The term “betting line” is used in a variety of sports when describing the line between the teams or individuals competing in that sport. For example, in American football, the betting line can be found on the board at the sportsbook prior to each game and is typically set by the bookmakers. The line may be expressed as a percentage or a proportion, e.g., the New York Jets are favored by 3.5 points against the Buffalo Bills this week in a match up between these two teams.
Here’s a short guide to what a betting line means in American football.
The Line Is Fixed
Most, if not all, bookmakers will post the betting line for each game well in advance of the game date. Because the line is set well in advance of the game, there is no change in the betting line between the various bookmakers prior to the game (this is called a “line fixed”). Therefore, if you are reading the line at one bookmaker prior to the game, you will be reading the same line at all other bookmakers as well.
This “line settled” can cause problems for players who are not aware of what the line is or who follow football blindly. Even worse, some gamblers may decide to use this information to make their wagers. Because the line is the same at all bookmakers, this may leave the gambler at a disadvantage compared to a situation where the line may fluctuate (this is called an “open line”). This is why it is important to follow the news articles or watch the NFL Network whenever possible in order to determine the current betting line for upcoming games.
In addition to the line between the two teams or individuals competing in a sport, there is also the so-called “spread”. This is the amount of money that will be wagered on the side of the favored team or individual. For example, if a sports bookmaker sets the spread for a game to be $10, this means that $10 will be wagered on the side of the home team or individual when the game is over. If the line is set at -3, this means that $13 will be wagered on the side of the visiting team or individual. The spread is also determined well in advance of the game, so there is no change from game to game.
The concept behind the spread is that the bookmaker believes that the amount of money wagered on the side of the favored team or individual will be sufficient to cover the cost of the wager (in addition to a small commission) should that team or individual win. For example, if the spread is set at $10 and the home team wins the game, then the winnings from the wager will cover the cost of the wager as well as the commission.
Finally, sometimes the line and the spread may be used in conjunction with each other. If the spread is 3 and the line is -3, for instance, this means that $12 will be wagered on the side of the home team or individual and $8 will be wagered on the side of the visiting team or individual. The money line is the type of wager where the amount of money wagered is based on which team or individual wins the game. This is also known as a “quasi-straight-up” bet or a “unit bet”, because the amount of money wagered is always the same (one unit). A money line may also be referred to as a “pick ’em” or a “betting predictor” due to the fact that it is often used in conjunction with other types of wagers and for predicting the winner of a game. For instance, if the Giants are listed as 3 point favorites over the Cowboys, this may mean that $12 will be wagered on the Giants and $8 will be wagered on the Cowboys, for a total of $20.
Understanding The Role Of The Bookmaker
The role of the bookmaker is to make a profit off of sports wagering by taking bets from gamblers and giving them odds on the outcome of the sports competitions. This is usually done by setting the lines and spreads as well as accepting bets from gamblers. The bookmaker earns their profit regardless of whether or not the favorites win the game. This is in contrast to a “totality of the situation” (or “TOS”) bet, where the bettor may win or lose based on the outcome of the game. In some cases, bookmakers may even lose if the favored team or individual loses the game (depending on the odds set by the bookmaker).
Before making any wagers, it is important to familiarize yourself with the role of the bookmaker and the basics of sports wagering. Not understanding how the books work can lead to big problems for the unwary or semi-unwary sports bettor. This is especially true if the team you are following happens to be one of the favorites in the game. In this case, you may be inclined to keep your wager on the favorite and hope for the best. But if the team you are following is a poor favorite (or is one of the underdogs), then it may be a good idea to take the other side in order to avoid being severely punished by the bookmaker should your team lose the game. In this case, it is better to wager against the favorite than try to justify why you should win based on the team’s performance. Remember: whatever side of the bet you are on, you are going to lose money. But at least you will be making money off of the bookmaker instead of being at a financial disadvantage to them.
The Odds Are Always Explained
Another important thing to understand about a betting line is that the odds always accompany the line. For instance, if the Chicago Bears are listed as 3.5 point underdogs against the Packers this week in the NFL, this means that the Bears will win the game with a probability of.875 (rounded to the nearest whole number) and the Packers will win the game with a probability of.125. As you may have guessed, this is all completely mathematical. The odds for any given game are readily available online using simple search tools or by calling or visiting a sports bookmaker directly.
How Do You Gamble On Football?
Now that you are better equipped to understand the basics of football betting, it’s time to learn how to bet on this exciting game. You have a variety of options and opportunities when it comes to placing wagers on NFL football, but please be aware of the following. First, always make sure that your state of residence allows online sports wagering or if you are located outside of the United States, then allow professional sports wagering:
- Nigel Farage
- David Cameron
- Justin Trudeau
- Donald Trump
- Bill Belichick
- Tom Brady
- Mike Tanier
- Mark Cuban
These are just some of the prominent figures that can be found on the net betting forums discussing the merits of various football betting strategies. Don’t forget to check out Fanduel, which is one of the most popular sports betting sites online today. It’s completely free to use and very intuitive. Hopefully this article has helped clear up some of the basic terminology surrounding football betting and informed you about the role of the bookmaker in this regard. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the statistics regarding NFL teams and players as well as the different types of bets available to the sports fan. And last but not least, make sure to bet with respectable and trustworthy bookmakers. Good luck out there.