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How to Bet the NFL

NFL odds.

NFL odds at a Las Vegas sportsbook.

The NFL is the most popular sport to bet on in the United States. So it’s not surprising that there are a myriad of ways to bet on NFL action throughout the year. Even before the season starts, bettors can place prop bets on the total number of wins or the teams that will make it to the Super Bowl. Once the season starts, there are plenty of individual games bets available for players.

When learning how to bet on NFL games, most novices stick to point spreads.If you look at the photo above, you’ll see game No. 401 vs. 402, which is the Vikings at the Rams. The Vikings are 10-point favorites, as signified by the -10 after their name. This means if you bet on the Vikings they must win by 11 or more points for you to win your bet, as for betting purposes, you are going to subtract 10 points from their final score. If you bet on the Rams, they can lose by nine points or less, or win the game, and you will win your bet, as you are basically adding 10 points to their final score for betting purposes. If the Vikings win by exactly 10 points, it is a tie or a “push” and there is no action.


The number “41” after the Rams is the over/under or total on the game. When you wager on a total, you are predicting that the combined final score will be over 41 points or under 41 points. If the Vikings win 34-10, the game has gone over the total. If the Vikings win 34-6 the game has gone under the total. Again, if the Vikings win by a score of 34-7 the game is a push and will be considered no action (you’ll get your money back).


If you look at the game right below the Vikings and Rams, you will see that the Cowboys are favored by 8 points against the Chiefs and the total on the game is 42.5.

While point spread and over/under wagers are the most popular NFL bets, you can also bet the moneyline. Moneyline wagers do not use a point spread and you must simply pick the winner of the game. The -600 after the Vikings is their moneyline price, which in this case, means you must risk $600 to win $100 if you bet the Vikings. (You can also risk $30 to win $5, as you do not have to bet in $100 increments, but odds are given in $100 increments because they are easier to read.) The +400 after the Rams means that you will risk $100 to win $400 if you bet that the Rams will win the game. Likewise, you can bet $20 to win $80 on the Rams, as you do not have to wager $100.