GMT -11
GMT -10
GMT -9
GMT -8
GMT -7
GMT -6
GMT -5
GMT -4
GMT -3
GMT -2
GMT -1
GMT +1
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GMT +8
GMT +9
GMT +10
GMT +11

Learn in detail about nfl betting spread for beginners

NFL spread betting is a popular and strategic way for fans and bettors to engage with the game, offering a unique twist beyond simply picking a winner. By leveling the playing field, the point spread brings an added layer of excitement and challenge, making even the most lopsided matchups competitive. This form of betting allows for more nuanced analysis and deeper engagement with the intricacies of the sport, as bettors must consider not just who will win, but by how much. Understanding NFL betting spreads is essential for anyone looking to maximize their betting experience and capitalize on the dynamic nature of the game. Let’s learn about nfl betting spread with through the following article!

Learn in detail about nfl betting spread for beginners
Learn in detail about nfl betting spread for beginners

What is NFL Spread Betting?

NFL point spread betting (spread betting) is a popular form of wagering in American football (NFL) games, where the bookmaker sets a point spread between two teams to create balanced betting. Spread betting is not just about which team wins or loses but also depends on the point difference in the game.

In the 2022 NFC Championship game, the Los Angeles Rams were favored by 3.5 points because they were playing at home and were considered the more accomplished team compared to their opponents, the San Francisco 49ers. Home-field advantage in the NFL is currently valued at around 2 to 3 points, although this is not a rigid rule, giving the Rams about a 1-point edge over the 49ers at a neutral venue.

Both the spread and the odds can vary between bookmakers and change during the buildup due to fluctuations in money and sentiment for the NFC Championship game. The 49ers settled at -112 with a 3.5-point spread compared to the Rams’ -106 at the same spread. The game was very close, but the Rams won 20-17.

A spread win for the Rams would yield a profit of $9.43 for a $10 bet, but despite losing outright on the day, the 49ers still rewarded their backers with a 3.5-point head start, with a return of $8.93 for a $10 wager.

Types of nfl betting spread bets available

The traditional best bets for NFL spread betting involve the entire game, but there are also alternative lines for specific parts of the game. Now that you understand the NFL point spread, let’s look at other types of available bets.

Types of nfl bet spread available
Types of nfl bet spread available
  • Quarter Spreads: You can not only bet on the overall game spread but also on the spread for each quarter. This option provides you with four additional opportunities to engage in NFL spread betting.
  • Half Spreads: The best NFL betting sites allow you to place bets on half spreads. As the name suggests, this market involves betting on the point spread for a specific half of the game.
  • Live NFL Spread Betting: NFL spread betting is also available live, meaning you can place bets during the game on the spread. You can bet ATS (Against The Spread) on specific quarters and halves and find half-point and full-point spreads.

How Are NFL Odds Determined?

For bettors, determining NFL odds against the spread is a multi-step process. First, they study both teams by analyzing large sets of historical data. They consider current form, recent trends, head-to-head records, and other factors such as injuries and home-field advantage.

For example, bookmakers’ predictions may show that the Buffalo Bills are likely to score 22.4 points against the New York Jets, who are expected to score 17.5 points. The projected point spread is 4.9, so bookmakers would initially set the main spread at four points.

Sportsbooks also need to calculate the amount of money to be placed on each side of the spread. If they expect equal money on both sides, they will keep the bet around the initial mark and offer the best NFL odds relatively close to the spread.

On the other hand, if the bookmaker expects more money to be bet on one of the teams, they will move the line or the odds accordingly. Ultimately, the bookmaker aims to balance the books and distribute bets evenly. This ensures they make a profit regardless of the game’s outcome.

It’s also worth noting that NFL betting spreads almost always fluctuate before the game. Sportsbooks will adjust their odds based on betting activity, so pay attention to NFL odds changing days, hours, and minutes before the game.

How to Bet on NFL Spreads

In spread betting, you have two options: the favorite or the underdog. The favorite is shown with negative odds, a minus sign (-) followed by a number (-5.5). The underdog has positive odds, a plus sign (+) followed by a number (+5.5).

Spread betting might seem confusing, but it’s straightforward. If the Los Angeles Rams are -3.5, they need to win by four points or more to cover the bet. If the San Francisco 49ers have a +3.5 spread, they cannot lose by more than three points to cover. With both spreads at 5.5, there’s no middle ground for both teams winning or losing.

For example, betting $100 on the Rams (-3.5) at -110 odds means they must win 27-21 or better for a $90 profit. If the spread were -6.5 and they won 27-21, you’d lose the $100 bet because they didn’t win by seven or more points. At -3.5, winning by four points or more is good; winning by three points or fewer is bad.

How to Bet on NFL Spreads
How to Bet on NFL Spreads

For the underdog, if you bet $100 on the 49ers (+3.5) at -110 and they lose 27-21, you’d lose the $100 bet since they lost by six or more points. If the spread were +6.5 and they lost 27-21, the +6.5 would cover because they didn’t lose by seven or more points. At +5.5, losing by five points or fewer is good; losing by six or more is bad.

American odds can be confusing, but our odds calculator can help determine winnings based on your bet amount. While American odds use a default $100 bet, NFL point spread bettors can wager any amount they feel comfortable with within their limits.


In conclusion, NFL spread betting adds a fascinating dimension to wagering on football games, challenging bettors to go beyond simply picking winners. By accounting for point differentials, it creates more balanced and competitive betting opportunities, even in matchups that might otherwise seem one-sided. Mastering NFL betting spreads requires a keen understanding of team dynamics, player performance, and game strategies, making it a rewarding endeavor for those who enjoy diving deep into the details of the sport. Whether you’re a seasoned bettor or a newcomer, understanding and utilizing NFL betting spreads can enhance your overall betting experience and potentially lead to more profitable outcomes.

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