The line is one of the most important parts of any football bet. Not only does it impact your final return, but your mental approach to the game and the strategies you use. Knowing how to read the line, though, can be difficult. In this article, we’ll discuss what the current line means in a football bet and how you can improve your understanding of this important part of betting on sports.
Important Things To Keep In Mind
Before we begin, it is important to keep in mind a few things about the line. First, it is always best to avoid backing the favorite in any matchup, or in a tournament game where you can possibly win with either team. Second, you should avoid backing a team in a game where they are underdogs, as they will likely go along with the game plan and upset you. Third, you should avoid wagering on games involving your home team, as they will almost certainly perform better than expected and you won’t be able to make up for poor sportsmanship. Finally, it is crucial to become familiar with the differences in the way sportsbooks handle money versus online bookmakers. In the next few sections, we’ll discuss each of these things in more detail.
The Line, In A Nutshell
If you’re new to betting on sports, it can be hard to understand exactly what the line is and how it impacts your overall return. To put it simply, the line is the spread between the teams – in other words, the amount of money you must wager to win. The line is usually expressed as the decimal point, with the decimal point representing the units of money you must wage. For example, if you want to bet $100 on a football game and the line is set at 3 points (or –3), you’ll need to bet $33 to win $100 ($100 minus $33 is $67; $67 plus $33 is $100).
If you’re playing at a small sports bookie site, you’ll likely find all your football bets posted on a single sheet of paper called the racing form, which is essentially a PDF document. When you find yourself in the middle of a wining streak, you’ll see the name of the betting shop and the name of the opposing team, along with the line and the total number of points. This is how most people find out where they stand in terms of their betting returns. If you’re playing at a large online sportsbook, you’ll see multiple tabs for each game, with odds and betting lines prominently displayed on each tab.
The Total Points For Each Team
Another important thing to keep in mind when reading the line is the total number of points that are on the board for each team. When a team scores, it is usually announced in the form of “the Browns score a touchdown” or “the 49ers get a field goal.” In either case, the number of points that were scored is usually preceded by the word “touchdown” or “field goal.”
If you’re playing at a small sports bookie site, you’ll simply see the total number of points for each team. If you’re playing at a large online sportsbook, you’ll see the total number of points along with the individual scoring statistics (such as touchdowns and field goals) for each team.
How To Read The Line
When you’re playing at a small sports bookie site, it will often be hard to see how the line is calculated. For example, if you’re playing at a 10-team parlay and the line is 1.5, it may be difficult to tell which games will be affected by the line and which games will be determined by the sportsbook’s arbitrary assessment of the quality of the teams’ respective footballs.
To figure out what the line is for any given game, you need to look at the opening lines for that game. If you’re playing at a large online sportsbook, you can click on the game in question to get to the page with the detailed game information. From there, you can click on the “Stats” tab to get the list of stats, along with the team’s record.
The Spread, In General
One of the most important things to keep in mind when betting on sports is the important of knowing when to avoid the spread and when to use it. In the example above where we were trying to determine the line for a Browns/49ers game, the spread is 3 points (or -3). The line is set at 3 points, so when we check the spread, we see that it is indeed 3 points. If you see a spread that you feel is too good to be true, it probably is!
If the spread is too good to be true, there are a few situations where you might want to use the spread. For example, if you see that one of the teams is significantly better than their record might lead you to believe and that their over/under is too good to be true (an over/under of 45 points in basketball, for example), then you might want to take a peek at the spread to see if it is indeed too good to be true.
The Over/Under Betting
If the spread is good, it opens up the possibility for over/under betting. In most sports, over/under betting is a very popular form of betting. To make an over/under bet, you pick an amount that you feel is too high or too low for the game. For example, if you think the Titans will cover the spread, you might want to put $100 on them to win. If, however, you think the Patriots will cover the spread, you might want to bet $200 to win $100 or more. In both cases, you’re making an over/under bet and, in either case, you feel the amount you’ve chosen is too high or too low.
If you’re playing at a small sports bet shop, you won’t have access to over/under bets, as the lines will be set beforehand and there will be no betting on whether the spread will be exceeded or not.
Another form of betting that is incredibly popular is the moneyline bet. To make a moneyline bet, you pick a side – either the “moneyline” or the “pick’ – and you place a wager on that side. For example, if you think the 49ers will win the game, you might want to wager $100 on them (“moneyline” or “take the nickel”) or you could wager $155 on the Browns (“pick’ or “put your money where your mouth is”). When a team wins, you win your wager and when a team loses, you lose your wager. You can’t win or lose on a moneyline bet, as the amount you wager is determined by the size of the game and the team’s record.
Moneyline betting is one of the simplest forms of betting to understand, so if you’re new to betting, it is a good place to start. When playing at a large online sportsbook, you’ll find most of your weekly betting activity represented on a single screen, with the various bet types clearly displayed next to the teams’ names, along with the moneyline for that game.