If you are placing an NFL bet, one of the ways to do so is on the spread. An NFL point spread indicates how much the favorite has to win by and the margin of error for the underdog.
The favorite to win the game will have a plus number, while the underdog will have a minus. Contrary to a moneyline bet, the favorite has to cover the spread in order to win the bet. If you bet on the underdog, they just have to come within the point spread.
As an example, let's say the New Orleans Saints (+7) are playing the Los Angeles Rams (-7). In this case, the Rams are the favorite to win the game. If you bet on them, they have to win by more than seven points. If you bet on the Saints, the wager will win if they come within seven points.
Betting on an NFL point spread means it doesn't matter who wins the game. It's all about the spread. In the example, if the Saints lose by 6 or if they win by 10, the wager will be a winner and pay exactly the same.
When looking at the NFL odds for the spread, both teams will be similar. Spread bets are typically around -110.
Why do point spreads use half points?
If an NFL point spread doesn't use half points, like -7, there is a chance for a push. So if you bet on the Saints in the above example and they lose by seven, the bet would push and you would get your money back.
If half points are involved, then there won't be any pushes. Every wager made will either win or lose.