Betting Football Games – The Basics

There are many different ways you can bet on a football game at America’s Bookie. The most popular way, by far, is through what is known as the “pointspread.” Through this particular avenue, you will be able to bet what is essentially an even proposition between two teams in and NFL game (or college game, for that matter). Well, it is almost an even proposition. If you take a look at the quick example below, there is also a price attached to it:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers  +6-1/2  -110      o45 -110
Atlanta Falcons          -6-1/2  -110          u45  -110

In this particular model, which is exactly the way you would see it in the America’s Bookie interface, the home team is at the bottom. That would be the Atlanta Falcons, and stationed next to that is the pointspread (-6-1/2). That means the Falcons would have to win by at least seven points in order to “cover” this spread and produce a winner for those who placed a wager on the “favorite.” A six-point win by the Falcons would result in a loss on the favorite. Conversely, the Buccaneers must come to within 6-1/2 points in order to be a winner “against the spread.” Basically, you are adding to or subtracting from either team’s final score in order to come up with their total as it includes this “handicap.”

Next to these pointspread figures you can also see “-110.” This represents the price you must LAY in order to take that side. It just so happens that in the case of football betting, the most common scenario is that the bettor would have to lay -110 on EITHER side. This is referred to as the “11-to10” by seasoned people. And it is very simple; you must pay $1.10 for every $1 you hope to win in the way of profit. This is what produces the “vig” or “juice” that constitutes a built-in edge on the part of the sportsbook that must be overcome over the long run by the bettor.

There is sometimes a price other than -110 that might be placed next to the team’s pointspread. Most often this could happen when the sportsbook does not want to “get off a number” such as 3 or 7, because those are numbers many games land on, and so they use the price to adjust the overall odds in the absence of moving the game, say, a half-point. Obviously, when a game lands right o the pointspread number, there is no winner, and money is returned. This is a tie, which is also referred to as a “push.”

Next to all of that pointspread stuff you will see another number. In the above model it is represented by “o45” and “u45.” This is known as a “total” or an “over / under.” In this instance, the total is 45 points, meaning the total points that are going to be scored by both teams combined in a game. You can bet whether the game will add up to more than 45 points (the “over”) or less (the “under”) and would get paid accordingly. As you see, there is a price associated with this, and like the pointspreads, it is usually -110 but can carry a different price (like -125 or -105, for example) is some cases. And if the game landed on 45 points, it would be a push.

As an added attraction at America’s Bookie, you can also place wagers on the pointspread and totals for specific halves and even quarters. These follow the same principles as far as pointspreads and totals are concerned. Generally speaking, a line on the second half of a game would be posted at halftime, and football bettors have the unique opportunity to use what has happened in the game to that point to determine which way they want to go in the remaining half of play.