The NFL season is almost here and many fans are wondering how to bet on football. From the first kickoff to the Super Bowl, betting on the NFL is at a much different pace than sports with multiple games throughout the week. Odds come out on Sunday nights, and sportsbooks take betting action all week long. This gives you time (except for MNF!) to see how the week is going for each team and the expected weather conditions. For many games the bulk of the wagers are bet in the last days or hours before kickoff.
If you’re looking to bet on NFL games for the first time this season, it is important to understand the terminology. Here’s are some of the important terms to help you kick off your football betting.
NFL betting lines
The first step in betting on NFL football is how to understand NFL betting lines. While there are thousands of ways to wager on NFL odds, there are three basic betting methods: moneyline, point spread, and Over/Under totals.
Moneyline : NFL moneyline odds require bettors to pick the winner of the game. Oddsmakers use the strength of the teams and other factors to calculate the implied probability of victory for both sides. The moneyline odds for each team are then set. Moneyline bets are the most straightforward method of betting on NFL football. The stronger of the two teams is the moneyline favorite. Favorites have a negative value (-) next to their odds, such as -130. The weaker team is listed as the moneyline underdog and will have a positive value (+) with its odds, such as +110.
Point spreads: Point spread bets require teams to win by more or lose by less than a set number of points. Oddsmakers use the perceived differences between the two teams to set the spread. The strong team is the point spread favorite. It is indicated by a negative value (-) next to its spread, such as -3.0. For the favorite to cover the spread, it will have to win the game by four or more points. The weaker team is the point spread underdog, with a positive value (+) next to its spread, such as +3.0. For the underdog to cover the spread, it must win the game outright or lose by two points or fewer. If a team wins by exactly three points, the bet is graded as a “push” and the original stake of the bet is refunded.
Over/Under totals: In football betting, the most common type of over-under bet is on the combined score of the two teams. In this case, a bettor will wager that the total number of points scored in a game will be higher or lower than the value set by the oddsmakers. If you are correct, you will win. The bet is called a push if the actual number exactly equals the over-under, in which case all bets are refunded.
Another key aspect when learning how to bet on NFL spreads is understanding vig or juice – the cost of the bet. Simply, it is the charge for making your bet. When making an individual bet on a football game, most sports books set the juice at -110. Vig will display next to the spreads: 7.5 (-110) / +7.5 (-110). Sportsbooks often use a flat -110 line for point spreads, which means you can win $1 for every $1.10 risked or wager $110 to win $100.
There are other types of NFL betting available when you become comfortable with sports betting.
Parlay bets: NFL parlay betting is very popular with bettors looking to wager a small amount for the potential of a larger payout. Parlay bets require two or more different bets to be tied together. The more bets added to the parlay, the higher the payout and the higher the risk. For the entire parlay bet to win, all the bets included must win. If one or more bets lose, the whole parlay loses.
Teasers: The most common teaser used in NFL betting is a six-point teaser, which allows you to move a spread or total by six points to your advantage. The more bets added to the teaser, the bigger the potential payout and the bigger the risk.
Props: NFL prop betting is booming thanks to the availability of advanced statistics. Props are also known as proposition bets. Prop bets isolate certain aspects of the game, such as team performance, player output, or particular happenings and results throughout a contest. NFL player prop odds let you bet on the Over/Under passing yards for the star quarterback or the number of total field goals kicked in a game, as just one example.
Future Wager –Future wagers can be team-related, such as winning a division, conference, or league championship. Or, they could be for an individual to win an MVP award, lead the league in passing, etc.
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