NFL Betting Odds - Explained

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The National Football League (NFL) is undoubtedly one of the biggest sporting events in the US. Apart from all the excitement that the NFL brings every season, it also presents an opportunities for gamblers to make money. 

If you are looking to bet on your favorite sport, here are some NFL betting odds you need to understand:

Point Spread

This is the most widespread betting style for NFL games. In this form, there is a favorite and an underdog. The sportsbook will determine the margin of victory for the favorite. If you bet on the favorite, you can succeed only if the favorite wins by this margin. 

For instance...

Steelers +4.5 -110

Patriots -4.5 -110

In this case, the Patriots are the favorites. They must win by at least 5 points for you to succeed if you are betting on them. The -110 means that you must place $110 to win $100. The difference is the fee of the sportsbook. 

On the other hand, if you are betting on the Steelers, they must either win the game or lose by no more than 4 points for your bet to succeed. You must commit $110 to win $100.  


This type of betting is straightforward. You just have to follow the total points. For instance, if the final score is 34-17, then the total is 51. 

The total bet may be something like this...

Over 48 -110

Under 48 -110

The total that matters here is 48. You can bet on a greater total than this. Or you can bet on a lower total. If you wager -110, then you will win $100. 

Money Line Betting

This bet is simply about the winner. Here is an example to explain this bet...

New York Giants  +240

Green Bay Packers  -310

If you bet $310 on the Packers, you can win $100. But you can win $240 by wagering $100 on the Giants. The massive difference in the winning amount shows that Packers here are the hot favorites.  

Depending on the difference in team performance, the odds can vary significantly.  

Whether it is money line, totals or point spread bets, the winning amounts are shown in terms of $100. But, you don’t always have to bet $100. You will be paid on a pro-rata basis, irrespective of your betting amount. So, if you bet $10 on the Giants, your winning amount will be $24. 

Betting NFL Futures

In addition to bets on games, there are bets on season outcomes. The most popular bet, in this case, is obviously the Super Bowl winner. Such wagers can go up to millions of dollars. There are also bets on divisions and conferences. 

Teaser Bet

This is more advanced than the aforementioned bets. There are 6, 6.5 and 7 point teaser bets. These numbers show the amount by which the line is shifted. 

So, if you select a 6 point teaser, the line would be shifted by 6 points. Here is an example. With a 6 point teaser, the following selections:

Pittsburgh +4 and Dallas -5 would change to Pittsburgh +10 and Dallas +1  

Over / Under 

When you visit an online sportsbook you'll see the NFL Odds look similar to this set which we took from Sports Betting Sportsbook, a sister sportsbook of Betonline.

Arizona Cardinals:  Spread -7.5 (-110)  Money Line -350  Ov 42.5

Chicago Bears:       Spread +7.5 (-110)  Money Line +265  Un 42.5

You can bet the whole line if you like, but for the sake of our conversation let's say you're going to bet just the Over / Under which is set at 42.5. You have one of two choices, that's obvious. If you choose the Over then as long as the two teams combined score a total of 43 points you win the bet. The fact that Arizona has it shown as Ov 42.5 and Chicago at Un 42.5 does not mean you're betting on that particular team to score over or under 42.5; as mentioned, your betting on the points of the both teams combined to either go under under the 42.5.

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