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The NFL season is by far one of the most anticipated times of the year. From watching football on Sunday’s with your family to hitting up bars for some Monday night football, there’s a little bit for everyone. However, there’s no question that the NFL odds season becomes much more entertaining when you have something on the line. Naturally, online NFL betting makes games all the more captivating and gives you extra bagging rights over your friends. So how exactly does one bet on NFL games?

How to bet on NFL Games Online

Once you’ve gone ahead and created a betting account, you’ll be ready to make some wagers on NFL games with the best odds. It goes without saying that the point of betting on NFL games online is to correctly predict the outcome of a given game. Subsequently, games that are more difficult to predict will offer more lucrative payouts. Likewise, games that are easy to predict will have less appealing payouts. But before you get ready to make some daring predictions, it’s important to have some preliminary knowledge of the types of bets available to you.

Most Common NFL Betting Odds/Lines

Without a doubt, the most common NFL betting lines consist of betting straight up (NFL money line), betting against the spread, or betting on the over/under (TOTAL). Below we’ll be taking a more in-depth look at these NFL betting odds so you can have a comprehensive understanding of what’s at stake. But first, here’s what a normal NFL betting line will look like during the regular season. The line is read from left to right. It starts with the name of the team, then the spread line, the totals and the money line. The first two have the number at which the line is set at followed by the vig. We’ll cover the vig below when we look at how to find value when betting on NFL games online.

Packers +3½ (-110) 45½ (-115) +150
Bears -3½ (-110) 45½ (-105) -130

Betting NFL Money Line

This is the last column listed above and is by far the easiest line to understand. Simply but, you are wagering on which side will come out on top. As can be seen, the Green Bay Packers are pegged as the underdog while the Chicago Bears open up as sportsbook favorites.

The vig for a money line starts at -110. This simply means that you need to bet $110 in order to be eligible to win $100 (if your prediction is true). Using the above listed example, if you wanted to bet on the Chicago Bears, you would have to bet $130 in order to win $100. If you placed a $130 bet on the Bears and they win, you would receive $230 in your account (the original bet + the winnings). On the other hand, betting on the underdog can be a bit more rewarding. Since the Packers are the underdog and are likely to lose, you only need to bet $100 in order to be eligible to win $150. In short, a $100 bet on Green Bay would net you $250 in your account if they do come out on top.

Betting NFL Spread

The spread gives you a little more leeway when making predictions. Betting against the spread is a little more complicated than betting straight up. Here you’re not betting on a team to win or lose but to cover the spread. So how does a team cover the spread?

Using the above listed example, we can see that the Bears are favored on the spread (they have a -3 ½ while Green Bay has a +3 ½). What this means is that Chicago needs to win this game by more than 3 ½ points in order to cover the spread. Likewise, the Packers need to upset the Bears or lose by less than 3 ½ points to cover the spread. Below we’ll cover some examples to bring you up to speed.

Chicago Wins 30-24 || Here Chicago won by 6-points so they covered the 3 ½ point spread.

Chicago Wins 30-27 || Here Chicago won by 3-points so they did not cover the 3 ½ point spread.

Chicago Wins 28-24 || Here Chicago won by 4-points so they did cover the 3 ½ point spread.

Betting NFL TOTALs

Betting NFL TOTALs (over/under) is easier to understand than betting the spread. Here you are betting on how many points will be scored in a given game. Sticking with the same example, we can see that the line is set at 45 ½ points here. If you want to bet the OVER (which means that there will be more than 45 ½ points scored on this game) you would take the line on top. Likewise, if you want to take the UNDER, you would take the bottom line. For this example the vig is the same but sometimes it can vary from the OVER to the UNDER.