We all do it. Whether it’s with an office pool, a fantasy league, Proline or online sportsbooks, the games are always more fun when you can make football predictions.
We’ve all heard of point spread picks. But did you know about the many other types of NFL lines?
Here’s a dozen ways to get down on this week’s games.
1. NFL point spread picks
Point spread picks are the most popular method of NFL betting.
Point spreads are a handicap applied to each team’s NFL lines by oddsmakers. The spread is designed to generate 50/50 action on both sides.
If you bet on a favourite on the point spread, they need to win by more than the point spread (3.5 points, for example) for you to win your bet.
If you bet on an underdog, they can either win the game or lose by less than the point spread for you to win your bet.
If the final score is the same as the point spread (3-point favourite wins by 3, for example), your bet will push and your money will be refunded.
2. NFL over/unders
Also known as totals, NFL over/under is a commonly-used method of football betting.
When betting NFL over/under, you decide whether there will be more (over) or less (under) points scored in a game than the total that the oddsmakers posted.
If the total is 45 and the score of the game is 31-20 (51 points combined), the game went over. If the total is 45 and the score is 21-20 (41 points combined), the game went under.
3. NFL moneylines
Moneylines are a rarely-used method for football betting.
A moneyline requires you to risk more when you bet on a favourite. On the other hand, it gives a greater reward when you bet on an underdog.
The moneyline is based on each team’s probability of winning. A 2-point favourite might be -150 on the moneyline (bet 150 to win 100). A 14-point favourite might be -500 on the moneyline (bet 500 to win 100).
4. NFL live betting
Live betting is quickly becoming a very popular method of NFL betting.
Instead of having to make your NFL spread picks or over/under picks before the game begins, live betting allows you to see some of the action before making your bet.
NFL lines change drastically in live betting, depending on the flow of the game. If a big favourite falls behind early, for example, their point spread will be lower than it was at the start of the game.
You can bet on point spreads, over/unders, moneylines and other props through NFL live betting.
5. NFL first half betting/second half betting
Instead of wagering on the entire game, you can also wager on the first half or second half NFL lines.
First half NFL lines are based on the pre-game odds. A 6-point favourite would probably be a 3-point favourite in the first half. If the total is 42 for the whole game, it might be 21 for the first half.
Second half NFL lines are partly based on pre-game odds and partly based on game flow. If a 10-point favourite trails at halftime by 6 points, they might be a 7-point favourite in the second half.
You can bet on point spreads, over/unders and moneylines through first half/second half football betting.
6. NFL quarters betting
Just like first half/second half betting, quarters betting allows you to do football betting on a shorter period than the entire game.
Some sportsbooks offer NFL lines for each quarter of the game before the game starts.
You can bet on point spreads, over/unders and moneylines through NFL quarters betting.
7. NFL team totals
Team totals in football betting are like NFL over/under, except you are only betting on how many points one of the teams will score.
An over/under will be posted for points scored by each team in a game. You can then select whether a team will score more (over) or less (under) points than their team total.
8. NFL teasers
A popular football betting strategy is to bet football teasers.
Teasers allow you to make the football point spread picks after moving the NFL lines in your favour. In return, you have to pick two or more games (and get them all right) to win your bet.
A 6-point teaser is most common in football betting. If you do 6-point football teasers with a 7-point favourite and a 10-point favourite, they only need to win by 1 point and 4 points, respectively.
Sportsbooks vary on their football teasers payouts, but a 6-point, 2-game teaser pays -110 odds at Pinnacle Sports and Bet365.
9. NFL pleasers
Pleasers in NFL betting are the opposite of football teasers.
Instead of moving the NFL lines in your favour, you move them against you. You still need to pick two or more games (and get them all right) to win your bet.
The advantage of NFL betting pleasers is the huge payout if you win one. The obvious downside is that your point spread picks now need to cover a more difficult number.
Not all sportsbooks offer NFL pleasers.
10. NFL parlay betting
Parlay betting is when you pick two or more outcomes on a single wager.
In return for having to be correct on several games to win your bet, the parlay odds are larger.
Parlay betting is commonly used in NFL betting, though it’s not generally a winning strategy.
There are times, however, that they can come in handy. Instead of laying heavy juice on two big favourites, you can parlay them together and get close to even odds, if not better.
Or, there are occasions when you can find two outcomes that are more likely to happen in tandem, known as a correlated parlay.
11. NFL futures betting
NFL futures lines allow you to bet on things like SuperBowl odds, season over/under win totals, conference champions and division winners.
The payouts can be quite large when betting NFL futures lines. Even the Super Bowl betting favourite will usually pay at least 5:1 on SuperBowl odds.
Another nice thing about NFL betting futures is that you can hedge (lock in a profit) when the playoffs start. Let’s say you have the Steelers +1000 on SuperBowl odds and they make the playoffs. You can then bet a little bit against them each round, guaranteeing yourself a profit whether they win the Super Bowl or not.
The biggest downside to NFL futures betting is that it ties up your money for the entire season. If you do NFL futures betting, make sure it’s not with money that you’ll need for your regular bets.
12. NFL Prop Bets
Everyone knows about SuperBowl prop bets. You know, when it seems you can bet on everything from the coin toss to the colour of Tom Brady’s underwear. (Our money’s on pink, by the way.)
But did you know there are NFL prop bets offered every week in the NFL?
Bodog and Sports Interaction, in particular, do a nice job offering NFL prop bets during the regular season. You can bet on team accomplishments (first to score, total touchdowns, quarters won), player accomplishments (total receiving yards, total completed passes) and more.