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The NFL is the most wagered upon sport in North America and it's not even close. I will spare you the grand introduction and lead you right into the mean and potatoes of this article. If you are a novice bettor who is just learning how to bet on the NFL, keep reading. If you understand the common concepts like money line, spread and totals wagering, you can skip down to the advanced wagering options by clicking here. If you want to know how to lay a few bets down on the futures market, I suggest you click here.

Betting on the NFL Money Line

As a concept, this is the simplest wager you can make on any game in any sport (except soccer). The money line betting option allows you to place a bet on the team you think is simply going to win the game. In the NFL, this bet includes overtime, but there have been a few instances where the game finishes tied at the end of OT and both sides get their money refunded.


Chicago Bears: +150 ML
Minnesota Vikings: -200 ML

The money line betting odds correlate to the listed point spread. In this example, the Vikings are the favorites and you must wager $200 dollars to turn a profit of $100. If you are a homer or love betting on the underdog, the Bears will return you $150 for every $100 you wager on them if they pull off the upset. If the game happens to end in a tie, bettors with money line tickets on either side will be refunded.

Betting on the Point Spread

Regardless of if I am talking about the NFL, CFL, NCAA, Arena League or upcoming XFL, the point spread is the most popular wagering option for bettors who love to test football betting skills. The point spread is an indication of which team is the favorite and underdog heading into their matchup.

A negative betting line such as -2.5 indicates that the team is expected to not only win the game outright, but win by three or more points. On the flip side, positive betting lines such as +2.5 indicate a team's underdog status. Not only is the underdog expected to lose, but they are expected to lose by at least a field goal

When looking over betting options for the NFL, you will come across lines that look like the following:

Chicago Bears +2.5 (-110)
Minnesota Vikings: -2.5 (-110)

Depending on which side you select, your team must 'cover the spread' in order for your wager to be graded a winner.

If you choose to take Chicago +2.5, you will be a winner if either of these three scenarios play out. The first being Chicago wins the game outright by any score. The second being Chicago loses by two or fewer points, thus 'covering' the +2.5-spread. And the third being if the game finishes as a tie.

If you decided to wager on the Vikings as -2.5-point favorites, they must win by three or more points in order for wager to be graded as a winner.

One thing to keep in mind when betting on the point spread is that the point spread moves up or down depending on how much action a certain side is receiving. If you are able to lock in your bet at -2.5 and the line goes down to -1.5, your ticket would only be a winner if your team won by three or more points. If they won by two, they would have beat the closing spread of -1.5, but your odds are locked in from the time your ticket is printed or you click place bet.

Betting Game Totals

Despite being classified as the same sport, the NFL and CFL couldn't be more different. The NFL is played on a much smaller field and gives teams three downs to make a first down before electing to punt. The NFL is generally a much lower scoring league than the CFL, but that doesn't mean that betting 'unders' are the way to turn a profit in the NFL.

When looking at betting an NFL total, there should be three things you take into consideration. The first being the weather. The second is both team's offensive and defensive numbers. And the last thing is the intangibles such as is it a short week, does a team have injury problems, travel delays, etc.

Let's look at an example of a game total:

Chicago Bears/Minnesota Vikings – 'Over' 38.5 -110, 'Under' 38.5 -110

If you are to bet the 'over' 38.5, there must be a total of 39 points or more scored in the game in order for you to be a winner. If there are 38 or fewer points scored, then those who bet on the 'under' will cash their tickets.

If totals are whole numbers such as 38 or 40 and the total happens to land exactly on the number, your bet, regardless whether it's an 'over' or 'under' bet, will be graded as a push and your money will be returned to you.

Advanced NFL Wagering Options

The NFL is the most popular sport in North America to wager on. It draws in the most money among the four major sports and there should be no surprises why. Sportsbooks offer up an endless amount of wagering option to go along with the most common three wagering options; money line, spread, total. Here are some of the popular options.

Team totals

This works almost exactly like the game total, but revolves around one team instead of both. With the 'team total' wagering option, you are essentially betting on whether you think Team X will score more or less than the line given out by the sportsbooks.


