Understanding the Odds in Professional Football

Understanding the Odds in Professional Football
Whether you play fantasy football, follow your college team or obsessively watch NFL games, knowing the game, your team and their potential becomes a whole new thing when there’s money riding on the game. It’s more than about winning or losing, and your team does not always have to win for you to win.
Odds Are More Profitable in the NFL
Predicting the result of a college football game may be easier than an NFL game as good teams are noticeably better than those with less talent. However, there are many advantages to betting on the NFL. There is generally more information available, returns are usually higher, there are fewer teams and there are always people who bet on their favorite team whether they are favored to win - or not.
One of the most important things to know is that the odds are decided by bookmakers and not by someone in the National Football League, and there may be some variations between establishments. Each betting service has a team of experts that take everything into consideration from player injuries, referees, and past performances of team interactions to fan influence and history of home and away wins.
All of this information is gathered and bookmakers set odds in one of several ways, allowing for a variety of bets. Understanding how odds work is important when you are considering an online or local sporting bet.
Types of Odds in Football
There are three types of odds you will experience, whether online or in person:
  • Moneyline: This wager is based on who will win the even outright, regardless of the point spreads or any other variable. If you bet on the winning team, you will win no matter what. How much you win is based on true odds.
Teams are given a positive (+120) or negative (-140) value. The negatively valued team is favored, and the negative value tells one how much they have to put down to win back $100. The positive number tells one how much they will win with a $100 bet.
  • Point Spread: With a points spread wager, you can win on either the winning or losing team as long as the win is within the margin of the published spread. If team A is favored to win by 7 points, they must win by more than 7 points. If team B is predicted to lose by 7 points, and you bet on them, they must either win or lose by less than 7 points.
  • Over/Under: This is by far the simplest wager for a novice who loves the game. Sportsbooks will propose a combined total score for a game and fans predict if the total score will be over or under that number.
Formats of Odds
There are also three odds formats based on where you are watching, playing or wagering.
  • American Odds: These have become more and more commonplace and are the basis for the money-line wager. The “+” and “-“ signs are used to show whether a team is favored or not and how much one must wager to receive and $100 payout. If the number has a “+” you risk less than $100 to win $100; if it has a “-.” You risk more than the $100.
  • Fractional Odds: These are the easiest to understand. If the fraction is greater than one (3/2 odds), the team is the underdog and one must risk less for greater reward. If the fraction is less than one (4/7 odds), this team is favored and on e must place a higher wager to get the same return.
  • Decimal Odds: Mostly used in Europe, the lower decimal number is the favored. The odds simply mean what the payout will be for every euro wagered. A 1.50 odd will pay back the original 1 plus .50 for each 1 bet.
Take the time to understand the odds for professional football or any other sport. Once you have a grasp of the basics, it opens up a huge variety of bet types to be made at any online or in person establishment.