When Betting Point Spreads in the NFL Makes Sense?
There’s no betting style more popular for the NFL than betting on point spreads. Unsure exactly what a point spread is? Curious when the right time to target a certain spread is?
You’ve reached the right place.
What is a Point Spread?
A point spread is assigned to every game, with one team a favorite and one team an underdog. The line set by both oddsmakers and the public’s money is a number based on the difference of scores at the end of the game.
For example, the Chiefs might be a -3 favorite against the Bills before the game, meaning that sportsbooks think the Chiefs will win the game by at least three points.
You are not betting on who will win the game, you are betting on a team winning by more than the point spread.
Examples of Betting on a Point Spread
For the above example, if you bet on the Chiefs to cover the three-points against the Bills, you need them to win by more than three points. If the final score is 28-24, you would have won the bet. If the final score is 24-21, it would be a ‘push.’ A push is basically a tie, meaning you don’t win or lose the bet.
If the Chiefs won, but the final score was 10-9, you would lose the bet. You will also lose the bet if they lose the game.
Conversely, if you bet Buffalo at +3, you’re betting on them to either win the game outright or lose by less than three points.
When to Bet on a Point Spread
Point spreads in the NFL can vary from a pick ‘em to -14. The number is determined by the two teams playing, how they match up, recent trends, and where the public places their money.
Lines can move if the vast majority of the public is placing a bet on one side of the spread.
Good advice for betting point spreads applies to all sports, not just the NFL: focus on how the teams match up. What is one team’s strength, and is the other team able to slow them down?
How are the two teams playing? Momentum matters in sports, so if one team hasn’t looked good, you may want to bet against them.
Betting point spreads can especially be the right choice if you like a team that’s an underdog. Let’s say one team has been playing better football of late, but they’re +6 underdogs.
You think they can win the game outright. Instead of betting on them to win the game, you can bet on them at +6, so even if they lose, they should keep it close enough to cover the spread.
In general, you want to target teams that have significant advantages on one or both sides of the ball. If one team has a strong defense and the other team’s offense is one of the worst in the league, it’s highly unlikely they’ll be able to score enough points to win or cover the spread.
Point Spreads: Give it a Shot
There will always be a point spread for every game you bet on. Study the matchups and how teams have performed leading up to that Sunday, and find some games that stick out to you.
Betting a point spread (instead of Money line or totals) can add an extra layer of excitement at the end of the game. What may be a meaningless touchdown at the end of regulation may actually be what you need to cover the spread. Enjoy the upcoming season!