NFL Betting

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It’s NFL betting Season once again, and that means that you should brush up on betting terminology and strategy. As we’ve said before, an informed gambler is a winning gambler, so it’s important to understand concepts like betting the spread, total bets, money line bets, and nfl parlay bets. Once you have a solid understanding of these fundamental betting strategies, you can start betting like a wiseguy and win big.

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Rules to Live By:
  • Always read you sportsbook’s wagering rules and house policies carefully – Don’t get caught with your d*ck in your hand, betting rules vary from sportsbook to sportsbook, so be sure to review your sportsbook’s rules carefully.
  • If in doubt, bet small – Most sportsbooks accept a minimum deposit of $20. If you’re not sure how to bet, or what to bet, deposit 20 bucks and experiment with $2 bets or $5 bets. Yes, most sportsbooks will accept a $5 bet, and some even accept $1 parlay wagers.
  • Stay away from Fad bets – Fad bets are much like specialty blackjack games in casinos. In the long run, these games are for suckers. The same goes with sports. If there is a specialty bet being offered by a sportsbook that requires some extra financing or other unusual circumstances, pass on it.
TopBet Football Betting
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NFL Betting Terms

During our research, we consulted two very helpful websites:

  1. The Wizard of Odds on Sports
  2. Online-Gaming-Insider.com “Key numbers to cover the spread”

Feel free to consult these sites for further information if necessary.

Consider the following example bet (favorite in Bold):
Team – Point Spread – Total – Money Line
Oakland Raiders -7 36 -160
Cleveland Browns +220

Spread Betting, Betting the Spread

From our example bet between the Raiders and Browns, the key number for the betting the Point Spread is -7. As a result, two bets are possible:

1) Betting on the Spread of the favored team; in which case you would bet that the Raiders would win by 8 or more points and;

2) Betting on the Spread of underdog team; in which case you would bet that the Browns would not win or lose by more than 6 points.

The payout for spread bets is usually $11 for every $10 bet. Exceptions may occur if the “action” at the sportsbook weighs heavily on one team more than another, in which case the sportsbook might offer even money on the favorite and a higher payoff than $11 for each $10 wagered on the underdog. This encourages more players to bet on the dog, making the the “market” for this wager more balanced. This is how sportsbooks make money.

Under/Over Total Bets

The Total bet is a popular easy bet for first time nfl bettors. Using our example from above with the Raiders and Browns, one can bet that the final tally of the game’s points (Points scored by Raiders + Points scored by Browns) will either be OVER 36 or UNDER 36. Like the standard spread bet, this bet pays $11 for each $10 wagered. Total bets are very popular and neutral in nature, in that they don’t hinge on which team is favored, just that both teams will score a certain number of points.

Money Line Bets, Money Line Betting

Money Line bets are also one of the most popular betting alternative that plays on the concept of a favorite vs. underdog. Using the example above from the Raiders and Browns, we see that the Money Line for each team is: Raiders -160 and Browns +220. What do these numbers mean?

Well, if the bettor chooses to bet the favorite on the Money Line wager, which in our example would be the Raiders, the bettor would have to bet $160 to win $100. Alternatively, if the bettor chooses to bet on the underdog, the Browns, the bettor would win $220 for every $100 bet. In general, sportsbooks try to balance action on Money Line bets as well, to make sure they won’t get shafted.

NFL Parlay Betting

Parlays are considered an “exotic” bet, but that doesn’t mean they’re complicated. The object of parlay betting is to pick a number of teams that you believe will each win their games over a given time period (usually the weekend for the NFL, or mid week for college football).

Example: The Giants, Lions, and Redskins are playing this weekend, and you believe each team will win their game. You can go to your sportsbook and place a 3 team parlay wager believing the Giants, Lions, and Redskins will each be victorious. Note, it’s also possible to bet on 2-15 different teams. The more teams in your parlay, the greater the risk, but the greater the payoff.

To see a sample Parlay Card, visit Sportsbetting3.com’s “What is a Parlay Card” page – Click Here. Payouts per the number of teams you bet on may vary from sportsbook to sportsbook.

To be sure, there are many other types of bets offered by most online sportsbooks, in addition to these 4 standard bets. Sometimes it’s best to ask a friend or more seasoned gambler how these more complicated bets work. You’ll start hearing terms like “buy points”, “against the spread”, “teaser”, etc that may be foreign to you. In reality half the battle is all the jargon, and the rest is basic math and odds. Win big this NFL season and enjoy the ride to the Super Bowl!

Good Luck from BOTN!