Football Betting Lines

Betting Lines

Before placing a wager on the favored team, or on the underdog, a bettor should always know and understand what the betting lines are and how to use them in their favor. These football betting lines can be found at any of the many different online sportsbooks, including the U.S. friendly Bovada sportsbook. A betting line is the information that is posted about each team that will help influence a decision, i.e. the odds. This is where the oddsmakers, people that research and forecast which team has better odds of winning the match, post these odds for each team. They are usually posted a few days to a week before the game occurs; in some instances they change as time progresses. This is why understanding the three main betting lines used to wager in football is important. These three are the Money line, Halftime, and Spread bets.


Money line Bet

The money line is one type of betting that most sportsbooks use, as it is the simplest and easiest to understand; it is a straight bet. The bettor does not have to think of anything else other than which team they believe will win or lose. When the oddsmakers determine which team is more likely to win and lose, they post two bits of important information.

The favorite, referring to the team that has better chances of winning will have a ­ sign in front of a number value. As for the underdog, they will have a + sign in front of a number value. These symbols merely tell the bettor which is favored to win; what actually drives the profit and payout amount is the number value. Depending on the number, bettors can easily tell how much money they will make from a bet. A good example was the match between the 2012 Super Bowl contenders, the New England Patriots versus the New York Giants.

Patriots -115
Giants +140

The payout is different between betting on the favorite and the underdog. The number value in front of the favorite, in this case the Patriots, the better would have to wager $115 in order to win $100. On the other hand, if a bettor places a wager on the Giants, for every $100 they bet, they will earn $140 in return. The payout for the favorite is lower since they have higher odds of winning.


Halftime Bet

The halftime bet is also a straight bet, but instead of betting on which team will win the game, it depends on which team will outscore the other team in that particular half; more often than not, it is the first half. The odds usually look like this:

Patriots 15
Giants +140

This means that the bettor has picked the Giants to win the first half, and for every $100 wagered, they will win $140; however, if they had bet on the Patriots to win, they would get $120 for every $100 bet. With this straight bet, it just depends on the Giants winning the half. The number in front of the losing team, in this case the 15, is used when there is an Over or Under bet being made; this is an additional type of betting. The halftime line bet is one of the most common types of betting for football.


Spread Bet

The spread, also known as a Point Spread bet, is a wager much like the money line bet but with an added difficulty level. The bettor must pick a winner, not just based on what the odds are, but also based on how many points the chosen team will win by. They usually keep the same odds that were used for the money line bet, but instead of showing the betting odds, they will show the point spread.

Patriots -6
Giants +6

Depending on which team the bettors picks, they will need to cover the 6-point spread. In other words, the winning team must win by more than 6 points; if the team tie’s with the point spread, the money is returned with no winnings. This is a somewhat more difficult bet to make, but the returns could be higher than a simple straight bet.


Betting Choices

With the above three main betting lines that can be found at online sportsbooks, bettors can take their time and pick which team to bet on, along with which betting type to use. Most inexperienced bettors will stick to the straight bets such as the money line, but over time they can start taking risks that could increase their payout. Understanding how betting works is the first step to betting smart and winning money.