Using the NFL Betting Line

NFL Betting Types

When a sports bettor is looking to play some action on the NFL match-ups, they usually depend on three of the basic betting types. These three are the Money Line, Point Spread, and the Total Points bet. Each one of these types of bets allows the bettor different aspects of the game to bet on, and a bettor should know which bet to use depending on the information they have and the confidence they have. This will help the sports bettors know about the odds and the possible tactics they can use when facing the NFL betting lines.

Using the Money Line

In short, the money line bet is simply used when the bettor wants to bet on which NFL team will beat the other team. There are a few strategies when betting on the money line. First off, the bettor needs to look at and compare the odds given to the teams in the match-up.

5Dimes sportsbook line:

BetOnline sportsbook line:


It is always to have at least two sportsbooks to compare the odds, so this way the bettor can get the best odds and potential payout depending on which team he will be betting on. During this particular matchup, the money line is the same. However, most of the time there will be different money line odds, and a bettor can use this to their advantage to see just how the sportsbook is thinking.

Using the Odds

As the money line simply depends on the winning team, the bettor should use the odds given to determine if the Favorite or the Underdog have good chances of winning. When the odds given are:

  • Favorite (-150 to -200)
  • Underdog (+100 to +150)
  • This can be considered good odds that the Favorite will end up winning, but there is a catch. If the Underdog odds are closer to 100 than the Favorites, it means that they have about a 50% of beating the Favorite; if the bettor sees that the Underdog team has an advantage in any way, they should probably take the Underdog in this situation. On the other hand, if the odds are given like:

  • Favorite (-100 to -150)
  • Underdog (+150 to +250)
  • The Underdog odds are beyond the Favorites, showing that they have less than 25% chance of winning. In the rare chance that the odds look like:

  • Favorite (-200 and above)
  • Underdog (+200 and above)
  • This means that the Underdog has terrible chances of winning, while the Favorite has exceptional chances of winning. Basically, there is one very strong team against a very weak team.

    Using the Point Spread

    There are several ways of using the point spread, but the most used method is Middling the bet. This can be done to both increase the chances of winning a payout, and lowering the possible losses. For this tactic, it is necessary for the bettor to be a member of at least two sportsbooks; each of the sportsbook has to be showing different point spreads as well.

    5Dimes sportsbook point spread:

    BetOnline sportsbook point spread:

    Using the Odds

    A bettor can use the odds in their favor by simply taking a look at the team’s previous performances; do not use past seasons, only the current season. By looking at the average amount of points the team has won by, we can see whether the Favorite will be able to beat the spread. While we take a look at the Underdogs average amount of points they have lost by, and see whether or not they have a chance of keeping the point spread below the value.

    Always remember to check the odds. When the odds show a .5 or ½ it means the sportsbook is giving the Underdogs a slight advantage. This does not mean that the Underdog will be able to beat that spread. Sportsbooks use this tactic to lure bettors into placing a wager on the Underdog. After analyzing the point difference between the teams and their past performances, if the Underdog truly has a good chance of beating the spread, by all means place the bet on them.

    Middling the Point Spread

    This is a popular concept, where the bettor will simply split the point spread into two parts, one where he will bet on the Favorite and the other where he will bet on the Underdog. This all depends on the odds that the sportsbooks are giving./

    The bettor should usually pick the sportsbook that has the higher point spread in order to bet on the Underdog, since having the bigger number gives the Underdog team a much better chance at keeping the game at or under that value; especially if the value has a .5 or ½. On the other hand, they should pick the Favorite at the sportsbook showing the lower point spread value, since the Favorite will have better chances at beating that value; be cautious around odds that have the .5 or ½ as they tend to skew towards the Underdog.

    By betting on both teams, using two sportsbooks and odds, they are able to minimize the risk of losing. However, this will also minimize the amount they could earn. This method is intended to be used over a long period of time.

    Using the Total Points Bet

    This is one of the trickiest types of bets that the betting line has. The sportsbooks post a value, in order for the bettors to determine whether or not the matchup will end with more or less points being scored, with both teams scores combined.

    5Dimes sportsbook total points:

    BetOnline sportsbook total points:

    Using the Odds

    When a bettor wants help determining whether the final score total will be more or less than the value given, they should always use the statistics. It is easy enough to find a team’s average score, but this is not the only piece of information they should use. The bettor should look up two pieces of information on both teams; the average amount of points they score and the average amount of points that are scored on them. The bettor should find these average scores depending whether the team is home or away; for the away team take the away stats.


    Average Score

    Average Score Against

    Team 1 (Home)

    24.8 Points 19.4 Points

    Team 2 (Away)

    22.9 Points 23.6 Points

    What the bettor can do is take the two lowest values and add those together; 19.4 + 22.9 = 42.3 points, would be the lowest amount of points being scored during that matchup.

    The bettor can then take the two largest values and add those together; 23.6 + 24.8 = 48.4 points, would be the maximum amount of points that would be scored during this matchup.

    The last step the bettor needs to do is, take the two values of the minimum and maximum, and add them together and then divide in order to get the “true average” score of this particular match; (42.3 + 48.4) / 2 = 45.35. This value is the average that could be scored, in this matchup, based on these two teams.

    If the Total Points value is larger than the “true average” then the bettor would go with the Under bet, but if the Total Points value is smaller than the “true average”, the bettor would go with the Over bet. This is a good way of predicting the total final score, but it should not be taken as a sure thing as there are always surprises during the NFL matches.