Learn How to Bet on Football

Football season is high season for bettors and Vegas alike. With so many college games and of course the NFL, there is almost always a game to bet on from September through January.

Since sportsbooks recognize the appetite to bet on football, there is no shortage of ways to bet on football.

Betting the Point Spread
Wagering on the point spread is by far the most popular way to bet on football.

The point spread is a number the odds-makers come up with in order to level the playing field of the two opposing teams. Basically, the favored team will be spotting the underdog a certain amount of points. In order for those who bet on the favorite to win their wager, the favorite must win the game by more than the point spread. If the favorite wins the game by fewer points than the point spread or lose the game altogether, those that wagered on the underdog would win their bet.

Here is an example of how to bet the point spread on a football game. Let’s say the Colts are seven point favorites versus the 49ers. If you backed the Colts (-7) they would have to win the game by at least eight points in order for your wager to be a winner. Conversely, if you bet on the 49ers (+7), the 49ers would need to lose the game by no more than six points to win the wager. If the 49ersĀ thesoccerzoo ended up beating the Colts outright, the 49ers (+7) wager would also be a winner. Finally, if the Colts won the game by exactly seven points, the wager would be considered a ‘push’ and you would have you wager refunded, or ‘no actioned’.

Betting the Total

Also known as the over/under, the ‘total’ is a predicted number of combined points between two opposing football teams. You have the option of either betting the ‘over’ or the ‘under’. If you wagered on the ‘over’, the two teams must combine for more points than the listed ‘total’ in order for the wager to win. If you backed the ‘under’, the two teams can not combine to score more points than the listed ‘total’ in order to cash.

For example, a sports book has the ‘total’ for the Ravens vs. Steelers game at 38. If the two teams combine for 39 or more points, ‘over’ wagers will win while ‘under’ wagers would lose. However, if they combined for fewer than 39 points, ‘under’ wagers would win while ‘over’ wagers would lose. If the final combined total points fell on exactly 38 points, both ‘over’ and ‘under’ bets would be graded as a ‘push’ resulting in bets being ‘no actioned’.