Using Point Spread in Your NFL Betting

On October 28, 1992, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was written into law forbidding sports betting in the vast majority of American states. In May 2018, the Supreme Court struck down PASPA after ruling that it was unconstitutional.

Since then, sports betting has been legal on a federal level leading a number of states to open up and regulate their own sports betting industries. One of the major beneficiaries of this decision has been the NFL which has been able to strike up lucrative sponsorship deals with betting companies.

Another beneficiary has been the ordinary football fan, who for the first time in decades, has been able to turn their obsession with football into profits with NFL point spread betting. Interested in learning more about this new trend of NFL sports betting? Read on.

What is Point Spread Betting?

It is one of the most popular ways to bet with American sports fans and fortunately, it’s incredibly easy to understand as well. To best understand spread betting, let’s take a look at an example from the coming week:

Team Points Spread Odds Odds to Win
Detroit Lions +7 -110 +245
Dallas Cowboys -7 -110 -295

In this example, the Dallas Cowboys are the favourites with the sportsbook which can be seen from the odds and the points spread. Whilst a straightforward bet on the Cowboys to win would most likely result in a profit, the winnings would be meagre.

To add spice to the bet, someone might not only back the Cowboys to win but back them to beat the points spread too. In order for the bet to come off, the Dallas Cowboys would have to beat the Detroit Lions by a clear 7 points.

If you backed both of those outcomes with a $100 bet and it came in, your total winnings would be $155.62 whereas a straightforward single on the Cowboys at $100 would return a meagre $33.90 in winnings.

If you were a dejected Detroit Lions fan and wanted to give yourself something to cheer for in what looks set to be a tough game, you could back the +7 points spread. That would make you a winner if your team avoided losing by 6 points or more.

What is Point Spread Betting
What is Point Spread Betting

Why Spread Bet?

If you were to just bet on the outrights then games like the one used in the example above wouldn’t be much fun. There’s not an awful lot of money to be made from backing the favourites in every head-to-head game.

When you add in a point spread, you increase the odds and potentially increase your winnings too. It’s not just money that makes spread betting appealing though, it’s also a way to make the mundane more exciting.

Much in the same way that Fantasy Football has you taking an interest in teams and players you wouldn’t usually care about spread betting keeps you engaged right to the very end, even in the most one-sided of contests.

Things to Consider Before Spread Betting

Before you click out of this article and go to an online sportsbook to place your first spread bet, here are a few things to consider before placing your first wager:

Form: There are a number of factors to consider before making any sporting bet, but the most important in almost every scene is form. Which teams are heading into the game riding the crest of a wave and which are in the doldrums? 

How emphatically have the form team been winning? How dramatic have the collapses of the out-of-form team been? See if you can notice trends in scoring too that might make your spread bet a little more educated.

Injuries: The Philadelphia Eagles have been the most impressive team in the NFL this season, outscoring their opponents at will. Take out Jalen Hurts, A.J. Brown and Miles Sanders from their next line-up and suddenly their offensive output would hit the floor.

So before you make your spread bet, take a look at the injury list of both teams to avoid making an easily avoidable mistake.

Past Results: No matter how good the Washington Redskins are doing, they always seem to come up short against the Atlanta Falcons. Likewise, since the early noughties, the Philadelphia Eagles always seem to get the better of the New York Giants.

Pay attention to these little foibles when you make your bets. Check the head-to-head records and go online to see what the fans are saying. It’s a great way to exploit the odds and make a pretty profit.

Spread betting is a great way to double up your bet and add a little extra intrigue into games that would otherwise be dead rubbers. Don’t rush in though and take the first bet you see. 

Do your research first and make sure you’re in the know before you place that first wager.