NFL Picks Against The Spread, Money Line, and Over/Under - (2024)

Key NFL betting terms to know:Against the spread:

While there is an outright winner and loser in football games, there is also a winner and loser against the spread. This refers to the point spread that is determined by oddsmakers and the betting market. If Dallas is -7.5, it is considered the 7.5-point favorite and must win by eight points or more to cover.

Money line:

WThis is the simplest way to bet on a game and refers to the outright winner. However, large favorites could have large money lines, which means you'll need to bet a lot to make a small profit. Bettors usually prefer wagering on the underdog in that scenario since a small risk can lead to a large reward.


Often referred to as the total, the over/under is the number of points expected in a game. There are also totals for season wins, player props, and more.


A football parlay is used to combine multiple bets into one wager, creating the opportunity for a massive payday. With football games throughout the weekend, a parlay can be decided in as little as one day or even one game.

Prop bet:

Betting on the spread and total are the most common ways to bet on football, but prop bets have been growing in popularity. They range from things such as a player’s total receiving yards to the odds of overtime happening in a game.


Similar to a parlay, a teaser combines multiple bets into one wager. Unlike a parlay, a teaser uses more favorable spreads at a lower payout. Common types of football teasers are backing two or three teams and moving each spread by six, 6.5 or 7 points.

Buying points:

Some sportsbooks allow bettors to add points to the spread to make it a more favorable wager at worse odds. For example, a bettor could buy three points and turn a 4.5-point underdog into a 7.5-point underdog.


When a bet goes against the public, it is referred to as a contrarian bet. Underdogs are often the contrarian side, as most bettors prefer backing the favorite.

Closing Line:

The final odds posted when the game begins is the closing line. This line can be used to grade ROI (return on investment) and is also referenced in sports betting databases.


With so many sportsbooks taking wagers on games, the consensus gives bettors an idea of which team is taking the most money. A consensus bet is one that is generally agreed upon by most bettors.


The team that beats the point spread is the team that covers. An underdog needs to lose by less than the listed spread or win outright, while the favorite needs to win by a larger margin than the spread.


Almost every game has a favorite, which is the team that is expected to win. Money line bets on the favorite pay less money than bets on the underdog, although the spread is generally the same return on both sides.

First half:

Some football bets relate only to the opening half of the game. Sportsbooks will also divide bets into quarters, giving bettors many different ways to approach wagering on a contest.


While many bets are posted for individual games, there are also futures bets that often span multiple weeks or months. Common football futures bets are division winners and championship winners. Futures bets can be hard to predict, so they can have large payouts.


The amount of money a sportsbook takes on a game is the handle. The betting splits (ticket count, money) can help shed light on which side the public is on and which side the professionals are on.

Home-field advantage:

Playing at home can be a major advantage in football, and home-field advantage is priced into the betting line. Bettors and oddsmakers do not always agree about how much this is worth, but it is generally estimated to be around 2.5 to 3 points in football, depending on the stadium.


Oddsmakers often attach a half-point, or hook, to the spread or total. Games cannot land on a half point, so the hook guarantees a winner and loser on each side of the bet.


Sportsbooks take a percentage of every bet to ensure profitability in the long run, and this tax is referred to as the juice. There is usually more juice associated with futures bets than with single-game wagers.

Key Number:

Football has more key numbers than any sport, as teams tend to win by a field goal or a touchdown. Games land on three points more than any other number, making it the most important key number in football.

Laying the points:

When a bettor wagers on the favorite to cover the spread, it is called laying the points. A bettor laying 3.5 points would need the team to win by at least four points.


The most basic football sports betting term is the betting line or odds. Sportsbooks set an opening line and the odds are adjusted after bettors begin wagering. Monitoring line movement is one factor that bettors use to place smart bets.

Live Betting:

Pre-game betting is still the most common way to bet on a game, but live betting has created a chance for bettors to wager throughout the contest. Some sportsbooks update their futures odds in the middle of games as well.

Point spread:

Every game has a point spread, which determines the favorite and the underdog. Teams are commonly favored by three or seven points in football.


When a game lands exactly on the betting line, it results in a push. Some of the common pushes in football are when teams win by three or seven points. Bettors get their original stake back in the case of a push, which can be disappointing or relieving based on the flow of the game.

Reverse line movement:

The line will occasionally move in the opposite direction of the public betting action. This usually happens due to large bets from professionals or inside injury information.

Taking the points:

Opposite of laying the points is taking the points, which is a point-spread bet on the underdog. Betting on a 7.5-point underdog would be called taking the points, and the team would need to lose by seven points or less (or win).

NFL Picks Against The Spread, Money Line, and Over/Under - (2024)


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