Football lines can look intimidating for those who are new to betting or DFS. To read odds it doesn't require any special skills or understanding of advanced math, you just need to land a few fundamentals that once you learn you are good to go.
The point spread is king when it comes to the different ways to wager on the NFL, and it remains extremely popular among both pros and beginners. An NFL point spread is the number of points each team needs to win by to win the bet. When looking at a bet sheet, you'll see that both teams have the same number next to them; however one is positive and one is negative. It will looks something like this:
New England Patriots +5 vs. Seattle Seahawks -5
Let's start with the Patriots first. Seeing +5 means that they are the underdog. It means that Vegas sportsbooks are willing the give the Patriots 5 free points before the game even starts. If you were to take this bet, so long as the Patriots lose by less than the 5 free points you started with, you will win your bet. On the other hand, if you take the Seahawks at -5 it means they are the favorite and you are starting with 5 points taken away before the game even starts. If you take this bet, the Seahawks must win by more than 5 to win this bet.
So what happens if the score ends exactly 5 points apart? In this case it would be considered a push and your bet would be refunded.
Also known as betting the total, the Over/Under is a number set by sportsbooks that estimates the number of points scored by both teams combined. The bettor then decides whether they think the game score will be below or above that number. What this will typically look like:
New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks - O/U 54
What this is saying is that Sportsbooks believe the game will end up at a score of 54. Let's imagine the game ended 24-30, this gives us a game total of 54. It doesn't matter which team scores how much, it just matters that when added up the total is either over or under the 54 points that has been set.
So what happens if the game total ends up at exactly 54 points? In this case it would be considered a push and your bet would be refunded.
While the Moneyline is a lot more popular when it comes to Baseball and Hockey, it has grown in popularity for NFL betting as it's an extremely simple way to bet. With NFL money line's you are simply picking which team you think will win the game. The money line will typically look something like this:
New England Patriots +170 vs. Seattle Seahawks -200
Let's start with the Patriots first. Seeing +170 means that they are the underdog on the money line. It means that if you were to bet $100 on the Patriots, you would win a profit of $170 to account for the fact that they are less likely to win. On the other hand, if you take the Seahawks at -200 it means they are the favorite and and you need to bet $200 in order to win $100.
Whenever you see a negative, that number tells you how much you need to bet in order to win $100 in profit. Whenver you see a positive in front of the number, that tells you how much in profit you would make on a $100 bet.