The NFL is one of the leagues that attract the most bets in the world. According to statistics from the American Gaming Association, more than 38 million American adults, approximately 15% of the US population, place at least one bet in the NFL per season. Betting money on a game increases people’s level of emotion and entertainment. If you are one of the people who want to enjoy the thrill of betting, but you have no idea what spread or moneyline means, our in-depth sports betting guide will help you take the first steps in the betting world.

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Format of Betting Options

The following is the typical format that the Sportsbooks use to present the betting options or odds for each game:

Teams MatchupSpreadMoneylineTotal
New England Patriots -4.5 (-110)-22042.5 (-110)
Miami Dolphins +4.5 (-110)+18042.5 (-110)

Bettors online use the spread, moneyline, or total data depending on the type of bet they want to place.

Betting on the Point Spread

Each team that faces in a football game has its strengths and weaknesses; for example, some teams are massively superior to others thanks to a superstar roaster. Online sportsbooks must level the playing field so that both teams have equal chances of receiving bets. Betting on the Spread is the way to create that balance. Through the spread, the top or favorite team must not only win the game they have to win for a specific number of points. If the team achieves this, it is said they cover the spread. Spreads are presented in a half-point format to avoid ties or also known as a push.

To better understand how the spread works, let’s look at our example match between the Patriots vs. Dolphins. The Patriots have a negative number next to its name. That’s because they are the favorites to win the game; in this case, -4.5.

If a player places a bet against the spread for New England, the bettor must subtract 4.5 from the Patriot’s final score, if after performing the subtraction, the Patriots have more points than the Dolphins the bettor will win the bet, since the Patriots covered the spread. In our example, the Dolphins have a positive number +4.5 at their side, and this indicates that they are the underdog. Something curious about the bets against the spread is that the underdog can cover the spread even if they lose. For the Dolphins to cover the spread, they must lose the game by less than 4 points. Also, if the Dolphins win the match by any score, the bettor will win his bet.

Sportsbook bettors must keep in mind that the sportsbooks move the spread during the days before the game, as they seek to create a balance between the numbers of bets placed for each team if one team is receiving more bets the spread will move to attract more bets towards the other side.

nfl odds

Betting on the Moneyline

This type of betting is straightforward since when betting on the moneyline, the player is choosing the team that will win the game. The number of odds shown on the moneyline represents several things if it is negative; it represents the amount of money that the bettor must risk to obtain a profit of $ 100. When the number is positive, it indicates the potential win that the bettor can receive for each $ 100 bet.

To understand it better, let’s see how the moneyline would work in our example. In the case of the Patriots at -220, this means that a bettor should bet $220 to receive a win of $100. While the Dolphins at +180 represent a potential profit of $180 for every $100 that the player places.

Betting on totals (over/under)

Live bettors who believe that choosing a winning team for a game is very complicated can bet on totals since this type of bet focuses on predicting the total score of a game. In our example for the Patriots vs. Dolphins game, the Sportsbook has established that the possible total combined score of the game is 42.5.
When betting on totals, players have two options to bet on over or under.

Bet On Over

If a player bets over in our example game, it means they are betting that the final combined score will be higher than 42.5 points.

Bet On Under

In this case, the bettor would be betting that the final combined score will be less than 42.5. Totals also move before the game, so gamblers must keep an eye on the odds to determine when it is the best time to place a bet.

Prop Bets

Prop bets are a type of bets that go beyond sports and focus on the bettor choosing between possible scenarios and possible outcomes that may or may not occur during a game. For example, how many yards a given QB will throw for or what color Gatorade will be dumped on the winning coach, to name a few. Prop bets are more common in games like the Super Bowl, but there are always a few prop bets available for regular-season games.

Futures

This type of bet is for players who want to try their luck in the long term. Sportsbooks usually release their futures bets list 24 hours before the final whistle of the SuperBowl game sounds, as one of the main futures bets is to bet which of the 32 teams in the NFL will be next year’s Super Bowl winner.

Some other future bets include that players will receive prizes such as MVP, Offensive Rookie, among others. The sportsbooks provide a list with the players that are most likely to win the prize; the bettors can choose one of these players or bet on FIELD, which means that the bettor is betting that none of the players on the list will win the prize.

Most Sportsbooks close these bets at the start of the regular season. As we can see, there is a wide selection of options to bet on the NFL, understanding how these betting options work is the first step to have success when betting. Players must develop their strategies and experience each type of betting option to find out which one they like the most.