NFL Odds and Lines 

The NFL offers a vast range of betting potential, therefore following the odds can be a challenge. In this guide, we’ll cover what you need to know about NFL odds; this includes the different ways that sportsbooks present odds, and how you can read them. The NFL is the most bet on professional sport in America, and it’s easy to understand why. Once you get the basics, you can join in on the action. 

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The Latest NFL Odds

If you’re looking to get into betting on professional football, check out the latest NFL odds. From the Super Bowl to Division Championships, NFL odds help you dive into the season well informed and ready to win big. 

Top Sportsbooks for NFL 

The top PA sportsbooks are already posting the odds for next season. Find a convenient and reputable bookmaker for all of the betting action.

Types of NFL Odds 

There are three types of odds in sports betting fractional (British), decimal (European), and American (money line). While these are all different ways of presenting odds, they all represent the same thing; implied probability and potential payout. You can convert the types of odds, and the chance remains the same. 

American Odds

American odds, also known as money line odds or US odds, are the most popular in the United States. When you’re betting on the NFL, these are the odds you’ll be paying attention to. The odds are accompanied by either a plus (+) or minus (-) symbol. 

The positive sign represents the underdogs, while the minus is for the favorites. The minus sign indicates the amount that you need to stake to win $100. The plus sign means the amount made in profit for every $100 wagered. 

For example, if the Philadelphia Eagles are -380 on the money line, that means they’re the favorites. The Washington Redskins, with +255, are the underdogs in this case. In order to win $100 on a wager on the Eagles, you must stake $380. 

How to Calculate Probability for American Odds

Positive and negative American odds require separate calculations to find the implied probability. 

To calculate Negative US Odds use the following equation:

Negative US Odds / (Negative US odds + 100) * 100 = implied probability

For the Eagles v. Redskins example, this is how you calculate the implied probability of the Eagles winning:

 380 / (380 + 100) * 100 = 79.16%

To calculate the implied probability of positive US odds, you’d use the following equation.

100 / (positive US odds + 100) * 100 = implied probability

Using the above example, the probability of the Redskins winning is:

 100 / (255 + 100) * 100 = 28.16%

You may notice that the two implied probabilities equal more than 100%. This is going to be the case regardless of the odds format. This accounts for the ‘juice’ or ‘vig.’ This is how much the book is charging you to place a bet. 

Formula on How to Calculate Payouts

In order to win $100 on the Philadelphia Eagles (favorites) in this example, you’d need to wager $380. On the other hand, if you wagered $100 on the Washington Redskins (the underdog), you’re set to win $255.

The formula below is how you’d calculate the potential payout for any given value that you want to wager. This involves some algebra:

Odds / 100 = amount wagered / x

For this example, let’s say you have $40 to bet on the Eagles winning:

 380 / 100 = 40 / x

You’d then cross multiply to get 380x = 4000. When you solve for x, you get 10.52. This means that you’d win $10.52 on top of your initial wager of $40. Your total return would be $50.52. 

Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are commonly used in the UK and on horse racing. With that said, if you’re based in the UK or Ireland, and in other rare cases, you’ll see NFL odds displayed as fractions.

The best place to find fractional odds in action is the futures market. Before the start of the season, sportsbooks create a list of Super Bowl odds for the 32 teams in the league. Usually, the favorite is placed around 5/1. What this means is that a $100 bet will bring you $500 in profit. 

Sometimes, the heavy favorite will have odds that are flipped around. Say the Eagles are projected to win the NFC East at odds of 1/5. If this is the case, you’d have to bet $500 for every $100 you want to win. 

How to Calculate Probability Based on Fractional Odds

So if the Eagles do have NFC East future odds of ⅕, how do you calculate the implied probability? 

To find the implied probability:

Denominator / (Denominator + Numerator)

In this example it would look like this:

5 / (5+1) = ⅚ = 0.83 or 83%

The implied probability of the Eagles winning the NFC East would be 83%. 

How to Calculate Payouts with Fractional Odds

If you’re betting on the Eagles winning the NFC East and need to calculate your potential payout, you will use the following equation:

 Wager x (⅕ ) = Fractional odds winnings

For example, say you place a $20 wager on the Eagles::

 20 x (⅕ )) = 20 x 0.2 = 4

Since your potential profit is $4 and your wager was $20, your total payout would be $24. 

Decimal Odds

In many ways, decimal odds are the easiest to work with. Many European bookmakers that offer NFL betting will display the odds in decimal form. You may also run into decimal odds when you’re putting together a parlay card. 

For this example, we’ll add a bit of spice by working with odds for two separate games:

Game One:

Patriots: 1.18

Seahawks: 4.00

Game Two:

Cowboys: 2.55

Giants: 1.65

Calculating Probability for Decimal Odds

To calculate the implied probability with decimal odds, use this formula:

100 / decimal odds = implied probability

For these two games, the math to figure out each team’s chance of winning would look like this:

Game one:

Patriots: 100/ 1.18 = 84.74 (%)

Seahawks: 100 / 5.00 = 20 (%) 

Game Two:

Cowboys: 100 / 2.55 = 39.21 (%)

Giants : 100 / 1.65 = 60.60 (%)

How to Calculate Payouts with Decimal Odds

It’s incredibly simple to calculate your payout with decimal odds; you simply take the number and multiply it by your wager. If you bet $100 on the underdogs in the first game, the Seahawks, you’d win $500 if they pulled through for a miracle win.

