Reading an odds table for the first time can be challenging. For a new sports bettor it may even seem like a daunting task. We’ll teach you how to read NFL betting odds, how to choose the right type of bet and explain betting terminology. When you’re done you’ll be ready to place your first NFL bet at an online sportsbook. If you still feel like you’re not ready to make the right picks, our NFL computer picks page can ensure you maximize your potential profits.
Each odd shown in the table can have either 1 or 2 numbers. These are known as the spread for Point Spreads or total for Over/Unders and the juice. In this section we’re going to talk about different ways the juice can be formatted.
American odds are the most common format used by US sportsbooks, they start with either a plus (+) or a minus (-) and are always a whole number. The odds indicate how much you need to wager or what your profit will be and which team is favored to win.
To calculate the payout for odds of -135 simply apply the following formula. Remember that for negative numbers the value of the odds represents how much you need to wager to win $100. In this case we need to risk $135 to win $100.
To calculate the payout for odds of +115 simply apply the following formula. The positive odds are even easier to calculate. The odds represent how much you’ll win if you bet $100, in this example we win $115.
Decimal Odds are the most common format used by European sportsbooks, as the name implies they are in fact decimal numbers and are always positive. Below is the formula for calculating the return and profit for decimal odds of 1.91.
You might be asking yourself what’s the difference between return and profit?
Used primarily in the UK and Ireland, fractions represent the profit you would receive for a successful bet. Below is the formula for calculating the profit for the fractional odds of 5/1.
Your bet amount, known as your stake, is returned along with your profit when your wager is successful.
You will be presented with more than 200 NFL betting options on an individual game at the leading online sportsbooks. They fall into a few distinct categories:
This is the most popular NFL bet. The oddsmakers at NFL betting sites will assess the strengths and weaknesses of the teams, focusing on offensive and defensive stats, head-to-heads, recent results, home advantage, injuries and so on.
They determine which team is stronger, and they assign a points handicap to that team. This results in a point spread, and it allows the sportsbooks to offer similar odds on either team covering that spread.
In this example, the sportsbooks have decided that the Bears are the stronger team. You have two options:
There is invariably a favorite and an underdog on an NFL game. If both teams are deemed to be evenly matched, there will not be a point spread, and you can simply bet on either team to win the game outright. That is known as a pick’em, and it is rare.
This is the simplest way to bet on an NFL game. It is a prediction on which team will win the game. Once again, the sportsbooks assess the two teams, determine a favorite and an underdog, and then release moneylines.
In this example, the Chicago Bears are the favorite. A $100 bet on the Bears would earn you a $24.87 profit if they won the game, whereas a $100 bet on the Bengals would earn you a $305 profit.
It implies that the Bears have a 80.08% chance of winning the game, while the implied probability of the Bengals winning is 24.69%. Based on these moneyline odds, you would expect to find a point spread of Bears -8½ -111 and on the Bengals it would be a spread of +8½ -109.
This is another very popular NFL bet. You simply need to guess how many points will be scored in a game. The NFL sports betting apps will release a total points line on each game.
If you expect both teams to combine for at least 45 points, you can bet on over. If you think the game will see 44 points or fewer, bet on under.
There will be a standard total points line, but you will also find alternate total points lines. They allow you to move the line up or down, which changes the odds. You will also find alternate point spreads.
NFL prop bets provide you with dozens of additional wagering opportunities on a game. They focus on a proposition – whether something will occur during a game – and they are not normally tied to the result. Prop bets on NFL games fall into two distinct categories:
Player props concentrate on individual performance metrics. For example, you could bet over/under on the number of passing yards a QB will throw, the number of sacks a player will record or the number of rushing yards a running back will put up. You can also bet on players to score touchdowns. You can also bet on the following statistics:
Game props might include betting on the highest scoring quarter or half, whether there will be a safety or whether there will be a 2-point conversion attempt. Team props include which team will score the longest touchdown, which team will record the most sacks and over/under bets on the total points a team will score. You can also bet on the following game props:
Sportsbooks release NFL futures odds on a range of markets before the season begins. These are season-long wagers, which do not depend upon the result of a single game.
Examples of futures NFL bets include:
The odds on these markets change over the course of the season, depending upon how well the teams and players are performing.
You can bet on a full game or a specific half or quarter. Sportsbooks release the same key betting options – spreads, totals, moneylines and props – on quarters and halves within a game.
A parlay bet allows you to combine predictions on multiple games into a single wager. For example, let’s say you like three bets:
If you have $60 to play with, you could place a $20 bet on each selection. If all three were correct, you would earn a profit of $53.03.
However, if you rolled them into a three-team $60 parlay, you would earn a profit of $340.91. The winnings from each leg roll over onto the next leg, meaning the profit compounds inside the parlay, leading to large payouts. However, if one leg fails, the bet loses.
Alternative options include:
NFL betting sites and mobile allow you to keep betting on games after they have started. This type of betting is also known as “in-play betting” because the point spreads, moneylines, total points lines, alternate lines and props will be updated as the game progresses. reflecting developments on the field. You can keep betting until close to the game ending, but make sure to do your homework first, you don’t want to be betting based on emotion or you’ll quickly become the bookies’ best customer.
