NFL betting Guide
Read more on the types of NFL bets and what they mean in our NFL betting FAQ's.
What is spread betting in NFL?
Just like in the NBA or any other sport, the best team in the NFL will win the majority of its games. Powerful teams will always have an edge on paper against underdogs. The same goes for online bookmakers odds. That’s not great news for US bettors. When one team is so dominating, the others are not up to its level.
To even the playing field, bookmakers have introduced something called spread betting. The popular spread handicaps favorites, putting both teams on a similar field of play. With the spread, wagers placed on the favorites that cover it will pay much more money than single lines. At the same time, the spread gives the underdog equal chances of winning. In matches where one team has plenty of advantages over the other, spread betting is your best option.
How does spread betting work? It might look complicated in the beginning, but it’s very easy to understand once you try it. In NFL spread betting, online bookies set a number of points which favor one team in the game – that’s the game handicap. If the handicap is for the favorite, that team must win the game with more points than the spread amount. This is known as covering the spread.
When it comes to the underdog, betting on the game handicap means that the team must win the game or lose by fewer points than the spread. Opposite to covering the spread, this is known as beating the spread.
Let’s put things into perspective. For example, you might see this line at your favorite bookie:
- LA Rams +3 (-111)
- Philadelphia -3 (-111)
In this example, the Eagles are the favorites for the match with 3 points over the Rams. You will win your bet on the Eagles if they win by more than 3 points. For the Rams, they will have to lose by fewer than 3 points or upset the Eagles and win the game.
With the NFL season in full swing, spread betting is one of the most popular wagers placed at US online bookies. If you’ve never bet against the spread, now’s the time to see what makes it so exciting.
How do you place an over/under bet in the NFL?
If you’ve ever placed a bet on the NFL online, you have surely come across the over/under category. Often displayed as O/U, it’s an interesting NFL betting market that allows you to predict the number of total points scored over or under a set line.
Also known as Game Total Betting, O/U is the second most popular type of NFL bet behind spread betting. In many ways, it is similar to the spread, except this time, you’re not betting on a single line. While it all sounds very confusing to new bettors, O/U is a fun and rewarding market once you get the hang of it.
It all starts with a line of points set by the bookie. This is the bookmaker’s prediction of how many points both the teams will score during the game, sometimes including overtime. For example, the set line may be 37 points. You can then bet over or under that line to win your bet. In this case, betting over means that the teams would need to score a combined 38 or more points (a score of, let’s say 20-18). If you bet under the line, the teams would need to score a combined point total under 37.
If the line hits exactly the indicated number, it’s a push. In this case, you get your money back since the point total is neither over nor under the line. In some cases, you will see a point total with a decimal, for example 37.5. This eliminates the push from the equation. In order to win a bet made over 37.5 points, the point total would need to be 38. To win an under bet, the point total should be 37 or lower.
Who wins the match doesn’t matter in the over/under market. Since you’re betting on points, not teams or players, it’s an excellent chance to win a nice sum of cash. Over/Under is a great market for those who follow sports statistics regularly. If you do your research, you can see a general pattern of how many points a certain team (or teams) score away and from home. Using that information, you will be able to make more educated predictions.
The good news for most US bettors is that you can also find tips and predictions for this particular market for each NFL round. NFL experts know how popular this market is and often share their predictions for a set line by online sportsbooks. This, in combination with valuable research, can help you win your bets with ease. While there are no guarantees, closely following statistics from last season or the current one can help you determine if the point total will go over or under the line.
A fun NFL market to bet on, O/U is a great pick if you don’t want to bet on favorites or underdogs. It can be lucrative too, especially in high-scoring games with a great line.