Understanding Odds 

These days, there are numerous ways to bet on football. When you’re looking at the latest NFL odds, you’ll see the money line, futures, and betting lines for the first and second half. There are also fun fantasy-style proposition odds.

Bookmakers set the odds to even out bets and get gamblers to wager on both sides of the line. When you read NFL odds, first, you’ll see the date and time of the game and then two numbers next to each of the participating team names.

The number next to the teams is also known as the rotation mark. These numbers are standard across sportsbooks and become a general way to refer to the competition without mentioning team names. In a sense, it’s bookie shorthand. 

Rotation numbers allow each book to list games in the same order, which is better for both the bookmaker and the bettor. 

Next to the team name on the other side are the different types of odds. Usually, you’ll see the point spread, money line, and total (over/under). These are the odds. In order to read NFL odds and make informed bets, you want to know about the money line, point spread, totals, and futures, and what each of them means.

Odds in a Money Line

The money line is when sportsbooks analyze both teams and then release lines on the likelihood of each on winning. In the money line, you’ll see a favorite and an underdog. There is no spread to beat; all you need is your team to win the game straight up. 

The thing to consider when reading the money line is called ‘the juice.’ This is when the negative value represents the favorite, and the positive represents the underdog. 

For example, if you see that the Philadelphia Eagles are at -220, and the Jaguars are at +190, that means the latter is the underdog. The minus sign before the Eagles shows you that you’d have to bet at least $220 to win $100. If you bet on the underdog, you earn $100 in profit if successful.

Point Spread Odds 

The point spread is the most popular way to bet on the NFL. These types of football odds are also known as the line, spread, and betting ‘sides.’ When they publish the point spread, bookmakers will give the stronger team a handicap to level the playing field. 

These odds are typically misunderstood as a predicted margin of victory. The point spread is the number that the oddsmakers predict is the right balance for bettors on the underdog and those who bet on the favorite.

So how do you read point spread odds? In line with the previous example, if the Eagles are given a -6.5, that means that they’re favored to win by 6.5 points. This means that the Jaguars are given a +6.5 point lead. 

If the Eagles win in this example, they must do so by 6.5 points to cover the spread. The Jaguars, on the other hand, can lose by 6.5 and still cover the NFL point spread. 

Sometimes you’ll see a money line value associated with the point spread. In this case, this is the percentage you have to pay to book the bet. This is referred to as the juice or the vig. If you see -6.5 (-115) for Philly odds, it means that you have to bet $115 to win $100. 

The point spread moves as more people bet on a game. If there’s a surplus of people wagering on one team, the sportsbooks move the line to further balance the action. The reason they do this is to encourage people to bet the other way. 

Odds in Point Totals

The point total, otherwise known as NFL OVER/UNDER betting is the number set by sportsbooks that estimate final points scored in a game. The total is of both teams combined in any given game. 

If you bet on the 37.5 OVER, you’re putting money on the fact that it will be a high scoring game. On the flip side, if you wager on the 37.5 UNDER, you hope that the offenses will struggle to score points on both sides. 

Futures Odds 

Who’s going to come out with a ring this season? If you want to put your money on a particular team winning the Super Bowl, you will place an NFL future bet. 

NFL futures are when a bettor places a long-term wager on the outcome of an event. Futures can be placed on the winner of the Super Bowl, the AFC, the NFC, or a particular division. 

The bookies will analyze the relative strengths and weaknesses of each team and apply odds. The odds will change as the season develops. If a team is in first place in October, they may be set at +300 to win the title. What this means is that a $100 bet would pay out a $300 profit. 

If a team is struggling during the regular season, their odds may be set up even higher at +2000 A $100 bet would then pay out $200. Since it’s difficult to assume that this team will win, this can be a risky but potentially profitable bet. 

Unique Odds in NFL

The NFL is an exciting sport to bet on, and there is a seemingly endless amount of wagering options available. Some of the interesting bets you can place include player and game-specific propositions. When you’re looking at NFL odds, you’ll see some for the top players as well as for special events like the Draft. 

Player-Specific Odds

In the NFL, passing, rushing, receiving, and scoring touchdowns are significant indicators of high-end performance. Sportsbooks will analyze the performance of individual players, and bettors can place wagers on their future gameplay. 

You can find odds for just about any major player: scoring a touchdown, rushing yards, tackles, assisting, rushing yards, and passing yards.

Game-Specific Odds

NFL betting options are so much more than just wagering on who’s going to win the game. You can bet on the probability of in-play events occurring, such as the number of penalties or field-goals scored by both teams. 

Other NFL odds cover the NFL Draft. The most popular bets are placed on who will be selected first overall. 

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Sacha Kinser [email protected] SEO Content Manager US, UK, Canada, New Zealand

Sacha Kinser is the SEO Content Manager for the US, UK, Canadian, and New Zealand markets. Her skills have developed from years of experience in curating content strategies and building brand identity through multimedia content online. 


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