How to Bet on the NFL: Breaking it Down to Basics

The NFL has become a money making machine and has become the most popular sports in the US.  But the NFL is growing beyond the US borders and more international fans and bettors have become familiar with the game.  The NFL plans on playing more games in the UK in the upcoming years which means international NFL betting is on the rise.

Whether you are new to NFL betting or an international member new to the NFL, Documented Handicappers is breaking down how to bet on the NFL in simple terms to help you better understand why the NFL is so popular.

NFL Betting

Since we are keeping it simple we have decided to just explain how our online sports handicappers predict the outcome of NFL games.  The Documented Handicappers will released NFL picks based on the Spread or Total (Over/Under).

NFL Spread Betting

One of the most popular forms of NFL betting is based on the point spread.  The point spread in NFL betting basically means that you need to cover the point spread to win the bet.  For example, you purchased an NFL pick from one of our Documented Handicappers.  The pick shows to take the Dallas Cowboys (+3) vs the New York Giants. Now that you know the pick and the spread we will explain how you will win your NFL bet.

So you have purchased an NFL pick and you take your information to your favorite sports book (for a list of our top sports betting sites click here).  Your favorite sports book has odds posted for every NFL game and shows you can place a wager on the Dallas Cowboys (+3) -110.  The (-110)  means that you will need to pay $110 to win $100.  The $10 difference is the juice each sports book will charge to allow you to place the bet.

So you place a $110 wager to win $100 with the Dallas Cowboys getting +3 points.  In order for you to win your NFL bet the Dallas Cowboys will need to either win out right, meaning the Cowboys will need to beat the Giants straight up.  OR, the Cowboys will need to lose by no more than 2 points.  If the Cowboys beat the Giants straight up you win your bet and if the Giants beat the Cowboys 24-22 you win your bet, fairly simple and straight forward.

Now there is another possible scenario in regard to NFL spread betting and it’s called a push.  A push basically means that the final score ended on the spread line.  For instance, the Giants beat the Cowboys 27-24 a difference of -3 points.  You needed the Cowboys to cover the spread of +3 and they just missed covering the spread.  So what happens?  Since the bet pushed, as long as you secured your bet of Cowboys +3, you’re sports book would refund your money.

Picks resulting in a push are common in the NFL since Vegas is very precise with their lines.  Odds released in increments of 3 and 7 points are fairly common which means that a late field goal or touchdown will often result in a push.

NFL Total Betting

Another common NFL bet is betting on the Total score of the game which is often referred to as the OVER/UNDER.  This means that you are betting on the outcome of the total score of the game.  You’re bet is determined by betting that the total score will go OVER the line or UNDER the line.  For example, take the above game with the Cowboys vs Giants.  We know that the spread is Dallas +3 and when Vegas releases the odds they will also release a Total line.  The total in this particular game is O/U 45 points.  This means you would bet for the game to go OVER 45 points or UNDER 45 points.

To continue this example, you just purchased a Total pick from your favorite Documented Handicapper.  The Doc capper says to take the OVER 45 points.  Once you have placed your wager with your favorite sports book, you now are rooting for a lot of points to be scored in this game.  You need to the total score of this game to go OVER 45 points so you aren’t rooting for a specific team but you just want an offensive heavy game.  If the game ended with a final score of the Giants winning 27-24 then you would have won the total bet and you commence by celebrating with your friends.

This is NFL betting 101 in the most simplest form.  The Documented Handicappers will always release their selection based on the spread or total since this is the most common forms of NFL betting and all sports books will have odds on the spread and total of each NFL game.

With this basic information you can now feel confident in betting the NFL and beating your sports book.  NFL betting is all about having the right information and our NFL handicappers study line movements, stats, player information, trends, weather and so many other variables that go into predicting NFL games.  Our handicappers are great at taking the guess work out of NFL betting and you can confidently place your wager.  If you are in need of expert NFL picks this season than be sure to check back with our NFL handicappers for reliable and documented information.

By RC Blevins
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