Understanding NFL Odds Notation

If you plan to wager your hard-earned money on NFL games, it is imperative to understand how to read the odds board and how they are represented with every bet you make.

The official Las Vegas rotation, the spread, over-under totals, and money line wagers (technically) all fall under the term odds and should be connected with every single one of your wagers.

Take a look at this example:

331 EAGLES -4.5   -175
332 COWBOYS   47 +155


The above table represents how an NFL game is positioned on the betting board. You will notice #331 next to the Eagles. This number would represent the Birds for a specific week, and to avoid confusion, making a bet with the number is usually a safe option for the bookmaker and the bettor. Let’s say you placed a wager on New York – is it the Giants or Jets? Using the number would avoid a problem as such.

Next you will notice -4.5, this signifies the spread and that the Eagles are a 4.5-point favorite, meaning they must win the game by at least 5 points to be considered a winning bet. A score of 27-20 is a winner if you backed Philadelphia, but a final of 27-23 would be a loser under the same scenario with Dallas covering the spread.

The total is listed at 47 points, which means you can wager on if the game will finished over or under that combined total. A score of 30-27 is a winning bet for the over, while 20-17 would cash in for under bettors.

The money line eliminates the point spread, but there is a bigger price to pay on the favorite. If you bet Philly on the money line all they need to do is win the game, but you must put up $175 to win $100, subsequently you would win $155 for ever $100 you laid on Dallas to win the game outright.

Once you learn and are able to read NFL odds, you should be ready to make bets with a basic understanding of how the point spread, total and money line options work to go along with the rotation numbers.

However, prior to making NFL bets, check out the latest live odds from some of the most reputable online sportsbooks. You will notice the games are displayed very similar to the above example.

To become a successful bettor, you must analyze each game so that you can put yourself in a better position to beat the odds.

John Boarman
John Boarmanhttp://www.tireball.com
Founder and Owner of Tireball Sports.

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