NFL Odds: National Football League Betting Lines and Spreads
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NFL Betting Odds
NFL odds do not stop at the point spread and OVER/UNDER. There are numerous ways to bet on NFL football these days, including the NFL moneyline, futures (NFL postseason), first-half and second-half betting lines, and football spreads.
Throw in fun fantasy-style prop bets (will Tom Brady throw for 300-plus yards this week) and live NFL bets (where you can wager on the next play and on NFL football odds that change all game long) and the importance of understanding how NFL odds work at Super Bowl betting sites has never been greater. Check out the the best NFL betting lines and bookmark our NFL odds page for more updates and NFL lines enhancements in the coming weeks and months.
NFL Odds Legend
NFL Point Spreads
Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned NFL spread when betting on football? Not only do NFL spreads remain king when it comes to wagering on pro football, it is a favorite in online sports betting among pro bettors and beginners alike.
Also known as NFL football lines and as betting “sides,” a common misconception is that sportsbooks set the pro football spread as a predicted margin of victory. It’s actually the number oddsmakers predict would be a good balance between people who want to bet the underdog and those who want to bet the favorite.
For example, a negative value (-11.5) next to a football team means that they are favored by that many points. So you must deduct 11.5 points from their score to determine if they won the game or not.
On the other hand, a positive value on the same game (+11.5) means the underdog starts with an 11.5-point lead before the game even begins. In NFL online betting, the favorite must win by 12 points or more to cover the NFL spread. The dog is able to lose by 11 points and still cover the spread.
When you see a moneyline value associated with the spread, it is the percentage amount you must pay in order to book the bet. Also known as the juice or vig, if you see NFL Vegas odds of -11.5 (-115), it means you have to bet $115 to win $100 — a 15 percent commission for the sportsbook. The underdog may see a value such as +11.5 (+105), which means you’ll have to bet $100 to win $105 if your team successfully covers.
If you see the line move, let’s say from -9 on Tuesday to -10.5 on Friday, this is known as a line move. It occurs when there is a surplus of bettors wagering on the same side of the game, so NFL betting sites move the line and spread to balance the action.
That means encouraging more people to bet the other way by making the line more appealing for the upcoming Sunday night football game. This reduces risk for the sportsbook, who wants to have an equal handle on each team.
NFL moneyline betting continues to gain popularity as many begin to understand the value of moneyline bets, especially in betting the long shots. In this type of bet, your team needs only to win the game “straight up” (SU), and there is no requirement for how many points they need to win by. The juice is the only number you really have to pay attention to with moneyline, where the negative value indicates the favorite (-140) and a positive one means underdog (+120).
For example, if you want to pick that -140 favorite, you’ll need to risk $140 in order to win $100. To bet on the +120 underdog we mentioned above, you’ll need to bet $100 to win $120 if the dog wins outright.
In many cases, betting moneylines offers better value. They can provide a bigger profit for less risk. Check out our NFL gambling guide to learn more about when you should bet a moneyline.
Totals And OVER/UNDER
Also known as NFL OVER/UNDER betting, the total is the number set by sportsbooks that estimates the total amount of points scored by both teams combined. Bettors then must predict whether there will be more or fewer points than the NFL “total.” If you bet the 37.5 UNDER, you are hoping for a defensive battle and predicting the offenses to struggle. If you bet the 37.5 OVER, you are hoping this will be a high-scoring NFL game.
NFL totals betting has become fairly popular in many football games, especially where the spread is very tight. It also becomes more popular if the matchup points to a certain style of game. The weather can play a huge factor, and rain, wind and cold temperatures can sway the total, and make betting the spread a little less reliable.
NFL prop bets focus on a specific event within an NFL game, but don’t necessarily relate to the result. With thousands of prop markets, you can find NFL betting odds on things like how many yards a quarterback will pass for, if you think there will be a safety, or which player will score the first touchdown.
Gambling On Futures Odds
NFL futures are for the football betting fanatics who wish to wager long in advance on noteworthy NFL events throughout the NFL schedule. NFL future odds focus on the major individual and team achievements every NFL season.
From the offseason, and through the preseason, NFL bettors can bet on NFL divisions, the AFC or NFC Champion, wager on certain teams to make the playoffs (NFL playoff odds), or place bets on the winner of the Super Bowl. Player futures center more on predicting beneficiaries of prominent NFL awards like Most Valuable Player, Offensive Rookie of the Year, or Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Like the old cliché goes, timing is everything, and that applies to successful futures bets as well. The sooner you tackle the action, the greater the payout will be if you win the bet. Having said that, you will have more data to assess the longer you wait to wager on a futures bet.
NFL Odds Betting FAQ
How are NFL odds determined?
The betting favorite is displayed with a minus sign (-) followed by a number. That number represents the amount of money that has to be bet in order to win $100. The underdog, however, is listed with a plus sign (+) in front of a number. That number indicates how much you would win when you bet $100.
What does +200 mean in NFL odds?
An NFL money line of +200 means that you would win $200 on a successful $100 wager. That's also equivalent to fractional odds of 2/1, decimal odds of 3.00, and implied odds of 33.33 percent. A negative money line of -200 means that you would have to wager $200 in order to win $100.
Why would you bet on negative NFL odds?
If the NFL odd is negative (-), it means that outcome is more likely to occur and making a bet on that outcome would payout less than the amount you wagered. If the NFL odd is positive (+), it means that outcome is less likely to occur and it would pay out more than the amount you wagered.