This article is part of our ongoing series regarding sports betting from the top down! We’ve been graced with the inside scoop from an industry insider, so enjoy and bet safely and responsibly!
With sports betting become legal in large parts of the country, many fans are becoming more interested in betting on sports, especially NFL football. If you’re new to gambling on the NFL and the Vikings, check out this guide created by Joseph Falchettifrom SafestBettingSites.com below to learn more about sports betting basics and a few essential betting tips.
NFL Point Spread Betting
The point spread is the cornerstone of NFL betting. It is the betting market that garners the most betting action when it comes to wagering football. The point spread is a handicap on the underdog in a game between two teams in basic terms.
Let’s look at an example of a point spread wager, using the Vikings:
Minnesota Vikings +3.5 (-110)
Green Bay Packers -3.5 (-110)
In this example, the Vikings are the road team, and their NFC North rivals, the Packers, are the home team. Green Bay is the favorite in this game, signified by the negative(-) sign. The Vikings are the underdog, which is represented by the positive sign(+).
3.5 points favor the Packers, and the Vikings are underdogs by 3.5 points.
The Vikings need to win the game outright or lose by less than three points for bettors with Vikings’ tickets to win their bet. Green Bay needs to win the game and win by more than 3.5 points for Packers’ backers to win their wager.
For instance, if the final score were Green Bay 26, Minnesota 23, then the Packers would have won the game outright but not covered the point spread. Green Bay would have won the game, but those who took Green Bay -3.5 would lose their wager, and Vikings’ bettors who took them as +3.5 underdog would win their bet.
If the game ended with a final score of Green Bay 30, Minnesota 26, then Green Bay would have covered the spread and won the game outright. Those who bet on Green Bay would cash their -3.5 tickets, and any wagers backing Minnesota would be graded as a loss.
For more betting tips on the Vikings, visit the specific Minnesota Vikings betting guide.
When we have spreads of 3.5 or any spread with a half-point, which is known as a “hook,” in betting jargon, there can be no ties or “pushes.” However, if the point spread does not include a half-point, such as 3 or 7, then pushes are possible.
Let’s say the spread for the same game is 3 points instead of 3.5. It would look like this:
Minnesota Vikings +3 (-110)
Green Bay Packers -3 (-110)
Green Bay is still the favorite in this example, but the spread has changed from 3.5 to 3.
A push occurs when the game lands on the point spread. Let’s say this game ended with a final score of Green Bay 26 and Minnesota 23, and this would be a push because the Packers won by exactly 3 points and the Vikings lost by exactly 3 points.
All wagers are declared “no action,” and stakes returned to players. A “push” is the same thing as a bet being canceled or not occurring. All stakes are returned, and no one wins or loses
There is also an NFL betting market that allows you to bet on the game’s outright winner, without a point spread element. These are called moneylines. To win your Moneyline bet, you only need to pick the outright winner of the game.
The team doesn’t need to cover the point spread. This market is straightforward when it comes to betting and grading because you either pick the winner of the game and win your bet, or you end up picking the loser, and your bet is graded as a loss.
NFL Moneyline Odds & Example
Moneyline odds are also known as “American odds.” You might have noticed the point spread wagers with attached Moneyline odds of -110. These are the standard odds for a bet at a sportsbook.
Markets such as point spreads and totals will all have attached Moneyline odd. Moneyline odds are based on the amount bettors will win based on $100.
For instance, -110 odds means that bettors will need to risk $110 to win $100. Let’s look at another example to analyze and understand this market further.
Minnesota Vikings +150
Green Bay Packers -170
Once again, we have the Vikings as the underdog at +150, and the Packers at -170 are the favorite. Remember, there is no point spread element here, so we’re just trying to pick the team (based on the odds) that will win outright.
Suppose we place a bet on the Vikings at +150. Our $100 stake would pay out $250, with $150 in potential profits. Minnesota needs to win the game outright for us to win our bet. If they lose, the wager will be graded as a loss.
Since the Packers are the favorite, we need to risk a lot more to win less. To win $100, we would need to bet $170 to win $100. Our potential return would be $270, with $100 in profits. Again, the Packers need to win the game outright for our wager to win. If they lose, it is graded as a loss.
NFL totals or over/under wagers are betting markets that surround the number of points scored in the game. The number of points is based on the gape between the two teams facing each other, the game’s location, and the strength of their offense, defense, and special teams.
This bet type is exceptionally straightforward. Let’s take a look at an example:
Minnesota Vikings Over 47.5 (-110) Under 47.5 (-110)
Green Bay Packers
The total in this example is 47.5 points. Using American or Moneyline odds above, gamblers can wager on the Over or Under bet. Both sides are -110, which means they must risk $110 to win $100 on either side of the wager.
If we place a wager on the Over, we need the total number of points in the game by both teams to go beyond 48 points. If that happens, our bet is a winner. However, if it’s 47 points or below, our wager will be graded as a loss.
Likewise, if we bet on the under, we need the game to stay under 47 points. Any number of points can be scored, as long as it remains under 47 points. If 48 points are scored in the game, our under wager will be graded as a loss.
Remember, when betting totals, both teams’ points are counted when the bet is graded. Any scoring in overtime periods is also part of the game total.
Another option for sports bettors instead of placing picks on NFL games is NFL futures. Sports betting futures are events slated to occur place in the future and not the day that the wager is place. There can be short or long term futures markets in NFL football.
One of the most popular futures is which team will win a championship or an NFL Super Bowl. For instance, the Vikings were +3000 or 30/1 at the start of the 2020 NFL season to win the super bowl.
A $100 wager on them to win the title would net $3,000 if they ended up securing their first Lombardi Trophy.
There are also many other futures bets, such as which team will win each conference, if a franchise will make the playoffs, and or which team will win a specific division.
Basics of NFL Betting
With the above tips and explanations, new bettors should fill comfortable logging into an online sportsbook account and placing a bet. Becoming a profitable sports bettor is far more advanced and complicated than this, but everyone starts as a beginner who is just learning online sports betting ropes.
About Joseph Falchetti
Joseph Falchetti is a sports betting and gambling expert for SafestBettingSites.com. Joe has an extensive background as a writer and gambler of all types and provides free picks on the blog. He was a professional poker player and sports bettor for eight years until he decided to make the switch to writing sports gambling content, especially about NFL football betting, after the Black Friday seizures against PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker in April 2011.