Different Ways to Bet on NFL Games

Different Ways to bet on NFL games

There are three primary ways to place a bet on an NFL game. These are Moneyline, point spread, and total.


The betting style Moneyline involves selecting the team you believe will win outright. This type of wager is usually called a straight-up bet at the sportsbook because it chooses one team to win over the other.

In general, there are usually talent and skill discrepancies between the two NFL teams. Therefore the odds generally come at a premium for the “favorite” since there’s less danger of them losing the game to the “underdog.”


For example, let’s say the Philadelphia Eagles are playing the Pittsburgh Steelers. The odds might look something like this: Steelers -160, Eagles +140. This means that a winning bet of $160 on the Steelers would result in a $100 payout. By contrast, if you place $100 on the Eagles and they won, you’d get $240. Therefore, betting on the underdog is considered a risky bet. However, you get a larger reward. Conversely, placing a wager on the favorite is less of a risk, so you get less of a reward.

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Point Spread

In football, a point spread is a figure created by odds specialists with sportsbooks to offer an advantage or disadvantage based around the anticipated margin of victory or defeat for a given NFL team. Therefore, this would provide the favorite team with a disadvantage. They would need to win by a certain number of points for you to win the bet. Conversely, the underdog would benefit from not losing the game by a set number of points or winning outright.

In general, a point spread would look like this: Green Bay Packers -7, Seattle Seahawks +7. Consequently, the Packers are favored to win over the Seahawks by seven or more points. At the sportsbook, each team will typically get a “-110” odds designation for the spread. This is designed to make the matchup even and level the playing field for bettors while also giving the sportsbook a profit.

Therefore, to place a point spread bet, you need to figure out before the game starts whether you believe the Packers will win by more than seven points or if the Falcons will keep the game within seven points or win outright. Accordingly, if you bet on the Packers and the Seahawks beat the game 31-28, then Seattle covered the +7 spread, and you will lose your bet.


A totals bet is the estimated final combined score of both teams. Oddsmakers set the total based on how they project the game will unfold from a scoring perspective. Therefore, as a better, you need to figure out if the final score will be OVER or UNDER the set total. However, there are many factors that you need to consider when placing a totals wager. You should consider:

  • Injury reports
  • Betting trends
  • Power rankings
  • NFL standings
  • Recent game matchups and logs
  • Recent defensive and offensive team statistics.

How to Find a Site that Lists All the NFL Odds

To gain NFL betting insights, you need to look at websites that calculate NFL odds. The most popular of these websites are:

  • SportsLine
  • Oddshark
  • VegasInsider
  • com
  • USA Today
  • Action Network
  • ESPN
  • CBS Sports

Understanding NFL Odds

When you place a bet on the NFL, it’s crucial that you understand how to read the odds to make an informed bet. To begin with, you need to be familiar with several terms:

●     Rotation Number

This is often called the number or the rotation mark. It’s a way to refer to the game and team without calling the team by name. It also allows each sportsbook to list games numerically.

●     Point Spread

Usually referred to simply as “the spread,” these numbers indicate how much a team is expected to win or lose by. A minus sign indicates the favored team, and the plus sign refers to the underdog. The favored team will have points taken away from its final score, while the underdog will have points added. The favorite team needs to beat the spread, which means they have to win by more than the negative number. The underdog, by contrast, has to come out on top by winning outright or lose by less than the spread.

●     Moneyline

Called the “line,” this refers to the odds of a straight-up outcome of an NFL game. This number does not consider the point spread. Instead, a positive figure indicates how much money will be won on a $100 wager. A negative figure tells you how much you need to bet to win $100.

●     Total

The total figure refers to how much a team is predicted to win or lose by. It’s also called the over/under. This is essentially a prediction of the total number of points that both teams will score. So if the total is 37.5 and one team scores 27 and the other team scores 13 points, the total would be 40, and so if you placed an over bet, you would win.

When reading NFL odds, you’ll first see the date and time of the game on the left, and then next to it will be the rotation number. Then the team name will be listed, and next to the name will be the different types of odds

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images


Check us out on our socials:   
Twitter: @PTSTNews and @TalkPrimeTime
Facebook Page: Prime Time Sports Talk
Join our Facebook Group: Prime Time Sports Talk 
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