NFL Odds Legend
NFL odds do not stop at the point spread and OVER/UNDER. There are
numerous ways to bet on football these days, including the NFL
moneyline, futures (odds to win the Super Bowl), and first-half and
second-half betting lines. Throw in fun fantasy-style prop bets
(will Tom Brady throw for 300-plus yards this week) and live NFL
betting (where you can wager on the next play and on odds that
change all game long) and the importance of understanding how NFL
odds work has never been greater.
Check out the lines and bookmark for more updates and football
lines enhancements in the coming weeks and months.
- What Does -110 Mean?
- Line Shopping
- What Line Moves Can Tell Us
- Why the Line Moves
NFL Point Spread
Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned NFL spread? Not only does the
point spread remain the king when it comes to wagering on pro
football, it is a favorite among pro sports bettors and beginners
alike. Also known as the line or spread and as betting sides,” a
common misconception is that sportsbooks set the spread as a
predicted margin of victory. It’s actually the number oddsmakers
predict would be a good balance between people who want to bet the
underdog and those who want to bet the favorite.
For example, a negative value (-11.5) next to a team indicates that
they are favored by that many points. So you must deduct 11.5
points from their score to determine if they won the game or not.
On the other hand, a positive value on the same game (+11.5) means
the underdog starts with an 11.5-point lead before the game even
begins. In NFL betting, the favorite must win by 12 points or more
to cover the NFL spread. The underdog is able to lose by 11 points
and still cover the spread.
When you see a moneyline value associated with the point spread, it
is the percentage amount you must pay in order to book the bet.
Also known as the juice or vig, if you see -11.5 (-115), it means
you have to bet $115 to win $100a 15 percent commission for the
sportsbook. The underdog may see a value such as +11.5 (+105),
which means you’ll have to bet $100 to win $105 if your team
successfully covers the spread.
If you see the point spread move, let’s say from -9 on Tuesday to
-10.5 on Friday, this is known as a line move. It occurs when there
is a surplus of bettors wagering on the same side of the game and
sportsbooks move the line to balance the action. That means
encouraging more people to bet the other way by making the line
more appealing. This reduces risk for the sportsbook, who wants to
have an equal handle on each team.
Point Spread Betting
NFL moneyline betting continues to gain popularity as many begin to
understand the value of moneyline bets, especially in betting the
underdogs. In this type of bet, there is no spread to beat, your
team needs only to win the game straight up” (SU), and there is no
requirement for how many points they need to win by. The juice is
the only number you really have to pay attention to with moneyline,
where the negative value indicates the favorite (-140) and a
positive one means underdog (+120).
For example, if you want to bet that -140 favorite, you’ll need to
risk $140 in order to win $100. To bet on the +120 underdog we
mentioned above, you’ll need to bet $100 to win $120 if the dog
wins outright. In many cases, betting moneylines offers better
value and can provide a bigger profit for less risk. Check out our
NFL Betting Guide to learn more about when you should bet a
moneyline instead of a point spread.
Betting on the Moneyline
Total or OVER/UNDER
Also known as NFL OVER/UNDER betting, the total is the number set
by sportsbooks that estimates the total number of points scored by
both teams combined. Bettors then must predict whether there will
be more or fewer points than the NFL total.” If you bet the 37.5
UNDER, you are hoping for a defensive battle and predicting the
offenses to struggle. If you bet the 37.5 OVER, you are hoping this
will be a high-scoring game.
NFL totals betting has become fairly popular in many football
games, especially where the point spread is very tight. It also
becomes more popular if the matchup points to a certain style of
game. The weather can play a huge factor, and rain, wind and cold
temperatures can sway the total, and make betting the spread a
little less reliable.
Who will win the next Super Bowl? You can place futures bets at any
time on the upcoming Super Bowl champion. Oddsmakers set lines and
change them throughout the entire season, depending on a team’s
success or lack thereof. For example, a first-place team in October
may be +300 to win the title. This means a $100 bet would pay out a
$300 profit if they go on to win the title.
However, a 1-8 team may be set at +2000, where a $100 wager would
pay $2,000 as