NFL Betting Odds: How to Know You’re Getting Fair NFL Lines

The key is to find NFL wagers that make you profit. Doing so requires you to look for value. So how do you know you’re making a value play and not accepting underlay odds? Keep reading to make sure you always get nothing but fair odds on every NFL game.

What are NFL Vegas odds?

Every NFL game odds for every NFL squad stems from the Las Vegas opening line. Sin City originates all odds.

Even today, offshore books or any establishment that accepts betting odds on NFL starts by looking at the odds Vegas has assigned.

Why might your NFL lines differentiate from Vegas odds?

They adjust the odds when your book accepts your NFL betting. The more you, or any player, bets, the more the book changes the line.

In almost all cases, line adjustments begin at half a point. Sometimes, with a massive bet, like the $4 million a pro player put on the Carolina Panthers to cover the 2004 Super Bowl versus the New England Patriots (a bet the player hit!), the line can significantly change.

How do early or late NFL lines affect odds?

A good rule to keep in mind? Casual players bet early. Pro players bet late. 

Most casual players like to put dollars behind their favorite team or think about what might happen in the game. Pro players always think of value. 

What are specific bet types?

See below for four specific NFL odds bet types:

1. Against the spread line – Will the squad you like cover the spread?

2. Totals betting – What will be the combined score of both NFL squads? Will it go over the total or under the total?

3. Moneyline – Which squad will win the game straight up?

4. NFL future bets line – Which team will win a future event like the Super Bowl? 

What are NFL point spread bets?

By far, NFL bettors like you wager for or against the point spread. In the past, we used the term beat or cover. Now, most of us say cover

A franchise covers the spread when they win by more than a set amount of points or fail by no more than the same amount.

Check out a recent NFL ATS line:

Arizona +3.5 vs. Los Angeles -3.5

The NFL odds state that Los Angeles must beat Arizona by at least 3.5 points because L.A. has the minus sign. 

Most likely because the game takes place at SoFi Stadium, the Rams start the game in a 3.5 points hole. NFL franchises can’t win by half a point, so Los Angeles must win by at least 4 points. 

The plus sign on Arizona signifies the Cardinals as the underdog. 

The line is 3.5, so Arizona can’t fail by fewer points than 4. If Arizona loses by 4 points, those who backed Arizona lose their bet, and those who supported Los Angeles win their bet.  

If Los Angeles wins by 2, those who bet on Arizona win their bet, and those who bet on Los Angeles lose their bet. If Los Angeles wins by 3, those who bet on Los Angeles failing score profit due to the half a point, and those who bet on Arizona win.

Why sportsbooks don’t care who covers the spread

Books make around 10% on every dollar wagered against the spread. There are two points to make about the betting fee. 

The booking fee, juice or vig are a couple of other names, can rise to significant revenue. Bookmakers pocket the juice. 

Many things happen behind the curtain to ensure the book profits. One of the most popular moves is off-loading or laying off risk to bookmaker partners. 

What are NFL over or under game options?

The total points scored in a game go over or under. If you bet over, you win if the points total is more than the number. 

What are NFL prop bets on football game plays?

With each passing season, and as more states open to sports betting, prop betting has become more popular. Player prop betting has become significantly more popular.

What is betting on player props? Consider a game between Cincinnati and Los Angeles. Both squads boast decent starting game quarterbacks.

Before the game, you, the player, could decide to back either quarterback to pass for over 300 yards, throw at least 2 ½ touchdown passes, or throw at least one pick. Or you could bet on a combo prop that one of the two quarterbacks, or just the QB you favor, does all three.

What are NFL moneyline bets?

NFL odds on straight-up lines always favor the book. Oddsmakers set an ML line that makes it challenging to back favorites or dogs. When you back the SU line, you are neither accepting points nor laying points.

Sportsbooks profit via fees. Those fees happen on spread bets. 

The only way for a sportsbook to profit from a money line is if you lose your wager. So when you play a money line, you are betting against the house. 

What are NFL futures odds?

A future odds line is an option for a future event. Check out a list of the most popular NFL futures.

  • Super Bowl game winner
  • NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year
  • NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year
  • NFL Offensive Player of the Year
  • NFL Defensive Player of the Year
  • NFL Coach of the Year

Future game options pay much more than individual game options. The St. Louis Rams won the 1999 Super Bowl as a 150-to-1 underdog.

Players who bet $100 on the Rams, likely all from St. Louis, saw a $15,000 payout profit and got back $15,150 total.  

Favorites sometimes dominate the Super Bowl. The Green Bay Packers have been victorious in four Super Bowls, and they were preseason SB game favorites before every SB winning season.

FYI, the 2023 Lombardi Trophy football contest occurs at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.   

How can home stadium NFL odds affect the best NFL betting lines?

No U.S. sports-based fan is as passionate as NFL fans. The National Football League boasts a rabid fan base for every home game. 

So why wouldn’t fans for a specific franchise go nuts every time that team plays at home? Fans can carpool to the stadium, chill out during the pregame, barbecue, throw the pigskin around, and have a great time.

It’s tough for visiting teams to win, much less cover the spread in an opposing stadium. Not only that, but the visiting franchise must travel.

When teams on the west side of the nation travel to the east coast, the west coast squad often struggles. East coast teams going to the west coast sometimes struggle because they’re playing three hours later, and NFL kick-off times favor east coast franchises.