Betting on football is a favorite pastime of many, giving the opportunity to win large amounts of money. While some may consider betting on sports to be a form of gambling, it is actually just a way of making an educated guess at the outcome of a game. The only real difference between gambling and betting is that with the former, you are putting your money on the line. While the latter is generally considered to be safer, smarter, and more in tune with the movement of the sport itself, it is still essentially just a way of betting. Despite the wide appeal of betting on sports, how to read a football betting line can be a bit tricky, especially if you are new to the world of odds and statistics. Below, we will discuss some useful tips on how to read a football betting line in order to make better informed decisions when betting on the games that you follow and enjoy.
Know When To Back A Winner
When backing a winner in any sport, it is generally wise to do so only when the favorite is very apparent. While it is always great to be on the side of a winning team, too much betting on such a consistent basis may turn out to be bad for your bankroll. After all, it is more fun to win money than it is to lose it, but betting profits must eventually turn into a profit.
When the favorite is clear and apparent, wagering on them is usually a safe way of betting. Once the game starts to become unpredictable, backing a winner at that stage can bring greater risk, as you might find when the favorite is only a small favorite. Small favorites may be able to sneak up on you when the games begin to be decided by small margins, but they are much easier to predict at the start. When you back a smaller favorite, you are essentially placing a wager on them to win, and if they do, your loss will be offset by the winnings on the other side of the bet. When the game is in the middle of being decided, backing a winner can bring great excitement and a chance at large winnings, but it also increases the risk of losing more money than you may have initially wagered.
Be Wary Of Ties
When there is a tie in a game that you follow, it is generally best to avoid backing a winner, as it is then impossible to assess how the game would have ended had there been no tying. In the event of a tie, you would either need to choose a side or split your wager. If you choose a side, the game is typically resolved in favor of one of the competing teams, or the bet is canceled. Ties are often caused by extremely high scores being attained by both teams or by one team scoring multiple times in succession, making the game effectively uncivilized and, as a result, a tie. When choosing to split your wager, you are agreeing to pay the difference should the chosen team win or lose.
Look At The Over/Under
Many sports books will publish an over/under for a game, determining how many points either side is likely to score. This is usually done as a means of determining the likely winners and losers of a game, with the over/under usually settling on halfway through the game. For instance, if the total is 48, you may assume that the game is pretty even and that it will be close to the end when the over/under is finally resolved. Looking at the over/under can be a useful tool for placing wagers on NFL games, as an over is usually a good indicator that the half-time performance might be even better than the first half. In general, an under is an indication that a team is performing poorly and is likely to lose, while an over is a good indicator that they are performing well and are likely to win.
Watch The Line Movement
As was stated earlier, when the game is close to being decided, smaller favorites are much easier to predict, as you can assess how much each side has to gain or lose. When the line begins to move, it is generally a good indication that a game is getting closer to being decided or that there is a clear favorite. In the event of the line moving rapidly in one direction or the other, this is often a sign that the favorite is only slightly favored or that there is a massive amount of money on the line. When the line begins to move in one direction or the other, it is usually a good idea to back off and give the underdog (or favorite) a chance to come back in and win the game, as the line will generally move in the direction of the favorite until the last minute, when everything is settled. As the last minute approaches, the line will begin to move in the opposite direction of the favorite, as more and more people are taking sides against them in a game that has largely been decided by public opinion. In the final minute of a game, you should be on the lookout for the line to shift violently in either direction, as this is generally a sign that there is a clear favorite (or underdog) and that your wager will, most likely, end in a win for the chosen side.
While reading a sports betting line is largely a matter of common sense and basic mathematics, it is still something that those new to the world of sports betting could benefit from understanding, as it can sometimes be difficult to know how certain games are going to turn out when all the odds are not known. If you want to become a better informed bettor, keep reading the tips and advice above, and you will be well on your way to profitable wagering on all your favorite sporting events.