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How do I read odds for football games?
There are three main odds to each National Football League (NFL) and college football (NCAA) games: the money line, the point spread line, and the over/under. While there are often many other proposition bets (during the Super Bowl, you can bet on the outcome of the coin toss, how long the National Anthem will last, and hundreds of other items), the first three are the bets that make up a majority of the betting on football.
The handicap, or point spread line, is a forecast of the number of points by which a stronger team is expected to defeat a weaker one. To win a point spread bet, the
The money line bet, either on the favorite or underdog, means that the team you bet just has to win the game. if you bet on a team to win with the point spread, that team has to “cover” the spread for you to win the bet.
As far as the over/under, it is the total amount of points combined that the two teams are projected to score.
One example of the different bets comes from a NFL game last season, when the Los Angeles Rams played the Chicago Bears. The Rams came in as -150 money line favorites, -3 point favorites via the spread, and the over/under was set at 50.5 points. The Bears were +130 underdogs on the money line, and +3 on the point spread line.
A $100 bet on the Bears would have returned you $230, as the Bears won the game 15-6. A $110 bet on the under would have returned you $210.