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Football Betting Lines Explained

The novice football bettor may be a bit overwhelmed when they first create an account at an online Sportsbook and then look at the posted NFL betting lines. Most bets with your buddy will be on what NFL team will win straight up or who will cover the spread. This guide give you the basic types of Football wager types associated with a betting line.

Football Betting Line

A betting line is a posted number that the online Sportsbook posts for each game in a certain sport. The betting line will have different wager options within the betting line. Bookmakers will post odds on who they think will win the game. The betting line will usually show a favorite and an underdog. The example below will show what a NFL betting line looks like at one of our recommended Sportsbooks Bodog.com - Bovada.com.

Team Point Spread Moneyline Total
New York Giants +3 (-110) +140 33O(-110)
Detroit Lions -3(-110) -160 33U(-110)

Moneyline Wager

The Moneyline wager means you are picking who you think will win the game straight up. In the example above, the Moneyline odds on the New York Giants are +140. In this example the New York Giants are the underdog. The +140 means that for every $100 you wager you will win $140. You do not have to wager $100. The betting line is a payout ratio odds and will be scaled to your actual wager. The favorite in this example is the Detroit Lions denoted by the -160. You have to risk $160 to win $100.

NFL Point Spread Wager

The Point Spread is one of the most popular wagers in NFL Football betting. You need to cover the Point Spread to win your wager. For example the Favorite in this game is the Detroit Lions as they have a point spread of -3(-110). For you to win your wager, the Detroit Lions would have have a final score beating the New York Giants by 4 or more points. The (-110) in brackets is the "juice" or "vig" on the wager. Sportsbooks take a standard 10% commission on all wagers. If there is not a -110 beside the point spread it is usually assumed 10% juice. The Underdog in the point spread is the New York Giants +3(-110). For you to win your wager the NY Giants could lose the game by 2 points or less. If the final is score is a margin of 3 points then the wager would be graded a PUSH and the wager amount would be returned to you.

NFL Total Wager

A Total Wager is a bet on the OVER/UNDER for the Total Score at the end of the game of the combined teams. In this betting line the TOTAL is 33 (-110). For you to WIN the OVER TOTAL wager the final score would have to be 34 points combined for both teams. If the TOTAL score is exactly 33 then the wager would be graded a PUSH and your wager would be returned to you.

The NFL betting line in the above example is for the full game. An NFL betting line can also be posted for 1st Quarters(1Q), 1st Half(1H) and 2ND Half(2H). Not all Sportsbooks post 1Q lines for all football games. Professional bettors are known to profit on 1H and 1Q wagers because they are able to handicap NFL games accurately because many NFL coaches script their first half plays. Moreover, 2H bets are very popular because you are able to see how well the team is playing in the first half.

Circled NFL Line

Occasionally you will see a GREEN or RED box around a NFL betting line. When a NFL Point Spread, Moneyline or Total betting line is boxed RED or GREEN this is referred to as a CIRCLED Line. It is also referred to as GREEN or RED Boxed.

Green Circle NFL Betting Line

A GREEN circle means that there are higher bet limits on the betting line and there are no betting restrictions. Very popular NFL nationally televised games are usually GREEN circled due to their popularity.

Red Circle NFL Betting Line

A RED Circle line is one of the most common questions asked by new online Football gamblers. A RED circle line means that there are lower bet limits (usually $500 bet max.) and the bet option cannot be included in Parlays, Teasers, IF Bets and Round Robin Bets. Bookmakers RED circle games to reduce Risk to the Sportsbook. An NFL Game is usually RED circled when a key player is uncertain to play like if QB Peyton Manning was uncertain to play right up to game time. A game may also be RED Circled due to severe whether conditions that could affect the OVER/UNDER Line. Bookmakers will not tell you why they circle games. Each Bookmaker will have their own policy that is set by their risk management team that is headed by their head line maker. Most RED boxed games are removed several hours before kickoff or when a Sportsbook gets accurate information to put out new NFL betting line.

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