Football is the most popular betting sport in the United States, and there is no lack of options when making wagers. The point spread and the totals bet are the most common ones, but there are many more betting options when betting on football.
When you bet on football, it is a good idea to check around for the best possible odds to get the highest payout. Let's say there is a ½ point difference on a line at two different sportsbooks. This can truly be the difference between a winning and a losing wager. You want to work on getting the best odds possible for you to get the best payout and have the best chance to win.
The Point Spread
The point spread is the most common football bet, and it is easy to understand. There will be the spread of a game, and the favorite will be giving points, and the underdog will be getting points. The sportsbooks do this, so there is even money placed on a game.
Here is an example of a football spread:
New England Patriots -4.5
Buffalo Bills +4.5
In this example, the Patriots are the favorites denoted by the – in front of the spread while the Bills are the underdog denoted by the +. In this game, the Patriots are giving the Bills 4.5 points so if you bet on them they will have to win by over 4.5 points, so they have to win by five or more since ½ points do not exist.
In the example above if you bet on the Patriots and they win 29-20 you will win the bet. They won by nine points, which is more than the 4.5 points they gave the Bills. If the game ended 25-22 Patriots, you would lose, as while they won the game, they gave 4.5 points, so the final betting score is New England 2 and Buffalo 26.5 (22 +4.5 points given).
Many times the sportsbook will add a .5 of a point to take the tie out of the equation. There is no way a game can end with a team having a half a point, so there is no push. If there is no .5 and, for example, you bet on the Bills to cover facing the Patriots getting four points and the Pats win by four points that is the exact number of the spread, so the bet is a push, and you get your original wager back.
Total Bets In Football
The totals bet is also popular and even easier to understand. A Sportsbook will put out a total for a game, which is the total number of points scored in the football game by both teams combined. You simply bet on if you think the total will be over or under the posted total.
An example of a totals bet would be Redskins vs. Cowboys 48.5 points. In this bet, you are wagering on whether you think the total number of points scored will be above or below the posted number. If the game was 25-24 Redskins the total points is 49, the over bet would win in this example.
Other Betting Types
There are many other betting options when it comes to football betting besides just the spread and the totals. There is the moneyline bet, futures, proposition bets, parlays, and teasers and pleasers.
In a futures’ bet you are betting on the future, so you can bet on a team to win the Super Bowl or NFC title game, for example, well before or during the season. For example, if the Patriots are at +400 before the season begins and you put $100 on them, and they win you will win $4,000. You can make futures bets before and during the season, but if you do the later, the odds will change depending on how teams are doing.
In the moneyline bet you are betting on a team to win or lose, but instead of giving or getting points like with a spread the odds reflect the favorite and the underdog with different payout odds for both. In parlays, teasers, and pleasers bets you are betting on multiple games in one bet and you can mix totals and spreads. While the payouts for these types of bets can be pretty big, they are harder to win, as you have to win multiple bets in one.
That is your crash course to betting on football. Hopefully, this little guide gives you the ammo needed to win some money betting on football.
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