Let’s say for example the New Orleans Saints are playing the Carolina Panthers and the odds to start the game are:
With 10:25 left in the first quarter of the game New Orleans has already scored a touchdown and has the ball at the Carolina 25 and is about to enter the red-zone and score again. It’s possible that the sportsbooks would now adjust the line to -10 (-110) since the game is getting out of control.
Maybe this is the result of a turnover or Carolina had a 3 and out, whatever the case may be if you think that Carolina will easily cover a spread of +10 the sportsbook will allow you to place a bet at the new odds. Live lines can also help hedge your bets if things are going your way.
You can bet on NFL games legally in many different states, including New York, New Jersey, Nevada, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Just make sure you sign up with a licensed online sportsbook such as BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, FanDuel, DraftKings or PointsBet.
You can think of point spreads as a handicap for the team favored to win. Most games have one team that is clearly stronger, without point spreads you would always pick the stronger team and get very little profit from your successful bets. To balance this out the sportsbooks created point spreads. The sportsbooks calculate the winning probability of a team and used that to determine how many points to handicap the favorite team. It could be anywhere from 1 to 30 points depending on the difference between the two participating teams. The resulting spread is subtracted from the favorite team’s score or added to the underdog’s score to calculate the winning side of the bet.
For the longest time the odds for sports betting were set by the big casinos in Las Vegas, Nevada. They had the best algorithms and computer systems for calculating the opening lines. Since 2018 more and more states are making online betting legal and opening lines are no longer exclusively created in Las Vegas.
You will find odds on each week’s NFL games on this page, from NFL lines week 1 to NFL odds in the playoffs and Super Bowl betting options. Week 1 odds are generally available immediately following the release of the official NFL schedule. For more information on this week’s odds, please see the following:
NFL teams play once a week during the regular season. Each team is scheduled 1 week off during the season, this is known as the “bye week”. Most games are broken down into 5 different time slots; exceptions to this are during the playoffs, holidays such as thanksgiving or christmas day, games are played in London and when games need to be rescheduled due to COVID-19 or bad weather. Games that are played at night are considered prime-time games because they have a much larger audience.
The best NFL betting sites include BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings and FanDuel. If you are looking for a broad variety of bets and useful features, BetMGM is a great option, while Caesars is the best for bonuses and odds boosts.
FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM are the top-rated sportsbook apps for NFL betting. They all have very high average scores on the App Store and Google Play. Those apps are user-friendly and packed full of betting options, features and bonuses for NFL bettors.
You can bet on NFL games by downloading a sports betting app or visiting an online sportsbook website. OddsTrader allows you to compare the odds at the country’s leading sportsbooks, ensuring you maximize your potential profits each week. You can browse a range of betting options, including spreads, totals and moneylines, either for the full game or for a specific quarter or half.
For most people it takes years and years of practice to perfect the science of betting on the NFL. It’s a hard job and there are long hours and no days off. At the beginning of the season set an amount of money you’d like to wager otherwise known as your “bankroll”. Experienced handicappers are very disciplined at managing their bankroll, this helps them not to run out of money if they go on a losing streak. Before placing a bet make sure to do your research, here’s some ideas of things to look at:
There are many things you should consider before placing a bet on an NFL game. This research before the game is often called “handicapping”. Common ways to handicap a game is to review the following information:
Sportsbooks are constantly changing the odds based on the amount of bets they are receiving. If one team starts to get too much action it can be a good idea to back or fade the line movement. Some bettors find value in predicting how the line will change over time. Sometimes placing a bet at the right moment can sway the outcome in your favor.
Rule number one of handicapping sports. Never place a bet unless you know who’s playing. This might seem obvious but who’s active for the game has a massive impact on the point spread. So much that when the game day status of key players like a star quarterback are unknown most sportsbooks will not even publish odds.
Once you’ve decided which NFL team you want to bet on, the next step is to make sure you shop for the best odds available. Comparing odds across different sportsbooks before placing a bet is one of the easiest ways to improve your chances of winning, sometimes 1 point can make the difference between a winning and a losing wager.
The consensus generally refers to which team the majority of the public are placing bets on. It’s not uncommon for popular teams to receive 70% or more of the wagers. This can cause problems for the sportsbooks and opportunities for handicappers who know how to take advantage of these situations.
NFL games are rarely canceled or postponed due to weather but occasionally it can happen. A game being canceled isn’t a major deal as any money wagered on the game is refunded. The main thing to look for when handicapping NFL weather is poor playing conditions. Rain and Heavy Snow have a major impact on the outcome of a NFL game.
It means that an NFL team is a 2.5-point underdog in the spread betting market. If you bet on that team to cover the spread, they must win the game or lose by up to 2 points for the bet to pay off. You will normally find odds of -110 on that bet.
You can bet on football online in a variety of states including Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming. Sportsbooks offer websites and mobile apps for NFL and college football bettors.