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American Football Betting NFL
It’s been said that while soccer is considered the most popular sport in the world, it can’t get any traction in the US because a different type of football is being worshipped by Americans. By and large, that statement is true. The NFL is the king of all sports in the US, and nobody, even those involved in other sports, is going to contest that. NFL sports betting consists of three basic bet types. There’s the money line, the handicap, and total points.
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Money line betting
The money line bet is pretty straightforward. Bettors simply choose which team is going to win. It is important to remember that money line odds are always skewed depending on who the favorite/underdog is. For example, a game between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Since the Packers are playing at home and are regarded as one of the better teams in the league at the moment, their odds on a money line is only 1/4. That means that a $100 bet on the Packers would only yield winnings of $25. On the flip side, the Detroit Lions, one currently one of the worst teams in the league, will be playing on the road, hence, their money line is at 6/1. Using the same example, a $100 bet on the Lions to win the game outright would result in a $600 cash out.
Money line bets are popular, but most bettors prefer betting with points spreads. This is called handicap betting. This type of bet is based on the number of points a sportsbook will give to the underdog to even the playing field. The objective is to generate action on both sides because it helps sportsbooks minimize the risk of losing money. In this instance, a sportsbook could give the Lions 10 points, seen as +10, whereas the Packers would be laying the same number of points. From a betting perspective, this means that the Lions automatically receive 10 extra points, and that number is added to the team’s final score. So if the Packers win the game, 34-21, Green Bay would still win with the handicap since the 10 extra points Detroit receives wouldn’t be enough to beat Green Bay’s score. Handicap betting almost always has odds of 11/10 to represent equal odds on both sides. That means that if a bettor bets $100 to win the game, he takes home $190, bet included. The extra $10 is the commission the sportsbook receives for taking the action.
The last basic NFL bet type is total points, often referred to as over/under. In this case, sportsbooks post a number, usually ending with a half-point to eliminate pushes, to represent the total number of points both team will score in that game. Going back to the Green Bay-Detroit example, a sportsbook could post an over/under of 48.5 points. This means that a bettor who places a bet on the over is betting that the Packers and Lions would combine to score more than 48 points in the game. A score of 34-21 adds up to 55 total points from both sides, which means that the over ends up as the winning bet. Odds on totals are similarly priced at 11/10 like handicaps.
Props and Futures
One of the biggest reasons why NFL betting is so popular is because sportsbooks don’t limit themselves to offering the three basic types. Other betting options are available, including quarter and half lines, halftime totals, and individual player bets. The first two are similar to handicap bets and total points. The only difference is that instead of the spread meant for the whole game, they’re only meant for a half, be it the first or second half of the game. The individual player bet is unique because it focuses on a specific player, usually a quarterback, a running back, or a wide receiver. A quarterback like Aaron Rodgers, for example, could have odds posted on how many passing yards he has in the game, or how many touchdowns he throws.
Prop bets and future bets are also popular bet types, although, in the case of the latter, they’re usually long-term bets that only conclude once the season is over. One of the most popular futures bet is the Super Bowl champion. This market usually opens immediately after the last Super Bowl ends. This gives bettors close to a year to pick who they think the next champion is going to be. Once the season draws closer, sportsbooks will begin offering other futures markets, including division winners, conference winners, and league MVP.
Teasers and Parlays
Some bettors prefer to place single bets on the games they like; others are more adventurous and prefer placing bets on a number of teams to increase the payout. There are two types of bets that fall into this category. One is the parlay, which combines all the bets a player makes into one bet. If a player bets on three games on puts them in a parlay, all of his bets must win for the player to cash on the parlay. They lose the entire parlay if at least one of the bets ends up on the wrong side of the score.
A teaser is similar to a parlay, except that bettors can manipulate the handicap to improve their chances of winning. Back to the Packers-Lions; a bettor who isn’t confident that Green Bay would win by more than 10 points can drop the handicap to as low as three points to give the Packers a better shot at covering the spread. But the lower spread also means that the odds drop with it, so if Green Bay has 11/10 odds at -10, it would only receive around 1/3 odds if it covers at -3. The objective here is to combine these bets into one bet like a parlay and hope that all of the bets win. If one loses, the whole teaser goes down the drain with it.
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