With the rising popularity of sports betting recently, more people than ever are betting on major sports, including the NFL. Betting on the NFL can be a fun and profitable activity as long as you become a student of the game by studying NFL Stats and league trends.
Suppose you’re new to sports betting or have been thinking of wagering on NFL games. In that case, the following basic tips and strategies will help you learn the three most popular types of wagers available and get you started by increasing your chances of making the correct picks as the playoffs are set to begin this weekend.
Betting on the Point Spread
Betting on the spread is the most common wager in betting on the NFL. Oddsmakers will determine the spread, which assesses how strong a team will be against its opponent. It creates a level playing field between two teams by projecting the margin of victory for the favorite.
For example, if the Kansas City Chiefs are a much stronger team than the Pittsburgh Steelers, the oddsmaker will determine how many points Kansas City will win by, which is the spread. If they think the Chiefs will win by 14, the odds will read as -14 for Kansas City.
The Steelers, being the underdog, would have their spread listed as +14. If you believe the Chiefs will win by more than 14 points (at least 15), then you would place your money on them. If you think the Steelers will lose by less than 14 (or win outright), they would be your choice.
Making a bet on the spread has three possible results. If the favorite wins by more than the spread, a bet for KC at -14 would be a winning wager. A bet on Pittsburgh at +14 will win the wager if KC wins by less than the spread. If the Chiefs win by exactly 14 points, this is called a “push,” which means there is no winner, and the amount wagered is returned to the bettor.
Spreads are sometimes set with half-points, meaning there can be no push. If Kansas City is a 13.5-point favorite, they’ll have to win by at least 14 to win the bet. Similarly, Pittsburgh would have to win OR lose by 13 points or fewer to win against the spread to go to their side. It’s impossible to win or lose by 13.5, so the push can no longer be factored into the wager.
Betting the Moneyline
A wager on the moneyline means the bettor chooses which team will win the game outright. The odds determine how much a winning bet will pay the player. For example, if on the moneyline, the Chiefs are the favorite, they may have odds of -200 to win the game. This means that you need to bet $200 on Kansas City to win $100.
If the Steelers are the underdogs and the moneyline odds are +200, a winning wager will pay $200 on a $100 bet. It’s not required to bet a minimum of $100 using the spread. It just means the odds are based on the bettor making a $100 wager, so if you were to bet $50 on the Steelers, a winning wager would pay out $100.
Betting the Total (Over/Under)
Betting the total or over/under doesn’t focus on one team winning over another. The total is simply the number of points scored in the game by both teams combined. The bettor will have to determine whether the total points scored will be over the predicted number.
For example, if the total for the Chiefs and Steelers is 40 points, the bettor would choose the “under” if it’s believed the total points scored by both teams will be less than 40 points and choose the “over” if they think the total points scored will be over 40 points. If the game total is exactly 40, it would be a push, and the bettor gets their wager returned.
With the basic knowledge in this guide, you should now better understand how the most popular NFL wagers work, which should help in making your experience more profitable and fun.