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How to bet on football
How to bet on football. Every year people lay billions of dollars in football bets without the most basic understanding of how to bet on football. Our guide to football betting covers the basics of what is a money line and what is a point spread.
Below we cover the most common football bets. What are the bets and what are the strategies you need to know to get started betting on the NFL & College Football.
- What is a point spread?
- What is a money line?
- What is a game total?
- What is a parlay bet?
What is a Football Point Spread?
The theory with point spreads is that you’re not actually betting on which team will win the game, you’re betting on which team will “cover the spread”. The favorite has to win by at least a certain number of points for a wager on them to payout and the underdog can lose the game but still cover the spread.
To put it simply. The favorite will have points deducted from its final score and the underdog will have points added to its final score. Once the points are added/removed, the winner will be decided.
Here’s an example of a point spread on an NFL game between the Raiders and the Bronco.
The Raiders are 6 point underdogs. This means that they will be getting 6 points added to their final score. The Broncos are -6 points which means that they will have 6 points deducted from their final score. You can choose to bet on the Raiders and get the points or on the Broncos and give the points.
Most point spread bets have odds set at -110. This means that you will need to bet $110 to win $100. This is how the sportsbooks make their money. If you have two people betting on opposite sides. One bets $110 on the Raiders +6 and the other bets $100 on the Broncos -6. The Broncos win by 7. This means the guy who bet on the Raiders loses his $110. The guy who bet on the Broncos wins $100 & gets his $110 back for a total of $210. Since both guys bet $110 the total bet was $220 & the total payout was $210. The profit for the sportsbook was $10.
Why Football Point Spreads?
Some games are expected to be close. However, there are also games that are expected to be blowouts. The point spread has a way of leveling out the expected outcome of a game. In a college football game Alabama might be playing Tulsa. Everyone knows Alabama is the better team and will easily win so why watch the game? What if I gave you Tulsa and 42 points? Now are you interested? This is the essence of the point spread. To make as many games as possible interesting to football fans. The more games that are interesting the more action on the games.
Some Tips for Point Spread Betting
Handicapping does not require a degree in mathematics. If you watch the games and get a feel for how teams will perform that gut instinct can payoff. I am not dismissing math. Some basic research can help. How do teams do on the road vs at home. How have they done against the spread so far. The sportsbooks aren’t perfect, but they are good at what they do. If you are betting on 15 or 20 games each week you are not betting on football you are playing the lottery. We will go over some basics in parlay betting later that might help you out if you like to bet on a lot of games.
Never buy into the hype. The most obnoxious hype machine in sports is ESPN. They have an endless amount of talking heads. Every week they will try to outdo each other in sucking up to whoever is hot and castigating whoever is down. The only reason to listen to them is to get an understanding of what the public will hear.
Look at betting on college football. The NFL gets the most attention and the most action. This means a sportsbook manager can take a big loss if he puts out a bad NFL line. However, in college football there is less bet so a lose line will not create the same risk. Winning a bet on San Jose State vs San Diego State counts just as much as winning the Monday Night Football game. I am not saying to ignore the NFL. I just like that there are 50+ college football games up each week and I only have to find two or three soft lines to make money.