No matter where in the world you do your NFL online betting, at some point you’re going to be using American odds. You may already be familiar with them if you’ve used the moneyline to bet on the NFL; in fact, the terms “moneyline” and “American odds” tend to get used interchangeably. However they’re not quite the same thing.
It is true that the moneyline is the most direct and obvious use of American odds – make sure to check out our section on the moneyline if you haven’t already. However, you will also find American odds in other situations, like betting the NFL point spread.
Betting: American Odds
- Consider the difference between these two NFL betting lines:
- Pittsburgh Steelers +3
- Baltimore Ravens -3
- Pittsburgh Steelers +3 (-120)
- Baltimore Ravens -3 (+100)
In the first example, the Ravens are three-point favorites at home, and you have to bet $11 to win $10 no matter which team you pick. The juice has changed in the second example; to bet on Pittsburgh, you are now betting $12 to win $10, while a Baltimore bet is even money. You’ll normally see +100 used in American odds instead of -100, but they’re technically the same thing.
American odds can also be used when betting NFL totals, or on the prop market, where you take either side of a proposition in much the same way the moneyline is used to bet on NFL games. The trick is to find situations where the amount you wager is a bargain compared to the size and likelihood of your payout. That’s the American way.