NFL Odds Legend
With the start of NFL training camp soon opening up which will bring about the preseason in early August followed by the start of the 2018 NFL regular season which will kick off on Thursday September 6, it will mark a whole new season of sports betting on Americas king of sports… the NFL!
Now, if you are used to placing bets on your favorite games during the season, you are all too well aware of the ups and downs of betting on the NFL?
However, what if you are new to the sports betting world and want to try your hand on betting on the NFL… then it’s important to understand the different ways to lay a bet/wager when it comes to NFL games.
In the next few paragraphs, you will learn about the different types of bet or wager you can place on a game such as the point spread, moneyline, over/under and futures.
Considered as the most popular way to bet on not just an NFL game but across the board when it comes to pro sports, the point spread remains the “top-dog” when it comes to laying down a wager on the NFL. Sportsbook terminology also refers to the point spread as simply the line or spread and is an indicator that is used by the sportsbooks to bring about a balance of bettors to wager on either the underdog or favorite on the game.
So, how does this affect a wager when you see a spread you like? For example, let’s say the favorite team is picked to win the game by (-9.5) points; a negative value because they are the favorite… it means if you take the said favorite minus the points, your pick must win by 10 points or more to give you a winning bet. However, if you feel the underdog has a strong chance with the points given; in this case a positive of (+9.5) points heading into the game, the underdog team can still lose the game by 9 points but you will still be winner with the wager of +9.5 points because the underdog still covered the point spread (in this case winning by half a point).
Now, there is more to the point spread as sportsbooks will associate the spread with a moneyline value. This moneyline is what sportsbooks call the juice or vig. This juice is the commission the sportsbook receives to place your wager on the game. Breaking it down, let’s say the game has a value of -9.5 (-115) and you want to bet on the game with the favorite to win… it means you must wager $115 to win $100 with the $15 (juice/vig/commission) going back to the sportsbooks for placing the bet. On the other side of that, if you want to wager on the underdog with a point spread value of +9.5 (+105), a $100 bet will net you $105 in winnings.
To coincide with the point spread, you may see a line move with the spread from one day to another with different sportsbooks, this occurs because the sportsbooks need to balance the action from too many gamblers betting on one side on the game. Example: a point spread of -8 on a Monday may swing to -9.5 leading up to game time. This sway in a shift of the point spread (line move) is to entice bettors to bet the other way as to help reduce risk by the sportsbooks from losing too much money. In this scenario you may notice different line moves from various sportsbooks for the same game? This is where finding value on the best point spread comes into play.
This is perhaps the easiest way to wager on the NFL because the only strategy needed is feeling who will win the game outright or straight-up (SU) as we call it in the betting world. No need to worry about the point spread in this one, just who you think will win the game. However, with that said, it is important to pay close attention to the moneyline and the juice associated with each team… the favorite and the underdog. Remember, a negative value (-150) is placed on the team favored to win, whereas a positive value (+120) is placed on the underdog team. Above, we gave you an example on how the juice/vig works within the sports betting world. Example: a $150 wager (-150 ML) on the favored team will give you a return of $100, while a $100 wager (+120 ML) will net you $120 on an underdog winner. A moneyline wager for many is great way to bet because it can give you a bigger return for your money.
Also referred to as totals, this has become my favorite way to bet on an NFL game when I am unsure on which direction to go with the point spread or moneyline on a game. Example: Let’s say the predicted total points scored on an NFL game by the sportsbook is 39.5 points; an UNDER wager of 39.5 total points scored will deliver a win for you if both teams combined for less than 39.5 total points scored the entire game. The same can be said for a wager of OVER 39.5 total combined points scored.
Factors to look for when wanting to play the over/under on a game may be injuries or suspensions to key players or weather conditions for game.
This is a way to place an early wager on the upcoming season such as who will win the Super Bowl. Even just a small bet can net a nice profit on a big underdog not expected to win it all come February. One thing to watch for is the lines moving throughout the course of a season based on the performance of the team. Example: a team that is favored to win the Super Bowl may be only +200 meaning a $100 bet will return a winning wager of $200 but that same $100 wager on a team that is +3000 to win it all will return $3,000 back in your pocket. Of course, remember underdogs are long shots for a reason so choose wisely.
For the latest NFL odds and futures for the upcoming NFL season, be sure to check out the many sportsbooks offered with Wonder Punter and good luck!