Football betting explained, how football odds work
Football bettors world-wide have a good understanding of how the football odds work, but for those of you who are absolutely new to this area of gambling, we have done our best to explain football betting to you in the simplest way possible. Before we begin, note that this is a brief and a basic guide to football betting and the works of the odds. If you are past the beginner stage, you should skip this guide as it will not teach you anything new - visit our betting tips section for intermediate and expert advice. But if your are a newbie in the sports betting, read on to learn about the football odds and how betting on football works.
Ok, if you are a beginner bettor, you have two big questions ahead of yourself - how the whole football betting thing works and how the odds, spread, totals etc. work. We will answer theses questions below in the simplest way possible; don't worry, examples will be included.
Let's begin with football betting explained. Football betting is basically risking money on one or more football games with the purpose of guessing the correct outcome of the football game or games. You place a wager with a sportsbook on a football game and if your prediction is correct - you win money relative to the odds on the correct outcome, and if you are wrong - you lose your wager. In this way football betting is not much different than betting on any other sport. The difference comes when we look at the odds:
How football odds work - this is where the complicated part of football betting comes. When wagering on a football game, you will have three basic choices - line, point spread and total, all three commonly referred to as "odds". Let's look at all three types of football odds with an example. Here are the odds on the Indianapolis Colts vs. Green Bay Packers football game at the online sportsbook Bookmaker:
If this is your first time looking at football odds, the numbers probably mean nothing to you, so let's break them down. In the first column are the football teams competing, in this case the Colts and the Packers. The second column shows the point spread on the game, the third column is the total and in the forth column are the betting lines. We now know what the odds arrangement means, but still have no idea what the terminology stands for. So let's go ahead and explain each of the football betting odds we just mentioned.
The point spread (column 2) - the football point spread is the most popular form of odds on football. In its simplicity, the point spread is a points handicap for the team with the plus "+" sign. In the above example, the plus sign is for the Green Bay Packers and the value is "1", which means that the odds makers are giving the Packers one point advantage, i.e. the game starts from the result "Indianapolis 0 - Green Bay 1" and then you ad the points scored in the game. The number "-110" behind the spread is the payout on that bet. If you bet the spread on the Colts and they win the game by more than one point (i.e. final score-1), your wager will pay out on -110. Here is the best place to explain what that -110 means. In betting, using American odds, the payout takes the form "-" or "+" and then a number, in this case -110. If the sign in front of the number is minus, the number shows you how much you have to risk in order to win $100. In the above case, if you bet on the Colts covering the spread (i.e. the Colts win by more than 1 point) you have to bet $110 to win $100. If the sign in front of the number was "+", the number shows you how much you will win if you bet $100. For example, if the payout on the odds was +190, this means that for every $100 you bet, you will win $190.
The total (column 3) - the total in football betting is the combined score of the game, i.e. the Colts points combined with the Packers points = total points. The odds makers employed by the sportsbooks evaluate past performance (betting trends) and current team conditions and choose a number that best reflects the possible total outcome of the football game. In the example above, the odds makers have decided that the most likely total of the scores by the Packers and Colts will be 47 points and you have to decide whether the final score total will be OVER 47 points or UNDER 47 points (Over is marked with "o" and Under is marked with "u"). Either way you chose, if you are correct you will win $100 for every $110 wagered (-110). If the final score total of the football game is exactly 47 points the bet is called "no action", meaning you neither win nor lose, similar to "push" in blackjack or a draw.
The betting line (column 4) - the betting line is he easiest to play, you simply have to guess which football team will win the game. In the above example, the betting line on the Colts is -120 - means you will have to bet $120 to win $100 if Indianapolis wins the game outright and the betting line on the Packers is "EV", which stands for "EVEN", or you will get even money if the Packers win the game ($100 for every $100 bet). Using the betting lines in football is the easiest way to call a team "favorite" or "underdog" - if the odds on a football team have the minus "-" sign in front, this means that the team is favorite to win the game (you have to bet more to win less than what you bet), if the football team has a plus "+" sign in front of its odds, the team is underdog (you will get even money or win more than your bet).
And here you have it - the football betting explained and how the football odds work. Note, this is just the basic explanation of football betting, read the rest of our free guides to learn the tips and tricks of betting on football.
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