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All the top online betting sites that offer American Football as a sport are likely to present the NFL odds of any market in one of three ways.
Fractional odds are very common among British and Irish bookies and are displayed with a slash or hyphen such as 4/1 or 4-1. Depending on where the bookmaker is based the odds may default to fractional but can be changed by the user in settings. A bet of £1 on the 4/1 odds would return £5 if the bet came in (£4 winnings, plus the original £1 stake). The larger the stake, the larger the potential winnings and loss. Odds on underdogs in an NFL game could be priced highly at 3/1 or 4/1 depending on the opposition and likewise odds on favorites would be priced at a much lower 19/10.
Decimal odds are more widely seen on European sites and are easier to read in general, especially when looking to gauge which team is favourite. The decimal odds show the amount a punter can expect to return for every €1 wagered. This is an important difference, as the decimal odds already takes the stake into account and as such represents the total return of a winning bet. Therefore the NFL odds of a team which is favourite to win the game is likely to be priced at 1.3 for example. As such a €10 bet on the favourite would return €13 in the form of winnings and the original stake.
Moneyline odds are the final type of odds likely to be seen online and they are used commonly in American markets. These type of odds are normally accompanied by a minus sign (-) for the favourites and by a plus sign (+) for the underdogs. The odds for the favourites display the amount needed to stake to win $100, and the odds for the underdogs show the amount of potential winnings on a stake of $100. If the Carolina Panthers were playing the Jacksonville Jaguars the odds could be offered as such; CAR -600, JAC +500. The bookies rate Carolina as the favourites and a punter would need to stake $600 to win $100, plus the return of the original $600 stake, meaning a total of $700. A $100 bet on Jacksonville would win $500, plus the original stake of $100, meaning a total of $600.
NFL odds, like odds on all sports, are plentiful, varied and liable to be updated regularly – especially whilst live and in play. Bookies are offering markets on all sorts of outcomes such as division winners, teams to reach the playoffs and top scorers. The NFL odds this week will list out all of the fixtures and the available markets on each upcoming game. These odds will fluctuate during the week, depending on any factors that are likely to make a significant impact on the likely result of the game. The first game of every week stats with Thursday Night Football, which usually sees two top teams play in what’s known as a ‘prime time’ fixture. If the odds of say a Tennessee Titans win against the Kansas City Chiefs is evens on Tuesday, but on Wednesday their star running back gets injured in training, the odds on the win is likely to increase to reflect that fact. All types of other factors are likely to affect the odds of a game; such as suspensions, the weather, team morale and coaching changes. The remaining games from that week are played on Sunday throughout the afternoon and evening, and then final game is played on Monday Night.
In much the same way, while markets for this weeks schedule of games is unlikely to change dramatically, odds on future markets, such as which team will make the Championship game, is a constantly moving picture. Some of the weekly odds displayed, say for the total number of points in a given game taking place in that given week will probably not fluctuate much in the run up to the game. However the odds for a team to be crowned division champions in 4 or 5 months time is much more likely to move as the various different factors affect the market. In essence, the NFL odds today are not going to be the same as the odds of tomorrow. This anecdote applies even more so in the cut throat action that is NFL playoff odds which take place towards the end of the season. The super bowl point spread market is one of the most played NFL lines as it attracts interest from around the world.
We see this in action by taking a comparison of the NFL super bowl betting lines from the 2018 season. The showpiece game was contested between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles. It saw a battle between the two best teams from their respective conferences and also a classic David v Goliath story at quarterback. Tom Brady, arguably the greatest QB of all time, against Nick Foles, the little known backup filling in for the injured Carson Wentz. A look at the NFL Super bowl odds of Foles lifting the Lombardi trophy back in September would likely have returned extremely high odds (if they were even available). This was due to the fact the Eagles were not fancied Super Bowl contenders and Foles was not even projected to start. However when Wentz got injured and Foles stepped into the starting position the odds would have shortened. When the Eagles continued on their hot streak of form, the likelihood of them reaching the playoffs was much higher. Injuries, suspensions, luck and many other factors play a role in all football odds.
Most bookmakers that are taking American Football seriously have improved their sportsbook offerings and offer a huge number of markets and odds. The simplest bet and one which all bookies offer as a popular market are NFL picks straight up. This is where punters can chose to back an individual team to win their respective game from the NFL betting lines of that weekly schedule. NFL spread picks are also very popular and can represent great value on certain teams with high scoring offences. These type of NFL football lines are in relation to games that are scheduled to place that week, or in the very near future.
Bookies offer odds on teams performing well such as which team will win the AFC south division or who will reach Super Bowl LII. Optimistic fans who support the Atlanta Falcons can bet on their team to make the divisional playoffs even before the season has started. With these longer term bets the odds are much likelier to go up and/or down as the season progresses and the picture becomes clearer of who are the favourites. Predicting who will sneak into the NFL wildcard spots is a treacherous task for any expert, as is making any bold NFL betting predictions in general. Even betting on the NFL out of season is possible with odds on which college player will be chosen first in the drafts or on the outcome of preseason games.
Odds on individual players performance is also a popular market with star players likely to perform well such as the Buffalo Bills running back Shady McCoy, or Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley. Expect to be offered a wide array of markets such as total passing or rushing yardage for offensive players, normally displayed in an over/under scenario. If Drew Brees is having a great season with the New Orleans Saints, as he normally does, then the odds on him throwing a certain number of yards or touchdowns in a game will likely be pretty low. The same type of player orientated bet is available for defensive players and is related to the total number of sacks or tackles.
This segment on NFL odds would not be complete without a mention of NFL point spreads. The odds of this popular market are based on the result of the game and the winning or losing margin. We have given a detailed breakdown of NFL picks against the spread here and it is offered universally on all sports sites with an American Football section.