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What to Know About NFL Betting Lines

Posted by: Hilbert Mayer
NFL Betting Lines

At our site, you can bet on all of the NFL games. You can bet on the quarters, halves, and everything else. If there’s a way to get a bet down on an NFL game, you can probably do it at our site. However, to get the most out of your betting, you have to understand a bit about how NFL betting lines work. They can seem a little confusing at first to the layperson, but once you get the hang of them, you can use them to your betting advantage. 

NFL Betting Lines Explained

In NFL games, there’s a winner and a loser. You can pick who the winner and loser is going to be for a game and bet that. You can do what’s called betting on an “outright” winner, in which case you’ll pick a team to win or lose the game. That’s not exactly how our betting lines work, however. Instead, they handicap the games. This can feel like it makes it more difficult to pick the winner or loser, but really, it makes it so that the games are more even. It can also go on to reward someone who really does the research into the two teams. Betting lines make betting more exciting, and ultimately more lucrative. 

At our site, the lines we give you explain who is favored and who isn’t during the game. For example, as of this writing, there’s a Thursday Night Football game just around the corner. The favorite in this game is favored, as of right now, by four and a half points. That means that the professional handicappers, setting the betting line for this game, have decided that they are probably going to win by 4.5 points. All bets on this game can be made accordingly. 

Now, if you’ve watched, well, literally any football game in your life, then you know that there sure aren’t any “half points” being awarded. You don’t get half a point for kicking the ball through the uprights or something on a kickoff (although, that is one point in the Canadian Football League). Instead, this betting line forces someone who wants to bet on this game to pick a side, to pick a winner, and go with their instinct accordingly. 

NFL Betting Lines

Things to Keep in Mind About NFL Betting Lines 

Going back to the upcoming Thursday Night Football game, the road team is favored by four and a half points. That means, perhaps paradoxically, that their line is written as “-4.5.” That might be confusing at first. You might think: “wait, if they’re favored, why do they have a minus sign next to their number?” Well, the reason for that is, they’re “giving” the points. They’re favored by that much. 

The minus sign makes sense if you look at it in the context of the final score. For example, if they win the game 32-28, then you would take that -4.5 and apply to their score. Then, if you had bet the game with the line it had, they would have lost the game, (all due to that half point). That’s the importance of the betting line: it can make quite a difference. 

The same works, by the way, with the team that’s the underdog in the game. You might see them listed as +4.5. The same rule works here. Then, you would take the final score and add that 4.5. So, in a 32-28 game, you would add the 4.5 to their score, and suddenly, they’ve pulled off a tight win for the folks who bet on them, coming out on top 32.5 to 32. Of course, that’s no comfort to the actual players who actually lost the game, but it can make the bettors quite happy. 

What Goes into Lines 

Handicappers take practically everything into account to determine these lines. Injuries, past records, trends and more all go into it — as does location. Location is more important than most fans realize. In fact, a simple rule of thumb is that you get three points simply for playing the game in your home stadium. So, if the road team is favored by 4.5, then if the game were at their stadium, they would probably be favored by 7.5. Home field can make a big difference, as it can be so difficult to win on the road in the National Football League. 

Of course, at our site, you can find all of the lines, constantly updated. See, we make sure to keep an eye on the lines throughout the week. As soon as the national line changes, we make sure to change it on our site, too. That way, our players are always getting the right line for the game. That said, we know that many of our players don’t want to bet the line that’s given, but they do want to bet the game. That’s why we have so many other bets available, right at our site.