addons for sports currently available, so make sure to check it out! BOOM Kodi addon can be installed from the http://burrtv.tech/boom/repo/ Kodi repo.
With the Atom Kodi addon from the Supremacy repository, you get access to one of the top Kodi addons for content. Besides offering the usual content such as movies and TV shows, you can also find live IPTV channels and sports within this addon. A separate section lets you use Real Debrid if you're an user, for buffering-free streaming. Atom Kodi addon can be installed from the http://myatom.one/rebornrepo/ Kodi repository.
Stream Engine Kodi addon has a greatly organized offer of content such as sports, movies, TV shows and even Live TV channels. You can find this addon and start enjoying its great content selection and quality if you install the Kodi MuckyDuck repository. Stream Engine Kodi addon can be installed from the http://muckys.mediaportal4kodi.ml/ repository.
With the Deliverance Kodi plugin you can watch live sports as well as already-broadcast sports matches. The fact that it offers quite a good selection of content, organized by several categories, makes this one of the best Kodi working addons for sports-related content streaming. Deliverance can be installed from the http://sport-xplosion.com/DELIVERANCE/ source.
If you install the Kodi Rising Tides plugin on your Kodi media player, you will be able to watch live sports events, live PPV events, sports channels, football highlights and so on. It also brings other kinds of content, such as live TV, movies and documentaries, so be sure to check this top Kodi plugin and give it a try. Rising Tides kodi addon can be installed form the http://mullafabz.xyz/Repository/ repository.
4. Websites to Watch NF Games Online
We have previously covered a list of websites that can stream NFL games. Watching games through these websites is equivalent to stealing cable. But for many folks who are outside the US, this is a common way to watch NFL games online. Many sites have shut down or moved to another domain. At the time of writing this guide, the following websites appear to carry live streams of channels that telecast college football games.
Sports and Live TV Streaming Websites 2019:
- WatchESPN.com (paid)
- sportsurge.net (free)
- nflbite.com (free)
- firstrowas.eu (free)
- firstrowsportes.com (free)
- firstrowsports.tv (free)
- firstsrows.com (free)
- firstsrowsports.eu (free)
- ifirstrowus.eu (free)
- stream2watch.com (free)
- cricfree.org (free)
- vipbox.im (free)
- stream-hd.live (free)
- liveball.tv (free)
While I do not recommend this, some of my readers have reported that they were able to use WatchESPN.com, with a friend's subscription.
Devices to Stream NFL games - Roku, Nvidia Shield TV, Firestick, and more
If you want to watch NFL games online in 2018, you'll notice that device compatibility varies greatly. You can watch NFL games on Firestick devices, Roku set-top boxes, the Nvidia Shield TV, and more.
- Hulu with Live TV: iOS, Android, Roky, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Samsung Smart TVs, Chromecast, Windows, macOS, LG Smart TVs, Nintendo Switch, Android TV
- Sling TV: Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Android TV, AirTV, Xiaomi, LG Smart TVs, Samsung Smart TVs, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire Tablet, Xbox One, Windows, Chrome browser
- DirecTV Now: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Samsung Smart TVs, Android, iOS, Chrome browser, Safari
- YouTube TV: Android TV, Samsung Smart TVs, LG Smart TVs, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, Android, iOS, Chrome browser
- FuboTV: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Android, iOS, Chromecast, Chrome browser
- PS Vue: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire Tablet, Chromecast, web browser
As you can see, OTT services remain compatible with tons of devices for watching at home and on the go. However, device operating system and firmware might provide some restrictions, so your experience may vary. I have a Roku 2XS, PlayStation 3, Mecool BB2 Pro, WeTek Play 2, OSMC Vero 4K, and Nvidia Shield TV. Plus, I've got a handful of Android mobile devices and a Windows PC.
Best Android TV Boxes:
My preferred streaming device is the Nvidia Shield TV. It's easily the best Plex client devices you can buy, and top Kodi box on the market as well. The Shield TV even doubles as a Plex server, and is perfect for retro gaming as well as game streaming.
The WeTek Play 2, Nvidia Shield TV, and AirTV let you hook up an OTA antenna for streaming plus live over-the-air TV options. As such, they're ideal for watching NFL games without cable. A Kodi addon for PS Vue makes PlayStation Vue available on virtually any device.
How to stream NFL games live in 2018: Final thoughts
For cord cutters, it's pretty easy to watch NFL games live without cable. You can watch the majority of NFL games using an over-the-air antenna. Further, connecting an OTA antenna to various software or hardware options including Plex, the Nvidia Shield TV, or a WeTek Play 2 lets you watch and record live TV. Over-the-top providers fill a sports void for cord cutters, though figuring out which OTT services have live local channels can be complex.
Since local channels streaming varies by market, you may consider a combination of OTT cable replacements with an OTA antenna for maximum coverage. That's the most comprehensive way to watch NFL games online in 2018. I suggest YouTube TV for a subscription to watch NFL games live without cable. With its local channels and ESPN, you can watch the majority of NFL games live without cable. Though there's no NFL Network, you'll be able to stream 11 Thursday Night Football games on the Fox simulcast. Amazon Prime is a phenomenal deal for its fast and free shipping, as well as on-demand streaming video. My set up consists of YouTube TV and Amazon Prime for watching NFL games online in 2018.
Your turn: How do you plan to stream NFL games live in 2018?