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There are seemingly a million different things that go into making successful picks, but all of that work is useless if you don't have good knowledge of odds. Fortunately, understanding football odds is really quite simple, and it is not nearly as intimidating as it can seem at first glance. To bet on football, the first thing you have to understand fully is the point spread. There are lots of different ways to bet on football, but the large majority of bets are made on the point spread.
It's a very rare game that has two teams that are perfectly evenly matched. In many cases the likely winner is quite obvious, so sportsbooks would lose a fortune if betting on football were as simple as picking the winning team. The most common way to even out the games is with a point spread. Essentially, a point spread is a penalty that the better team has to overcome to win a game in betting terms.
A point spread can be any half or whole number. Let's say, for example, that the Indianapolis Colts are seven point favorites against the New York Giants. You would most likely see this expressed at Indianapolis -7 or something similar.
What it means, essentially, is that oddsmakers have determined that Indianapolis is a touchdown better than the Giants over the course of a game. That means that the Colts have to win by more than seven points in order for you to win if you bet on them.
If the Colts were to win the game by three points then they would not have covered the spread, so you would lose if you had bet on the Colts and win if you had bet on the Giants. If the Colts won by exactly a touchdown then the game would be called a push, or no action, meaning that neither team won and all bets would be returned. Point spreads are set by the sports books, and you are guaranteed the point spread that is in place when you make your bet.
In most cases, the books will try to have about the same amount of money bet on both teams, so you will often see the books adjust the point spread in the time leading up to the game so that one team seems more or less attractive to balance the bets. That means that it is possible for a bet on a team to be both a winner and a loser in the same game depending upon the spread.
If the Bears started as a 2. Thinking about point spreads can be confusing. Thankfully, there are lots of different ways to think about spreads, so there is probably one that will make sense for you. NFL point spreads are set by oddsmakers. This is the final outcome they expect one team to have over the other. For example, if the New England Patriots are squaring off against the Miami Dolphins, you may find that the spread for this game is set with New England at What this means is that oddsmakers expect New England to win by four.
If you choose Miami, you are actually getting four points, meaning that if the Patriots win , you are a winner. This is another way you can win with NFL betting lines. If you know that a team is much better in the first half or you expect them to keep it a tight contest, choosing the halftime lines may be the way to go. These are unusual kinds of bets that often have very little to do with the final score.
During the Super Bowl, you will see countless numbers of these bets, including anything from how long the national anthem will last to what television commercial will air first. There will be prop bets related to the game as well. This includes such things as who will score the first touchdown, will a field-goal kicker make an attempt longer than 50 yards, or who will be called for the first penalty?
These types of bets are focused around specific categories by individual players or teams for performances. You can bet on how many touchdowns a quarterback will throw, how many rushing yards a player will have, or how many total sacks the team may have. These kinds of wagers give you a lot of options for your NFL picks.
Futures betting allows you to make choices about events that will happen as the season goes along. For example, you can place a bet on who will likely win the Super Bowl, be named the NFL MVP, or how many regular season wins a particular team will have. You can use the betting odds to make wagers during the NFL playoffs as well. Before leaving this area, we did want to provide one additional type of wager that combines several kinds of bets in one, including NFL lines, the spread, and totals.
In the parlay, a person bets on a few different combinations, but can only win if all of their choices are correct. The teaser is very much like the parlay, except for the fact that you can increase your odds by putting points down to help see your bet come to fruition. For example, in the parlay, if the line was and you took the favorite, you would lose if your team was victorious by However, you can decrease that amount in the teaser by putting six points down, creating a new line of While it decreases the risk and increases your chances of being right with your NFL picks, you still need all of your bets to be correct to win.
Now that you understand how to play and make the right types of bets, it is important to know where you want to go to place your sports bet. First off, there are several online betting sites that are available to you, but not all will offer the same kinds of promotions and opportunities.
As gambling has become legal across the country, you may also find that there are casinos in your area that are offering the opportunity for you to come in and place a wager there. You no longer have to ask yourself is betting legal in New Jersey, as sports wagers are legal across the entire state now. We also want to mention to you that when betting it is important that you bet responsibly.
If you are really in that desperate of a situation, maybe it is time to step back or seek additional help. There are several sportsbook websites on the Internet, and there are many that will offer gambling in your state. When choosing a good sportsbook, you want to begin by looking at the different betting sites offers that are available.
If you are new to that site, it is likely that they will offer you a number of different incentives to entice you to start making wagers with them. Some of these promotions can be quite beneficial to you and may include perks such as:. They want you to start hitting those machines and will pay you to do so.
You are likely to find that there are some sportsbooks out there that will allow you to bet on the NFL without having to deposit any money at all. This gives you a chance to get used to their system without spending any of your own money. Many sites will offer you a one-to-one return on your deposit when betting on the NFL for the first time.
If you are able to deposit a great deal of money at first, you may want to look at one of these sites. These types of bets are just what they sound like. You are able to make wagers on NFL games without having to put any money into it all. You win if you made the right NFL picks.
Some sites will offer you bonuses for referring customers to them. By providing email addresses or by people signing up and using you as a reference, you can make money. Promotions are not the only reason to choose a particular website, however.
The favorite must win by 4 or more points for their ATS wager to win. Point spreads can fluctuate as bookies react to the action. Even though lines can change throughout the week, you are always locked-in to whatever the line is when you put your money down.
That can be an advantage for those who do their homework ahead of time. Otherwise, the Tigers might score and push the point total to 49, or kick a field goal and make the wager a push with a final. Money line betting is popular among serious, stake-it-all gamblers. Another option is to combine your wagers into a parlay. A parlay means that all of your picks must win for the wager to pay off, but you receive a much higher payout when it happens.
In these cases, there may not even be a point spread available for the game and you can only bet on the moneyline. This is a very common occurrence in sports betting and sportsbooks have the full right to shift the spread or odds for any given match prior to its start. Many factors can influence a change of the spread such as injuries, the number of bets coming in for either team or the weather, to name a few.
Depending on the timing of placing the bet, the bettor can also have an advantage or a disadvantage depending on which way the spread has shifted. If bettors had wagered on Dallas on Monday, that means they would be at a disadvantage compared to bettors who waited until Thursday because the Thursday bettors now only need Dallas to win by four points instead of five.
But it can also go the other way:. Yes, in fact, sportsbooks also release spreads for different points in the match like after the first quarter or first half, which is called live betting or in-game betting. As you can see, Dallas is a 2.
Look for key numbers such as five and seven because they tend to represent two- and three-possession games. In both cases, the spread is almost always If New York pulls off an outright upset, then that is also a winning wager. Need more winning picks? The handicapping, sports odds information contained on this website is for entertainment purposes only. Please confirm the wagering regulations in your jurisdiction as they vary from state to state, province to province and country to country.
Using this information to contravene any law or statute is prohibited. The site is not associated with nor is it endorsed by any professional or collegiate league, association or team. OddsShark does not target an audience under the age of Please visit gambleaware. Google Tag Manager. Oddshark logo linked to Home.