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NFL Betting Spreads Explained

NFL Betting Spreads Explained

NFL Betting Spreads Insights

The NFL is home to lots of quirks. It’s built so much of a cultural sphere of influence that people speak using its linguistic leanings.

Everyone is familiar with the term ‘spread.’

In parts of the World where soccer is king, betting any team to win with multiple goals in-hand is unusual, so the emphasis is on the match-winner.

But in the NFL, oftentimes the teams are so overmatched that you simply have to find the correct balance between them.

It’s seen as a much more intellectually challenging thing to do and can actively explain the likelihood of an outcome between teams.

NFL Betting Spreads – Quick Insight Into the Game

By nature, it’s informative. And it gives you a preview of the game without any words. It’s snappy and it entices you into a betting market for longer – knowing that if your team is down by three scores, you’re not out of it because you have 14 points on your side.

Welcome the fun, whimsical nature of taking dog points and laying fav scores.

But how do they work? Is there a strategy behind winning spread bets? What’s the intel? Are there things I should avoid?

Here’s your guide.

NFL Betting Spreads – How Are They Compiled?

In order for you to master them, it’s important to understand how they’re compiled.

First-off, oddsmakers look at sheer form. No matter what, that’ll be the key factor. Good teams generally beat bad teams so that’s the constant.

But the second-most important aspect is the venue of the game. Home teams, as a general rule, are given a three-point advantage.

Some home stadiums are louder than others, meaning it’s a bigger advantage and some are further away.

Some are also further away for visiting teams. So, think about the logistics of it. If you had to travel further, by the time you’re there, you’re less likely to be at your peak due to fatigue.

And finally, the turnaround in games. For example, here’s the worst case scenario: a team from Florida plays in Washington state on Sunday night prime time. They’re then playing in the Thursday night game in New England.

Lots of miles, not so much time. Starting to get the picture?

How Do They Move?

First off, spreads will move in accordance with the amount invested in the propositions. So if every bettor is backing the Bills (-5), it would cause a massive potential liability for a bookmaker. Therefore, they would try to lay off that liability by adding another half-point to the spread.

Your money dictates bookmakers’ fear and anxiety. If that empowers you, more power to you.

They also move due to adverse weather conditions. If a game is going to feature heavy winds or snow, then the spread is going to tighten because there’ll be fewer points scored.

Consider a quarterback attempting to throw a ball in severe wind? Doesn’t happen. Hands too cold to grip properly in the snow?

And the final thing to factor is injuries. The NFL has a very strict injury designation process. For Sunday games, teams must list injury status for each player from Wednesday til Friday.

If a quarterback is questionable throughout, it’ll affect significantly – and if that moves to probable or better, you’ll see a seismic shift.


Always be a couple of weeks ahead.

Plan for your stance well in advance, and don’t be one of the people arriving after the lines have moved too far.

If you really believe a team will be underrated in their line early in the week, then make sure to back the early prices.

And if that line moves, you can always double down to try and cover your liability. If anything drastic occurred, you might even be in a situation whereby you’ve backed both teams with points in hand.

Or maybe you’ve seen a weather report? Just on that before it snowballs.

Perhaps you spot a tendency that oddsmakers don’t? Certain teams struggle against particular opposition? Remember how many people out there give professional advice, so once a nugget is thought of, it goes viral – everywhere.

Believe in your instincts.

Understand Scoring 

There are some spreads that don’t get used frequently – like 0.5 points.

The reason for that is because games can go to overtime and, unless specified, overtime counts in the scoring.

If you’ve backed a half-point either side, then it makes no sense unless the game actually ends in a time. You generally get one of those a year so good luck to you.

Most games seem to have a multiple of three, four or seven between them. That’s the most common outcome, so avoid backing +2.5, or -4.5 more often than not.

Also think about whether or not teams kick field goals on fourth and short or whether they prefer to go for it. That impacts the field goals versus touchdowns – and also factor in teams that frequently go for two rather than kicking PATs.

This might seem granular but I promise you the pros know all about it.


Eventually, teams just want to win. If teams are up big at various points, always back the underdogs. This is particularly important for two reasons.

The first being that defenses play soft eventually. That means, simply put, that you would, as a defense, allow a lot of underneath passes to be completed and points to be scored once it was taking time off the clock.

So, in theory, points are a good exchange for time for teams that are winning.

It usually means that twenty-point leads end up being ten-point leads.

Another instance is that when teams get so far ahead, they just take out their starting key players.

A quarterback dicing you up all game? He’ll be pulled. Can’t guard a receiver? Likely gone when the result is beyond doubt.

Always factor in psychology and the fact that everyone just wants to win – so doing it by wide margins really matters to nobody anymore.

You can bet on the NFL here at VIPCasino.


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