Favorite

There are two types of football teams in the world: favorites and underdogs. Except in those rare pick ’em situations when neither team is laying any points, every NFL game has to have a favorite. That’s the team with the negative number on the point spread, like San Francisco -1.

It’s also the team with the negative number on the moneyline – or the largest negative number in some instances, like this one:

  • Green Bay Packers -105
  • San Francisco 49ers -115

The 49ers are very slight home favorites in this example, even though you still have to bet $105 on the Packers to win $100. Close matchups like this might even see the favorite and the underdog switch roles as the NFL betting line moves back and forth.

It’s common practice to see NFL betting trends divided between favorites and underdogs. Teams often perform differently when they’re the favorites. If the 49ers are only 1-4-1 ATS lifetime when hosting the Packers as favorites, they might have some trouble the next time Green Bay is in town and getting points.

Just as in real life, favorites get looked at sideways by the NFL betting world. Strong teams tend to get overvalued in the betting marketplace, and they also tend to bring out the best in their opponents. You’ll see the term “chalk” used a lot when referring to favorites; if you put a wager on a big fave and you lose, that’s known as “eating chalk.” Not very tasty, so use discretion any time you want to bet on NFL favorites.