NFL odds updated from several of our top betting partners here at NFL Online Betting.
How Do I Read NFL Odds?
Betting on the NFL is the most popular gambling pastime in America, but not everyone can easily understand how to read the odds. A new bettor shouldn’t be overwhelmed by the various pieces of data, because they all make sense with a little understanding.
The NFL Point Spread
It’s the simplest and most popular method of gambling on NFL games. Oddsmakers decide that one team should realistically win and make them the favorites. The other team – which oddsmakers figure will lose – becomes the underdog. How can you tell which team is favored? On the NFL odds menu, one team will have a negative number next to them and the other will have a positive number.
This means the Cowboys are favored by 4.5 points and the Ravens are underdogs by that amount. If you bet on Dallas to win against the spread, they need to win by at least 5 points. Just simply look at the final score and subtract 4.5 points from the Cowboys total or add 4.5 points to Baltimore’s total and you can figure it out pretty quickly.
If the final score is Dallas 20 Baltimore 14, then Dallas has won by 6 points, which is more than 4.5 points, so they beat the NFL point spread. If the final score is Dallas 20 Baltimore 17, then the Ravens covered the spread because 17 points + 4.5 points adds up to 21.5 points.
You can read more about the NFL point spread and learn what the second set of numbers means by visiting our tutorial page.
In that case, you will see:
Cowboys -4.5, -110
Ravens +4.5, -110
The NFL OVER UNDER
This is the second most popular form of NFL gambling odds and its just as easy to understand. It’s called NFL totals betting or wagering on the OVER UNDER.
The oddsmakers believe they know how many points each team should score in this game, so they come up with a total number of points that both teams will scored combined. If they feel Dallas usually scores about 23 points per game and Baltimore usually about 20, they will open Over Under betting at 43.5 points.
The bettor’s decision is whether to bet OVER 43.5 points or UNDER 43.5 points.
If you bet UNDER, you are hoping for a running game to eat up the clock and tough defensive play to keep scoring to a minimum. If you are betting OVER, you want the opposite – passing, point and missed tackles. Learn more about NFL totals wagering in our tutorial.
The NFL Moneyline Betting
This form of football gambling is more common in baseball and hockey, where scoring is much lower than football or basketball. In moneyline betting, you are picking one team to win the game. No tricks, no point spreads, just a straight up win (SU).
But since one team may still be favored to win, the oddsmakers factor in this advantage in a different way. In NFL moneylines, you will see NFL odds that look like this:
Dallas still has the minus value, so they are still the favorite. Baltimore is still positive, so they are underdogs. The moneyline asks bettors to risk a little bit more money for a small payout. And it rewards the underdog bettor but charging him less and giving him a chance at a bigger profit.
One of the easiest ways to think about moneyline gambling is to imagine $100 sitting in between these two numbers:
Cowboys $-150 $100 Ravens $+130
If you think the Cowboys will win, you have to risk $150 to turn a $100 profit. If you think the Ravens can pull off the upset (remember above they were 4.5-point underdogs on the point spread), then you risk $100 for the chance to make a $130 profit. Risk a bit more on the favorite – profit a little bit more on the underdog.
Learn more about NFL moneyline betting by checking out the tutorial page.