At times it feels as if the NFL and the Las Vegas Sportsbooks are in cahoots. There are games that have spreads and lines that seem too good to be true, and most of the time they are. If you are asking yourself, what is a spread or what is a line? No need to worry, I will give you a quick rundown on the basics of NFL sports betting.
The spread is the number of points determined that will level the playing field or make the match even. The favorite to win the match up will have a minus value (-) and the underdog will have a positive value (+). If you were to see the Panthers -3.5, that would mean the Panthers are a 3.5 point favorite over the team they are playing. To simplify this further, picture this scenario. The Cowboys and the Giants are playing and the Giants are a 3.5 favorite. That means to make the match fair in the betting world, the Cowboys would get a 3.5 point head start to make it “fair.” So for you to win your Giants -3.5 bet, the Giants must win by 4 or more.
The line or moneyline is simple as well. The line denotes how much tax or “juice” the bettor is paying or how much commission the book is paying you to place the bet. If you were to see the line at -110 that means you would be paying a 10% tax on the bet. On the flipside, if you were to see the line at +110, then the sportsbook would pay you 10% extra on your bet. For example, if you were to see the Bears -110, you would have to bet $110 to win $100. If you were to see the Falcons +110, you would win $110 on a $100 bet.
Now that you are an expert on the basic principles of sports betting, I ask you to please heed my warning and watch for the trap games in the NFL. By trap games I mean, game lines and spreads that are set in hopes to trip up the bettor. Lines that might look favorable, but recent game trends and history that does not correlate with the line that is set. For example, the -9.5 New England Patriots at New York Jets. This game has “trap” written all over. You might be thinking to yourself, “Easy win, Patriots over the Jets.” Yes, the win might be easy, but historically the Jets play the Patriots tough when they are at home. In the past 17 years when the game is played at MetLife Stadium (The Jets Stadium), the Jets have either won or lost by less than 10 in all but two games. History tells us to be weary when looking to bet this game. Always be mindful of the history in a rivalry game.
If you would like to get more information about which NFL bets are appealing and what teams have a good shot at winning, please listen to the podcast! Good luck!