Learn to Bet on NFL Football: Expert Tips and Advice
The NFL is the most wagered-on sport in North America, and it's not even close. If by chance you are a new to the betting scene and want to learn how to bet on the NFL and be able to hold your own in a conversation regarding football betting, then you've come to the right place.
The first thing you know is that there are three main ways to bet on NFL football: the moneyline, the point spread and the total. Each one is unique and can be handicapped in a variety of different ways. For now, let me explain what each of those options are.
Betting on the NFL Moneyline
As a concept, this is the simplest wager you can make while betting on the NFL. The moneyline betting option allows you to place a bet on the team you think is simply going to win the game. In the NFL, this bet includes overtime, but there have been a few instances where the game finishes tied at the end of OT and both sides get their money refunded.
Miami Dolphins: +150 ML
Buffalo Bills: -200 ML
The money line betting odds correlate to the listed point spread. In this example, the Bills are the favorites and you must wager $200 dollars to turn a profit of $100. If you are a Dolphins fan or love betting on the underdog, the Dolphins will return you $150 for every $100 you wager on them if they pull off the upset. If the game happens to end in a tie, bettors with money line tickets on either side will be refunded.
Betting on the Point Spread
T he point spread is the most popular wagering option for bettors who love to test their football betting skills. The point spread is an indication of which team is the favorite and underdog heading into their matchup.
A negative betting line such as -2.5 indicates that the team is expected to not only win the game outright but win by three or more points. On the flip side, positive betting lines such as +2.5 indicate a team's underdog status. Not only is the underdog expected to lose, but they are expected to lose by at least a field goal
When looking over betting options for the NFL, you will come across lines that look like the following:
Miami Dolphins +2.5 (-110)
Buffalo Bills: -2.5 (-110)
Depending on which side you select, your team must "cover the spread" for your wager to be graded a winner.
If you choose to take Miami +2.5, you will be a winner if either of these three scenarios play out. The first being Chicago wins the game outright by any score. The second being Chicago loses by two or fewer points, thus "covering" the +2.5-spread. And the third being if the game finishes as a tie.
If you decided to wager on the Bills as -2.5-point favorites, they must win by three or more points for wager to be graded as a winner.
Betting Game Totals
The concept of betting an NFL total is simple. You either think the game will have a combined score of "over" or "under" the line set out by linemakers.
Chicago Bears/Minnesota Vikings - "Over" 38.5 -110, "Under" 38.5 -110
If you are to bet the "over" 38.5, there must be a total of 39 points or more scored in the game in order for you to be a winner. If there are 38 or fewer points scored, then those who bet on the "under" will cash their tickets.
If totals are whole numbers such as 38 or 40 and the total happens to land exactly on the number, your bet, regardless whether it's an "over" or "under" bet, will be graded as a "push" and your money will be returned to you.
These are the most popular NFL betting options for bettors who are just starting out and want to throw a few bucks down on the games. If you are looking for alternative options, you can try your luck with player props or futures bets.
A futures bet is a wager placed in the time leading up to the start of the event on a team or player that you believe is going to win their respective competition. Heading into the 2018/19 NFL season, the Super Bowl futures odds look like this:
Super Bowl LIII Champion: New England +600, Philadelphia +850, Los Angeles +900, Pittsburgh +1100, Minnesota +1200, Green Bay +1400, New Orleans +1800, San Francisco +2000, Jacksonville +2200 etc.
For you to successfully cash your ticket, you must correctly choose the team that will hoist the Lombardi Trophy at the conclusion of Super Bowl LIII.
NFL Betting Strategy
I could write a novel on NFL betting strategies, but for the sake time and space I'll give you a few key pointers for your NFL betting ventures. The first thing to keep in mind is that the NFL is a weekly league and teams are never as bad/good as they look the week before. Every game is different, and every team has different strengths and weaknesses that can win them or cost them a game. Before you overreact, take a step back and detach yourself from the week before and begin to handicap the upcoming game like it's the first game of the season. Sure, if there are key injuries, then yes, last week's game does play a factor, but for the most part you should be looking at the matchup advantages a team has and whether they will be able to exploit them or not. Another thing to keep be wary of when betting on the NFL is the key numbers . Because of the scoring system, NFL games land on three and seven more than any other number. Try not to take an underdog who is +2.5 or a favorite who is -7.5 unless you think they are the absolute right side.
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