Chicago Bears Team Total: 'Over' 16.5 -110, 'Under' 16.5 -110.

In this case you have two options. You can bet them to score 17 or more points or 16 or fewer. The decision is ultimately up to you. This bet also includes overtime, unless otherwise stated in the betting rules provided by your sportsbook of choice.

First Half Spread

The 'first half spread' betting option is a trickier form of betting the full-game point spread. This option takes into account the score at half time in order to determine a winner. The first half spread is usually half of what the full game spread is.


Chicago Bears +1.5 1H
Minnesota Vikings -1.5 1H

Depending on what side you are on, the score going into half time is what is used to determine a winner. If the score is 17-14 in favor of the Vikings, bettors holding a Minnesota -1.5 1H ticket are winners since they were able to cover the -1.5- first-half spread.

As I mentioned above, the first half point spread is typically half of what the full game line is.

Player Props

Betting on NFL player props is a tricky situation since not all football games go according to plan. If you believe Quarterback X will complete more than 22.5 passes, but his defense scores twice and they are blowing out a team, the chances of him reaching 23 completions is very low. He will just simply hand the ball off and run out the clock.

If you think a running back has a distinct advantage of going up against a poor run defense, you may take that running back to go over the posted rushing yards line. However, if the team with the poor defense gets a sizeable lead, you can almost forget about it. That team will go into throwing mode and the running back will be the one to suffer.


Tom Brady: 'Over' 22.5 completions -110, 'Under' 22.5 completions -110
Jay Ajayi: 'Over' 74.5 rushing yards -110, 'Under' 74.5 rushing yards -110
Antonio Brown: 'Over' 4.5 receptions -110, 'Under' 4.5 receptions -110

For each of these three player prop options, each player must go 'over' or 'under' the posted line. If you think Brady will complete at least 23 passes, you would take the 'over'. If you think Brown will be held to four or fewer catches, you would bet the 'under'.

First Touchdown Scorer/Anytime Touchdown Scorer

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This proposition is the most popular when Super Bowl rolls around. For one reason or another, people always make a big deal about who is going to score the first touchdown in the Super Bowl. I get that the first touchdown is important, but rarely does a game end with only one touchdown scored.

If you wager on the First Touchdown Scorer prop your goal is to (obviously) pick the player who will score the first touchdown.

First Touchdown Scorer Example:

Rob Gronkowski +400
Danny Amendola +500
Brandin Cooks +650
Jay Ajayi +750
Alshon Jeffery +1200
Nick Foles +3300
Tom Brady +4400

Anytime Touchdown Scorer Example:
Rob Gronkowski -150
Danny Amendola +120
Brandin Cooks ++300
Jay Ajayi +350
Alshon Jeffery +400
Nick Foles +2500
Tom Brady +3000

As you can see, the 'any time touchdown scorer' odds drop drastically compared to the first touchdown scorer. But with this prop, your player can score a touchdown in any quarter, including overtime in order for you to cash your ticket.

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Bovada casino login. Futures Bets

A futures bet is a wager placed in the time leading up to the start of the event on a team or player that you believe is going to win their respective competition. Heading into the 2018 NFL season, the Super Bowl futures odds look like this:

Super Bowl LIII Champion: New England +500, Philadelphia +750, Green Bay +1200, Minnesota +1200, Pittsburgh +1400, San Francisco +1600, Los Angeles +1800, New Orleans +1800, Jacksonville +2000 etc.

In order for you to successfully cash your ticket, you must correctly choose the team that will hoist the Lombardi trophy at the conclusion of Super Bowl LIII.

College Sports Lines And Odds

Team Win Totals

This is another popular type of futures bet amongst pro handicappers. The concept is straight forward. Every sportsbook will put out a 'win total' for every team long before the season begins. Handicappers must simply decide whether they believe that team will exceed the posted win total or fall short of it.


Pittsburgh Steelers Win Total: 'Over' 11.5 wins -110, 'Under' 11.5 wins -110

If the Steelers go 12-4 or better, the 'over' would cash. If they go 11-5 or worse, the 'under' would cash.

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