nfl betting examples

If you have ever wondered how NFL odds work, what types of sports-bets one can make on pro-football, as well as what kinds of betting strategies professional sports bettors employ, this post is full of useful tips.

Americans LOVE to bet on football. In fact Super Bowl LVII saw an estimated 50 million adults placing sports bets on “The Big Game”.

Legal Land-Based & Online Sportsbooks

If you live in the US, Legal and regulated USA sportsbooks should be your first stop when embarking on any form of sports-betting. If there are any issues with payouts, you can be sure that regulators will make sure that you get paid out, and there is no “monkey business” going on.

There are also numerous international betting sites (known as offshore sportsbooks) which have been servicing the American betting market for over a decade. Many of these sites have good reputations, however banking fees can be a headache, and there is no regulator to step in in case of any disputes.

Sportsbook Bonuses & Line-Shopping

Online betting-sites and sportsbooks attract new customers via a combination of advertising and via sign up bonuses. Sportsbook bonuses are a great way to boost your initial betting bankroll. they come in various forms, and always have important terms and conditions attached which you must take time to understand in order to maximize your potential payouts.

It pays to claim as many sign-up bonuses as possible – so often times bettors will spread their bankrolls across a number of sites, which also enables line-shopping – looking for the best odds across multiple bookmakers.

Generally speaking, sportsbook welcome bonuses come in one of 3 distinct types:

  • First-Deposit bonuses (matched bonuses – e.g deposit $200 and get $200 bonus)
  • Second-chance bets
  • Bet & Gets.

Sports bettors need to adopt a different approach when claiming each bonus type in order to maximize their bonus ROI. This can mean betting on Team A to win on one site with a bonus, and betting on the opposing team in a second sportsbook, again with bonus funds, to guarantee profit regardless of the outcome of the game.

Note that reading and understanding bonus the terms and conditions are essential – as usually bonuses have play-through requirements attached to the bonus funds which means this “free money” cannot be instantly cashed out (instead it must be wagered a number of times).

NFL Moneyline Betting – An Example

Let’s say there’s a game between the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs with the following advertised moneyline odds from a sportsbook:

  • New England Patriots: -150
  • Kansas City Chiefs: +130

These odds tell us how much you can win or need to wager on each team:

If you bet on the New England Patriots (-150):

You would need to wager $150 to win $100 if the Patriots win.

If you bet on the Kansas City Chiefs (+130):

A $100 bet on the Chiefs would yield a $130 profit if the Chiefs win.

Possible Betting Outcomes:

  1. If the New England Patriots win the game, and you bet $150 on them, you would receive your initial $150 back plus an additional $100 in profit, for a total of $250.
  2. If the Kansas City Chiefs win, and you bet $100 on them, you would receive your initial $100 back plus an additional $130 in profit, for a total of $230.

NFL – Betting the Spread Example

Let’s say there’s a game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants with the following NFL Odds:

  • Dallas Cowboys: -7.5 (-110)
  • New York Giants: +7.5 (-110)

The point spread indicates the margin of victory that the sportsbook believes will make the game competitive.

If you bet on the Dallas Cowboys (-7.5):

The Cowboys need to win the game by more than 7.5 points for your bet to be a winner.

If you bet on the New York Giants (+7.5):

The Giants can lose the game by up to 7.5 points, or they can win the game outright, for your bet to be a winner.

Betting Outcomes:

  1. If the final score is Dallas Cowboys 24, New York Giants 17, and you bet on the Cowboys (-7.5), you would win your bet because the Cowboys won by more than 7.5 points.
  2. If the final score is Dallas Cowboys 21, New York Giants 14, and you bet on the Giants (+7.5), you would win your bet because the Giants either lost by less than 7.5 points or won outright.

Both sides typically have odds of -110, meaning you would need to wager $110 to win $100 so that the bookmaker makes profit – but odds will vary.

NFL Totals (Over/Under) Betting Example

Betting on NFL totals, also known as Over/Under bets, involves wagering on the total combined score of a game, rather than picking a specific team to win. The sportsbook sets a predicted total number of points for the game, and you can bet on whether the actual total score will be over or under that number. It’s a straightforward way to bet on the offensive and defensive performance of both teams.

Here’s how to bet on NFL totals for a beginner, along with an example:

  1. Choose a Game: Start by selecting an NFL game you want to bet on. You’ll typically see odds for the Over/Under (totals) listed alongside the point spread and Moneyline odds for that game.
  2. Understand the Totals: The sportsbook sets a specific number as the predicted total points for the game. This number includes the combined scores of both teams. For example, let’s say the total is set at 48 points.
  3. Bet on Over or Under:
    • Over: If you think the combined score of both teams will be higher than the set total, you bet on the “Over.”
    • Under: If you believe the combined score will be lower than the set total, you bet on the “Under.”
  4. Place Your Bet: Specify your wager amount and whether you’re betting the Over or Under. The sportsbook will display the odds for each option, which indicates how much you can win based on your bet amount.
David Burke

A computer science graduate living in London, David is an MLB, NFL and NHL fan and general sports-nerd who loves analyzing data to glean useful insights, writing about sports and cheering for underdog.