Current NFL Betting Lines and Odds

The NFL is the most popular sport in the United States. It’s also the most heavily wagered US sport. NFL betting action surpasses all other domestic sports leagues.

It’s estimated that $12 billion was wagered by 45.2 million Americans in 2021 on the NFL, and that number is expected to grow in the coming years as sports betting becomes legal in more and more states.

There are plenty of theories as to why betting on the NFL is so widespread.

One is that its popularity drives interest in betting. Others believe that the comparatively fewer number of games makes the NFL easier to follow. Additionally, three prime-time games each week between Thursday and Monday incentivizes people to make the games more interesting with a bet or two.

The most common NFL bet is the point spread. We’ll go over this and other common bets, as well as tips on how to bet on big events like the Super Bowl and popular NFL handicapping strategies.

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NFL Futures Odds

2023 Super Bowl Winner Odds

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How to Read Sports Betting Odds Video

Chapters

  1. NFL Bets
  2. NFL Betting Events
  3. How to Bet NFL Events
  4. Popular Teams
  5. NFL Betting Strategies

NFL Bets

Point Spread

The most common form of NFL betting is the point spread. Oddsmakers will set the spread at a number they believe will get an equal number of wagers on each team from bettors. Then, you decide whether the favored team will win by more than that number or the underdog will either win or lose by less than the spread.

We’ll get into why NFL betting lines are often lopsided and often don’t offer much value.

Point Spread Example

New York Giants +6.5 -110
Dallas Cowboys -6.5 -110

In this scenario, the Giants are the visiting team. The plus sign indicates that they’re getting 6.5 points. A bet on the Giants means you want them to either win the game or lose by six or fewer points.

Betting on Dallas means you think they will win by seven points or more. A spread with a half-point ensures that there will be no pushes.

Say Dallas had a 6 point spread and they win 30-24. That is a push against the spread and all bettors get their money back.

If both teams are listed at -110, that means you have to bet $110 to win $100 on each side. If the bets are split 50-50, the sportsbook uses the losing bets to pay the winners. You’ll notice that leaves $10 leftover from each bet. That’s called the vig or the juice. This is the cut that the sportsbooks take to A) make money and B) guarantee that your bet can be paid out.

SportsBetting3.com Live NFL Bets Explained

Live Example NFL Bets Explained

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Underdog Carolina Panthers - Carolina Panthers bettors risk $100 to win $81.97 at -122 odds.

A +3.5 Carolina Panthers underdog bet wins if they lose by 3 or fewer, tie, or win outright. Your bet loses if they lose by 4 or more.

Favorite New England Patriots - New England Patriots bettors risk $100 to win $100 at +100 odds.

A -3.5 New England Patriots favorite bet wins if they win by 4 or more. Your bet loses if they win by 3 or fewer, tie, or lose outright.

Totals (Over-Under)

Another popular bet in the NFL is the over-under. Oddsmakers will set the combined total of each team’s final score. Bet on whether you believe the actual total will be over or under the sportsbook’s line.

Totals Example

Pittsburgh Steelers o44 -110
Baltimore Ravens u44 -110

Here, the total is set at 44. Like a point spread bet, oddsmakers are trying to find a number that will garner an equal number of bets on each side. Their total doesn’t necessarily represent what they think the actual result will be. Sportsbooks are more interested in creating equal action on each side to ensure that they profit no matter which side wins.

In this example, the total is a whole number, so a push is in play. But like the point spread, a total could be set with a half-point, which eliminates the potential of a push.

Moneyline

The moneyline is simply picking the winner of the game. If you don’t want to worry about the complexity of the point spread or over-under, this is the bet for you.

Moneyline NFL betting is different from the point spread and total. The sportsbook doesn’t have to balance its action. Instead, they try to keep their liability even by setting the odds of each side winning.

Moneyline Example

Green Bay Packers +200
Los Angeles Rams -250

There is no exact formula, but the Rams being set at -250 on the moneyline equates to being around a six-point favorite. So instead of betting the spread, you would be betting on the Rams to just win the game.

While your probability of winning the bet increases, you’re going to have to pay for it in how much you risk. To place a bet on the Rams, you will need to wager 2.5-times more than you will win. If you want to win $100, for example, you would have to risk $250.

You’re at a disadvantage by betting on the Packers since they are fairly solid underdogs. You can take them without much risk. At +200, you can win double your money. A $100 bet will pay you $200 if Green Bay pulls off the upset.

Futures

A futures bet is placed at any point during the season prior to a championship, playoff, final standing, or league award announcement. The most popular bet is to pick the team to win the Super Bowl, but you can bet on conference and division winners along with individual player predictions like MVP or rookie of the year.

Odds can be set for futures bets as soon as the end of the Super Bowl of the previous season.

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Futures Example

Futures odds change based on trades and other moves during the offseason and then how a team plays–along with other key factors like injuries–throughout the course of the season.

Take, for instance, the futures odds for Super Bowl 57 in 2023. The odds were set after Los Angeles won Super Bowl 56. Tampa Bay’s odds of winning the next year’s Super Bowl were set at +2500 because quarterback Tom Brady had already retired. But when he announced that he would be returning, odds on the Bucs dropped to +750.

Timing is a big part of futures betting. If you had a feeling that Brady’s retirement might not stick and you bet on the Bucs at +2500, you got some major value. A bet of $100 at that time would pay out $2,500 if Tampa Bay wins the 2023 Super Bowl. However, Brady’s unexpected return now means you can win $750 until other factors influence Tampa Bay’s odds. Regularly monitoring futures odds allows you to get the best possible value.

