If you enjoy watching sports or are a fan of the NFL, chances are you’ve heard of spread betting. In short, it’s a way for sportsbooks to level a mismatch on a sporting event. Betting on the favorites in the NFL is not very rewarding financially unless you’re playing with big money stakes.
That’s where spread betting comes in, allowing you to wager on a team to either win by a set point margin, or not to lose by more than the set margin. Thus, the gap between the match favorite and the underdog is closed, making the game and your bet, more exciting.
Benefits of spread betting
- Wider choice of markets than with fixed odds betting.
- More in-play options.
- Can utilise your sporting knowledge to your advantage.
- Customised bets mean you can pit teams and players against each other whether or not they are actually playing each other.
- Maintains game interest right until the end.
- More exciting than moneyline.
How Does it Work?
Imagine the Kansas City Chiefs are playing at home against the Broncos, obviously the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes are going to big favorites for this one. But what if the Broncos were given seven additional points to start the game with, would that change your thinking?
The point spread would look like this:
Kansas City Chiefs: (+7) -110
Denver Broncos: (-7) -110
Because of the point spread, you can bet on both teams to win at -110 odds, meaning a successful $110 wager returns $100 in profit.
Betting Against the Spread vs. Covering the Spread
Covering the spread:
This is when the favored team wins the game with the given point spread or when the underdog wins by more than the point spread.
Betting against the spread:
This simply means choosing to wager on the given point spread rather than just laying another kind of bet.
Key Numbers to Watch Out For
Once you get used to it, reading the NFL point spread and identifying value becomes a lot easier. But there are several key numbers that are well worth remembering.
Touchdowns (7 points) and a field goal (3 points) are the two most-common scoring plays in the NFL. Which is why 7 and 3 are the most common victory margins of, accounting an estimated 25% of all NFL games. Because of this, sportsbooks will often try to tempt spread bettors in a certain direction by adding an extra half-point (hook) on to the spread.
The third most-common scoring margin in NFL games is 10 and then 6, therefore if you can find a hook either side of 10, it could potentially represent a great value bet.
Ways to use spread bets to your advantage
Spread bets are a great way of using your sports knowledge, but there are other ways to gain a spread betting advantage.
Home teams traditionally have an advantage in front of their own fans, and can expect anything between 2 to 4.5 in the points spread. Sportsbooks do factor home-field advantage into their odds, so take this into account.
Check out the latest injury news before the match. If there are key players missing or injury doubts around the QB, that could represent an opportunity, so it’s important to stay up to date.
There are plenty of stats to get your teeth into when it comes to the NFL, and some are more important than others. Red zone success, turnovers, touchdowns, fumbles, third down success rate, all of these stats help create a picture and offer you a chance to find value where no one else has.
A team may be 7-3, playing at home and big favourites for the game, but if they’ve just lost their last three matches and the QB is out of form, maybe the result isn’t so clear cut.
It is very rare for an NFL game to be cancelled, which means that teams play on no matter what the weather. That means blizzards, wind, rain, heat and freezing cold temperatures become a factor. Ice and rain mean more fumbles, wind reduces the kicker and QB’s accuracy. Let’s be honest, Tampa Bay probably won’t be too keen to play in the snow and Green Bay may not be big fans of hot conditions. Teams can’t train or prepare properly for extreme weather conditions, so be prepared for shocks and surprises.
The last match:
Teams can travel big distances in the NFL and that can be tiring. Where did the teams pay their last game, how far did they travel? Was it a close game? Did they have to dig deep to get over the line and will they still be feeling it?
There’s no doubt that spread betting is more popular than ever, providing bettors with more exciting options and enhancing game enjoyment. Now you know how to use the NFL point spread, why not give it a go?