NFL Betting Guide For The Novice Bettor

NFL Betting Guide For The Novice Bettor

Betting on the The NFL is complicated business. The basics of placing a bet on the NFL is not. Without understanding the betting system and what to look for. The three most popular bets placed on an NFL game is betting on the point spread, total and money line.


Point Spread

NFL spread betting is the most common way to place a bet. The point spread is used to even the playing field and attempt to get an equal number of bets on both sides. Let’s use a hypothetical game to explain this further. In this scenario below The Seattle Seahawks are the favorite and the Arizona Cardinals are the underdogs. The minus sign always means the favorite and the plus sign always means the underdog. So when you see Seattle -6 that means Seattle is favored to win the game by 6 points. If you bet on the favored Seahawks they have to win by 7 or more points for you to win the game. If you bet on the Arizona you would win the bet if the Cardinals either win the game or lose the game by 6 or less points. If Seattle wins by exactly 6 points it’s known as a push which means all sides get their money back. The payoff or loss on the bet depends on the odds. The most common odds for an NFL game would be -110. Which means you have to risk $110 to win $100.



Betting on the NFL total (also known as Over/Under) is betting on the total number of points scored by both teams. NFL totals are usually set between 37 and 49 points. You will come across totals under 37 and over 49 but not often. If the total is set at 45 points that means you can either bet the “Over” which means the 2 teams would have to score 46 or more points to win the game or you can bet the “Under” which means the two teams would have to score 44 points or under to win. If they score exactly 45 points it means a push and all bets are returned.


Money Line

The oddsmakers also allow you to bet on which team you think will win the game outright. In the below scenario we have a game pitting the Dallas Cowboys vs the Philadelphia Eagles. The oddsmakers have made Dallas the favorite and listed them at -170. They have listed the Eagles the underdog and listed them at +140. All that means is you have to bet $170 to win $100 on the Cowboys and you only have to bet $100 to $140 on the Eagles. If the game finishes in a tie all bets are returned.

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