If you want to bet on a favored team to win any National Football League (NFL) or college (NCAA) football game, there are two main ways to do it. You can bet the money line, or you can lay points with a point spread. If you bet the favorite to win with the money line, it just has to win the game for you to win the bet. In contrast, the point spread line is a forecast of the number of points by which a stronger team is expected to defeat a weaker one. if you bet on a team to win with the point spread, that team has to “cover” the bet.
A good example of this would be from the 2018 NFL playoffs, when the New Orleans Saints hosted the Philadelphia Eagles in the divisional round. New Orleans came into the game as a -8.5 point favorite (-110), which means you had to lay 8.5 points to start the game if you thought the Saints would win. The Eagles lost the game 20-14, and although the Saints advanced to the championship game, they did not the spread.
If you had bet New Orleans with the points, you would have lost the game. The money line for the Saints on the game was -355.