Why the NFL Point Spread is the Most Important Factor in Football Betting

NFL Point Spread

This article was last updated on August 31, 2022

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Professional football betting isn’t just about the winner and loser of each game. NFL point spreads play an important role, too, because you’re not just betting on the team that you think will win; you’re also betting on the margin of victory (the difference between the score of one team and the other). The NFL point spread gives each team a specific number of points they must get from their opponents to cover (win) their bet—or not. Even if your favourite team loses a football game, you can still cover your bet if they cover the spread.

What are NFL point spreads?

The point spread is the most common way to bet on NFL games and is the most crucial factor in football betting. The point spread is a number set by oddsmakers that indicates how much one team is expected to win.

How are NFL point spreads derived?

The most common form of sports betting involves picking a contest winner, also known as a straight bet. However, there are also many other types of bets, including the point spread. A favourite team will always be set at (-) number, and an underdog team will always be set at (+) number. For example, if the Kansas City Chiefs were playing against the Jacksonville Jaguars and you wanted to bet on the Chiefs to win, you would put your money on them at -7 points (i.e., 7 points less than what they need to win). If you thought the Jaguars would win instead, you would want to pick them for +7 points (i.e., 7 points more than what they need to win).

What happens when you bet against the spread?

When you bet against the spread, you are essentially wagering that the team favoured to win will not win by the number of points indicated by the spread. For example, let’s say that the New England Patriots are favoured to beat the Miami Dolphins by 7 points. If you bet against the spread, you would be wagering that either the Patriots will lose outright or they will not win by more than 6 points.

Should you play favourites or underdogs?

In football betting, the point spread is an essential factor to consider. This is because it indicates how much a team is expected to win or lose. For example, if Team A plays Team B and the point spread on Team A is 10 points, they are favoured by 10 points.

What are moneylines?

In football betting, the Moneyline is the odds for a given game. The favourite will have negative odds (e.g., 150), meaning you have to bet $150 to win $100. The underdog will have positive odds (e.g. +200), meaning you would win $200 if you bet $100. Of course, you can bet more or less than $100, but that’s a general idea.


The point spread is the most critical factor to consider when betting on NFL games, as it can be the difference between winning and losing your bet. If you can correctly predict which team will cover the spread, you will be a successful football bettor. However, if you regularly bet on games without considering the point spread, you will likely lose money in the long run.

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