Explaining Football Betting Lines For New Bettors

Posted by Alex Murphy on May 1, 2015 in

Online Betting is a convenient and easy way of making money, but this could easily be proven incorrect if you don’t understand how different betting lines work. People that are new to online betting may find it very difficult to understand the basic principles and terminologies of the activity. Once you signed up at your favorite online sportsbook, the selection of the right betting lines can become a bit of an overwhelming experience when you are not familiar with the terminology. Provided below is a brief description of the different football betting lines you will encounter online.

Football Betting Lines, The “Spread”

Probably the most popular choice among online bettors is the ‘spread,’ a betting line that will let you bet on the game’s favorite or underdog to win or lose a game by a pre-established amount of points. As in most lines, the favorite will be determined by a minus sign(-) while the underdog will be determined by a plus sign (+)

A spread betting line on a football game may look like this:

Dallas Cowboys -7
Buffalo Bills +7

This means that the sportsbook believes the Dallas Cowboys will win the game by at least 7 points. So if you take them, they would have to win the game by that many for your bet to be considered a winner. On the other side, if you take the Bills, the can lose the game by less than 7 points and you will still have a winning bet.

Point spreads are usually attached to flat -110 odds, meaning no matter which side you choose, you have to risk $110 to win $100.

The Money Line Wagers

Maybe you don’t want to risk giving away points and just want to bet on which team will win the game outright, if so, then the money line bet in for you.

A money line may look like this:

Dallas Cowboys -220
Buffalo Bills +180

As in the example above, the Cowboys are still favorites to win but, since we don’t have a point spread, they only need to win the game by one point for your wager to win. The downside? Since you are not giving away points, then you will have to risk $220 to win $100. On the other side, if you think the Buffalo Bills can win the game by at least one point, then you will only need to lay $100 to win $180.


Betting on the Game Total

Another popular type of bet in the NFL is the total wager, where a players bets on the combined total of the game to go over or under the predetermined amount the sportsbook puts out.

A game total line may look like this:

Dallas Cowboys OV24 -120
Buffalo Bills UN24 +100

This means the sportsbook believes the combined score from the two teams will be around 24 points, with the Over as the most likely result. This way, if you think the game will rack up more than 25 points, you will have to bet $120 to win $100. If you think it will go Under 24 points, you will lay $100 for a potential $100 win.

Clear? We hope so! Make sure to check back for more pointers on how to bet on sports and start making some cash in the process!


DallasCowboys.com (http://www.dallascowboys.com)
BuffaloBills.com (http://www.buffalobills.com)