The point spread, also known as the point handicap or difference in points, is the amount of points that are assigned to a team as compared to its opponent for a specific NFL game. For example, the Chicago Bears are playing the Green Bay Packers at home on October 19, 2018 in a match up that will have a point spread of −3.5 points.

To learn more about the point spread, we consulted the Genius Sports Guide, a betting authority that provides information about betting and sports. The point spread can also be found on a team’s website or in its sports section. You may see terms like the ‘over-under’, ‘point spread’, or ‘point difference’ used interchangeably, but these terms actually have different meanings.

## What is the Over/Under?

The point spread and the over/under are generally used interchangeably, but they have different meanings. The point spread is the amount of points that are assigned to a team as compared to its opponent, while the over/under is the total number of points that a team is must score to prove a win. If the over/under is 49 and the point spread is 7, the payout for the bettor is 3 to 1.

For example, if you bet $100 on the Buffalo Bills (under) to score 21 points against the New England Patriots and they end up scoring 24 points, you win $200. But if the game ends in a tie, no money is won or lost. The over/under determines the payout, not the point spread.

## What is the Point Difference?

The point spread and the point difference are also generally used interchangeably, but they have different meanings. The point spread is the amount of points that are assigned to a team as compared to its opponent, while the point difference is the total number of points that a team must score to prove a win. The point difference in this example would be 3 points − (−3.5 points).

The point difference is only calculated if both teams score the same number of points or if the score is tied. If the over/under is 49 and the point difference is 3, the payout for the bettor is 2 to 1.

## When Do You Calculate the Point Difference?

The point difference is only calculated at the end of the game, and only if both teams are still in the game. If one team is already leading by the time the other team scores, there is no point difference to be calculated. For instance, the Packers beat the Bears 27 to 23 in a closely fought game last October 19th. The point spread was 3.5 points, but there was no point difference because the Bears had already won. If there is no point difference, there is no payout for the bet.

## What Is The Over-Under Point Total?

The over-under point total is the total number of points that a team must score in order to win the game. For example, the over-under point total for last week’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders was 47 points. The point total was 47 because the Chiefs had already qualified for the playoffs as a 6-point underdog, while the over/under was 48, so the payout was 1 to 1 (for a $100 bet).

If a team scores more points than the over-under point total, then it wins the game. If the team scores fewer points than the over-under point total, then it loses the game. For instance, the Chiefs had 12 points scored against them and they ended up losing the game by 1 point (13–12). The over-under on that one was 12 points, and the point difference was therefore 1 point (12–11).

Sometimes, it is hard to tell how a game is going to end. For example, the Chargers had no answer for Nick Foles and the Eagles’ potent offense, and even threw a scare or two toward the end of the game. But in the end, the Eagles outlasted the Chargers 27 to 24.

To follow along with all the scores, you can get the latest NFL football odds from online sportsbooks like BetOnline or you can follow the live scores on our homepage.