Every NFL, NBA or MLB season, there are always new sports investors, or sports bettors throwing money on a game or using a professional expert handicapping service, but confused at the basic betting types available. We’ll help you understand and cover these betting types, such as what is the point spread, totals and over / unders and what the moneylines mean when you see -110 or +200 posted next to the team in your favorite sports book.Like many sports enthusiasts, making the game a little bit sweeter and exciting by placing bet on a game goes together like beer and popcorn. And even if you can’t follow your favorite teams, or invest as much time to make some money betting on sports, there will always be those big events throughout the year, such as the NFL Superbowl, NBA Championship, MLB World Series, NHL Stanley Cup and of course the many cups of the European football (soccer) and FIFA World Cup.
So you’re ready to make the game this weekend a bit more enticing, or decided to make a move and approach sports betting like a Wall Street investor. Whatever your reason to bet on sports, the first steps to getting into the game is understanding how to read the odds and their betting lines from the various online sportsbooks.
Like many newbies to sports betting, the easiest effort of gambling on Monday nights NFL game or NCAA college game is betting on the point spread, also known simply as the spread.
Whether you choose the team to bet on yourself, or use an expert NFL handicapper or handicapping service to provide you your expert NFL picks, betting on the spread (point spread) is one of the easiest ways to bet on the game. The point spread is a simple ratio to indicate which team is the favorite to win, or the underdog, and the to a degree, the weight or confidence of one team over the other.
The point spread is one of the most common bets in the NFL, college football, or betting on NBA or college basketball (NCAA). The Vegas odds or odds at an established online sportsbook will put up the betting line (ex. point spread) that is most attractive to sports bettors to draw the most action (wagering) from them.
The sportsbooks lines can shift over time as more information is learned on the game and the volume of bets being placed on one team vs. the other team. For example, NFL expert handicappers will use this information, among other data analysis on the teams to determine the team selection to bet on and sell that NFL pick to their customers.
Remember the point spread is simply a ratio to determine the favorite team to win, or the underdog. For example, if browsing a sportsbook like Bodog, Pinnacle Sports or Bookmaker, you may find the NFL betting line on the New York Giants -6.5, vs. New England Patriots . What this means is the Giants are favored to win by 6.5 points over the Patriots, who are the underdogs.
It’s typical a sportsbook will use half points on the point spread (ex. -6.5). While we all know this is impossible in a NFL or NBA game to score half points, sports books will use this to guarantee there is no draw or push. Also, an expert handicapper will also use the point spread when posting their NFL pick or prediction to indicate to the bettor the point spread (and odds) that were used at the time the handicapper made their pick selection.
In the above example, this essentially reads that the Patriots are starting off the game with a 6.5 point lead. If you were to use the expert handicappers selection of the Giants, and place a bet from your bankroll on the Giants, then the New York Giants would have to win by no less than 7 points.
However if the expert handicapping service had some insight tip, or discovered a flaw in the sports book lines, an expert handicapper as Jim Feist may choose the underdog Patriots as your NFL pick. This means then the Patriots would need to not lose by more than 6.5 points.
Lets run a scenario to better explain. If the final score was 14-7 for the Giants, who are the favorites to win, it would be a win for the handicapper or sports bettors who wagered on the Giants because the Giants won by more than 6.5. However, if the spread was -8.5, then it would be a win for handicapper or sports bettor who bet on the Patriots since the Giants did not win by 8.5.
As you get more familiar with betting on sports such as NFL football and using expert handicapper picks, you may come across the term ‘pick em’. ‘Pick em’ is a type of point spread where there is no favorite or underdog team posted to bet on.
When an expert handicapper publishes their NFL pick based on a ‘pick em’, the handicapper would simply be posting their selection of who will win outright, since a ‘pick em’ point spread is just that….a handicapper or sports bettor places their wager on either team, without any advantages of points on either side. This is the simplest type of sports betting in the NFL, NBA and other sports, betting on the winner regardless of the final score of the game or match.
Another type of sports gambling is called ‘a total’ or ‘totals’. In this bet type, the total is posted for every major American sport, such as NFL, NBA, MLB, college sports, etc.
For football and basketball, the total means total points scored in the game by both teams collectively. A sports bettor or expert handicapper would make their pick to bet on the over or under of that total amount.
When handicapping a game and using the over and under, the over and under values are usually the same when determining which team is the favorite or underdog. However the over and under can quickly change in some situations when either the over or the under is favored. This is typically determined when considering the moneyline.
The moneyline is a value determined on a unit base, which is commonly units of $100. So when a handicapper or sports bettor considers a money line on the Giants at -110 and the Patriots at +150, it means the handicapper is posting their NFL pick, or the sports bettor is betting on the Giants where they would have to bet $110 to win 100.
However if the Patriots were the handicappers NFL pick, then the handicapper would post their pick for a sports bettor to bet $100 on the Patriots to win $150. And just like investing in the stock market, investing in sports through sports betting, you may have a fee or vigorish transaction on the bet.
So when betting on the major America sports as NFL, NBA, college, NHL, etc., remember they will all have a point spread and moneylines. When expert handicappers make their picks, they analyze these data points of point spreads, moving lines, and more to produce create their picks. So whether you’re a sports bettor, or sports investor, you’ll review multiple sports gambling sites to see who offers the bettor spread and moneyline, or use an expert handicapping service to make the recommendation for you.
You’re not limited to just one or the other when betting on NFL or at any major sportsbook offering the spread and moneyline. The choice is yours – one or both. As you evolve your sports gambling strategy, you’ll find preference on when to bet moneylines vs. spreads. And when betting on MLB or betting on NHL, you’ll find these low scoring games won’t offer point spreads for this reason, and instead use the moneyline (or more specifically, the puck line in NHL hockey betting, and run line in MLB baseball betting) to determine the winner.
Remember, as you learn more about sports gambling, you’ll find a sports bettor, an expert handicapper or NFL handicapping service still use these fundamental popular sports betting types as point spread, totals and moneyline when making a pick or placing a bet at a sports book. While there are a number of other wager types used in the market and around the globe, a sports investor or handicapping expert can still win big with proper bankroll management and over time, with these 3 most common and popular betting types used in NFL, NBA, college, MLB and NHL.