NFL Spread Odds Explained – Guide How to Win NFL Spread Bets

NFL spread bets are among the most popular bet types across all sports betting. By betting the spread, you can take advantage of a handicap for one team, which effectively evens out any disparities that are present on the field.

In this guide, we walk you through everything you need to know about NFL spread bets. Learn how they work and read our expert tips before placing your next sports bet on the spread.

What is an NFL Spread Bet?

An NFL spread is a type of bet that either gives one team a handicap or alternatively, gives one team a boost in the form of point differential. Sportsbooks create NFL spread odds to account for any on-the-field differences, which make for a more exciting way to view the game and bet.

NFL spread bets are among the most popular bet types in NFL betting and within sports betting in general. You can bet the spread on any NFL game and you can add it to any parlay betting slip.

How Do NFL Spread Odds Work?

Firstly, the spread for all NFL games is established in advance of each game and posted by sportsbooks. Professionally oddsmakers at sportsbooks review each team and matchup to determine the spread or point differential. Oddsmakers also factor in real-time performance, injuries, and more.

The spread refers to the number of points a team must win by (or exceed) to yield a successful spread bet that begins with a negative number. When you see a negative number it means the team is the favorite. Conversely, positive spreads indicate an underdog and this team can either lose by this amount to push your bet, lose by less than the amount to win the bet, or win outright to upset the favorite and yield a winning spread bet.

NFL Spread Bet Example

To help you better understand NFL spread bets and how they work, see below for an example of how spread odds are presented at sportsbooks.

Team Point Spread Betting Odds
Los Angeles Rams -6 -110
Los Angeles Chargers +6 -110

In the above example, the favorite is the LA Rams. Here, oddsmakers are predicting they will win by at least 6 points or more. If they win by 6 exactly, the spread bet would push. If they win by 7 or more, the spread bet would be a winner.

Moreover, the LA Chargers are the underdogs. If they lose by 6, the spread bet would push. If they lose by 5 or less the spread bet would be a winner and/or if they win outright and beat the Rams, the spread bet would also be a winner.

Note, there is no option to bet on a tie and you are not betting on a winner or loser. But rather, you are factoring in the point difference between the two teams and oddsmakers are assigning point values based on the teams, which allows for a competitive bet.

How are NFL Spread Bets Paid Out?

NFL spread bets are paid out in the same manner as moneyline bets or any sports bet for that matter. If your bet is a winner, you will receive the funds automatically in your account. This includes your original wager along with your winnings. If you lose your bet, you will not receive any money in your account.

Receiving payment for NFL spread bets all depends if your team covering the spread. Again, using the example above the Rams would need to win by more than 6 to cover the spread and the Chargers would need to lose by 5 or less (or win) to cover the spread.

Frequently Asked Questions About NFL Spread Bets

What is the spread in NFL games?

How does the NFL spread work? 

How do I bet on NFL games point spread?

What does +7 mean in an NFL spread?

 What does +7.5 mean in an NFL spread?

What does a negative spread mean in the NFL?

What is an alternate spread in the NFL?

What does cover the spread mean in NFL?

What does cover the spread mean in NFL?

How to Place an NFL Spread Bet

Betting on the NFL spread is quite simple. To make things even easier for you to understand, we outlined a step-by-step process that you can follow to start betting the NFL spread. Below, we used BetOnline, one of the best offshore sportsbooks available, as an example.

1. Open an Account

To get started, you must visit BetOnline and click “Join” on their homepage to open a new account. Here, simply fill in your personal information and continue to the next step.

BetOnline Join Now

2. Add Betting Funds

After creating an account, you will be asked to deposit money into your account. Click “Deposit” and choose the deposit method of your choice. Be sure to enter a BetOnline promo code if you have one in order to take advantage of any new player signup bonuses.

BetOnline Deposit

3. Choose an NFL Spread Bet

Once you finalized your deposit you can visit the sportsbook section to browse the NFL spread odds. Here, choose the NFL spread bet that you are most interested in and add it to your bet slip.

BetOnline NFL point spread

4. Confirm Your Wager Amount

Once you have your bet slip queued up, enter the amount you wish to wager and hit “Place Bet” in order for the bet to be accepted.

BetOnline NFL Bet Slip

5. Wait for the Conclusion

After you complete steps 1-4, you can sit back and watch the game to see what happens. If you win your bet, your wager amount and profits will automatically be sent to your sportsbook account after the game is over.

Advantages of NFL Spread Bets

Below are a few key reasons why NFL spread bets are great for both novice and experienced sports bettors.

  • Make for an exciting game exciting. The point differential handicap evens the playing field and makes the game more exciting.
  • Profits are obtainable. Spread bets allow for a buffer or cushion versus picking a winner outright, thus giving you different ways to win your bets.
  • Excellent for parlays. Spread bets are great on their own and can also be included in parlays. Adding more spread bets will increase your odds and potential profits.

Our Top 5 Tips on How to Win an NFL Spread Bet

Below are a few top tips for picking bets against the spread. Following the below tips could potentially help you increase the chance of winning your NFL spread picks.

1. Research the Teams

Before betting on NFL point spreads you should first research each team. Look up their roster, recent play, and injury report, and try to understand their strengths and weaknesses within the context of the matchup. Knowing the players and teams will help with your decision-making.

2. Review the Point Spreads

Picking against the spread is different than picking a winner. Be sure to review the point totals listed in the spread odds and ensure that you understand what needs to happen before proceeding with your bet. When in doubt, online sportsbooks offer resources and 24/7 customer support should you have any questions.

3. Browse Betting Odds

NFL spread odds will oftentimes be different across several sportsbooks. Take time to look at the spread betting lines at all the top online sportsbooks prior to selecting your odds of choice. You may be able to find a different spread amount or payout amount if you search thoroughly.

4. Don’t Always Bet the Favorite

Betting favorites are favored to win for a reason. However, point spreads create a more competitive form of betting and require teams to do more than just win. Try to use your research to find underdogs that have a good chance of covering the spread.

5. Limit Your Bankroll

Lastly, it should go without saying that never bet more than you are willing to lose. You can’t win every sports bet and NFL spread bets are no different. Be strategic with your bet amounts and look to spread your bets across different games if you can.

The Sports Daily’s NFL Spread Picks

If you are looking for expert analysis and daily NFL spread picks then look no further than The Sports Daily. Our team has a tried and true process for making NFL picks and will post updates on our site each week.

Be sure to check back weekly for up-to-date insight and analysis on all the upcoming NFL games, including our analysis of each points total spread.

How do NFL Spread Bets Work with Live Betting?

In addition to betting on the spread prior to kick-off, online sportsbooks will allow you to live bet the NFL spread. Below is a quick recap on what you will need to do in order to live bet the spread.

  • Login to your sportsbook account and visit the live betting section of the sportsbook
  • At the live betting section locate the NFL sub-section and the specific game that interests you
  • Find the spread bet that you are interested in and add it to your bet slip
  • Input your wager amount and confirm it with
  • Live betting odds change rapidly so you may need to wait for things to refresh prior to confirming your bet

The Best Sportsbooks for NFL Spread Odds

Choosing the right online sportsbook or betting app can be a daunting task. That is why our team of experts has put together a complete guide to all of the best online sportsbooks available.

Check out our review of the best sportsbooks for US players, all of which offer NFL spread bets and other betting odds for NFL games. If you are in a rush and need our top recommendation, we highly suggest you check out BetOnline as they offer competitive NFL odds.

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