Football season is high season for bettors and sports books alike. With so many college games and of course the NFL, there is almost always a game to bet on from September through January.
Since sportsbooks recognize the appetite to bet on football, there is no shortage of ways to bet on football.
Betting the Point Spread
Wagering on the point spread is by far the most popular way to bet on football.
The point spread is a number the oddsmakers come up with in order to level the playing field of the two opposing teams. Basically, the favored team will be spotting the underdog a certain amount of points. In order for those who bet on the favorite to win their wager, the favorite must win the game by more than the point spread. If the favorite wins the game by fewer points than the point spread or lose the game altogether, those that wagered on the underdog would win their bet.
Here is an example of how to bet the point spread on a football game. Let’s say the Colts are seven point favorites versus the 49ers. If you backed the Colts (-7) they would have to win the game by at least eight points in order for your wager to be a winner. Conversely, if you bet on the 49ers (+7), the 49ers would need to lose the game by no more than six points to win the wager. If the 49ers ended up beating the Colts outright, the 49ers (+7) wager would also be a winner. Finally, if the Colts won the game by exactly seven points, the wager would be considered a ‘push’ and you would have you wager refunded, or ‘no actioned’.
Betting the Total
Also known as the over/under, the ‘total’ is a predicted number of combined points between two opposing football teams. You have the option of either betting the ‘over’ or the ‘under’. If you wagered on the ‘over’, the two teams must combine for more points than the listed ‘total’ in order for the wager to win. If you backed the ‘under’, the two teams can not combine to score more points than the listed ‘total’ in order to cash.
For example, a sports book has the ‘total’ for the Ravens vs. Steelers game at 38. If the two teams combine for 39 or more points, ‘over’ wagers will win while ‘under’ wagers would lose. However, if they combined for fewer than 39 points, ‘under’ wagers would win while ‘over’ wagers would lose. If the final combined total points fell on exactly 38 points, both ‘over’ and ‘under’ bets would be graded as a ‘push’ resulting in bets being ‘no actioned’.
Betting the Money Line
A third popular option for betting on football is the money line. When betting on the money line you are betting on a team to win the game outright, the final score does not matter.
Although this concept is as easy as it comes, understanding the odds associated with money line wagers are a lot different then the point spread. The favored team will have a minus (-) sign in front of a three digit number while the underdog will usually have a plus (+) sign in front of a three digit number.
Here is an example of how to bet on a football money line. The Dolphins are listed as the -160 favorite versus the Jets who are listed at +130. If you were going to back the favored Dolphins, you would win $100 for every $160 wagered as long as the Dolphins win. On the flip side, if you saw value in the underdog Jets, you’d win $130 for every $100 you wagered as long as they win the game outright.
Parlays and Teasers
There are plenty of other ways to bet on Football, including parlays and teasers.
An attractive wager type for bettors looking to make a larger profit from a small or moderate sized bet, parlays are always a popular bet during the football season.
A parlay is a single wager which incorporates numerous games or selections. All of the selections must win in order for the parlay to be graded as a winner. Since all of the selections must win, the payouts become increasingly generous as more selections are added.
For instance, let’s say you make a $100 parlay on the Chargers -7 with the Patriots -3. If both of the games cover in your favor, you’d win $260, considering the usual payout for a two team parlay is 13:5.
As mentioned, the higher the number of teams in the parlay, the great the payouts. A ten team parlay, for example, pays out around 700:1 depending on the sportsbook. So for a $2 dollar wager, you could win $1400 if all 10 selections covered.
Another word you’ll hear every week throughout the football season is teaser.
Teaser bets are a single wager in which you pick at least two games and are permitted to change the spread or total in your favor by a certain amount of points.
Let’s say you want to do a 6 point teaser with the Raiders +10 points and the Bengals -3 points. By teasing each game by 6 points, you will now have the Raiders +16 points and the Bengals at +3 points. Since this is considered a single wager, both of these teased spreads must cover in order for you to win the bet.
Depending on the sports book, teasers are generally allowed for 6, 6 ½, or 7 points for football. Additionally, they often allow anywhere from two team teasers all the way up to 15 team teasers; again, depending on the sports book.
Now that you know the basics on betting on football, be sure to come back to Oddsauthority.com on a daily basis for in-depth analysis as well as picks on all of the big NFL and NCAA Football games.