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Super Bowl

When it comes to major events in the NFL, the conversation has to begin with the Super Bowl. The event pits the winners of the NFC and AFC conferences. It’s not only the most popular single-day sporting event in the world, but it’s also the most-viewed television program in the U.S. by far.

The 2022 Super Bowl was watched live by 112 million, and the NFL says the total viewership was nearly double that. Unlike other league championships in the major U.S. sports, the Super Bowl is held at a stadium that is determined several years in advance. It is supposed to be a neutral-site game, but two recent Super Bowl winners (Buccaneers after the 2020 season and Rams in 2021) won the big game in their home stadiums by coincidence.

Division

The Super Bowl is the culmination of the NFL playoffs, which begin with the Wild Card round in mid-January after the 18-week regular season concludes. Seven teams from each conference make the playoffs with the top seed from each receiving a first-round bye.

After the Wild Card round, there are four teams remaining in each conference. They face off in the Divisional round: the top seed hosts the lowest-remaining seed while the other two teams play each other.

Conference

The Divisional round winners meet in the AFC and NFC championship games, which take place two weeks before the Super Bowl. The highest remaining seed in each conference hosts the other team in that game.

How to bet NFL events

Futures Bet

We mentioned this earlier, but placing NFL futures bets are a great way to enjoy big events. It gives you a rooting interest throughout the season, and you’re not limited to just the Super Bowl. You can bet on AFC and NFC championship winners along with the winners of the eight different divisions.

And if you’d like to reduce the betting pool, you can place a futures bet on the Super Bowl right up until there are four teams left before the conference championship games. After that, there will be traditional game odds available once the Super Bowl matchup is set.

When to Bet

Game odds for each individual playoff game are generally available shortly after the matchup is set. Sometimes, betting as soon as a game becomes available can give you an advantage. If a sportsbook notices too much action on one team or the other, they will often change the line by a half or sometimes full point. Betting early allows you to take advantage of some of these potential miscalculations, or “bad lines”.

Other times, it could benefit you to wait until closer to game time. This is usually the case when the status of an injured key player is in question, and you’re trying to figure out whether that player will end up playing or not before placing a bet.

Single-Game Alternatives

As the games get bigger in the NFL, there are more things to bet on in a particular game than the standard point spread, total, or moneyline bets.

For most games, you can bet alternate point spreads or totals. Also, consider betting 1st half or quarter point spreads and totals.

Prop bets are huge business for the Super Bowl and other major matchups. While some props are available each week in NFL betting, there are far more offered for the Super Bowl.

You can bet on just about anything you can imagine, from who will score the first touchdown and who will be the game’s MVP, to non-game bets like the over-under on how long it will take for the national anthem to be sung, or whether the coin toss lands on heads or tails. Look for valuable NFL betting plays outside of traditional spread, total or moneyline bets.

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Popular NFL Teams

Green Bay Packers

The Packers have been in operation since 1919 and some of the biggest names in the sport are associated with the team. The Packers won nine NFL championships before the Super Bowl era. Head coach Vince Lombardi–the man the Super Bowl championship trophy is named after–led the Packers to the first two Super Bowl titles, along with Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr.

Since 1992, Green Bay has had just two starting quarterbacks (not counting those who played due to injury): Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. Favre made the playoffs 11 times, reached two Super Bowls, and won one with Green Bay. Rodgers won a Super Bowl early in his career (2010) and is a four-time NFL MVP. The Packers play in Lambeau Field, which is one of the most historic venues in the sport and is famous for the “Lambeau Leap” done by players who jump into the crowd after scoring a touchdown.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The 1970s were dominated by the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys, and both remain two of the most popular teams today. The Steelers also had a resurgence from the mid-1990s that has lasted to the present day.

Under quarterback Terry Bradshaw and a defense called the “Steel Curtain,” Pittsburgh won four Super Bowls in the ‘70s. They rose to prominence once again in the ‘90s under head coach Bill Cowher, and after drafting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in 2004, the Steelers won two more Super Bowls (‘05 and ‘08) to become the first team to win the Super Bowl six times. Not many cities love their team like Pittsburgh loves the Steelers, as the blue-collar identity of the city matches the workman-like image the team gives off.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys are called “America’s Team” after rising to prominence in the 1970s followed by another major run of success in the 1990s. Dallas reached the Super Bowl five times in the ‘70s, winning two, and won three of four championships in the 1990s (1992-93, ‘95).

After Jerry Jones bought the team and hired head coach Jimmy Johnson, the trio of quarterback Troy Aikman, running back Emmitt Smith, and wide receiver Michael Irvin helped lead the team to those titles. Dallas hasn’t reached the Super Bowl since then, but they remain extremely popular and have reached the playoffs eight times since their last world championship. The Cowboys play at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, which is the largest stadium in the NFL and is famous for its scoreboard that takes up almost the entire length of the field.

New England Patriots

The team of the 2000s and 2010s was the New England Patriots, as a coach and quarterback combination turned a franchise that had won none of the first 35 Super Bowls into an unstoppable force. The Patriots then played in nine of the next 18, winning six with quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick.

Brady holds several NFL records and the Patriots own many team records, including the most Super Bowl appearances (11), the most playoff wins (37), the longest winning streak of regular season and playoff games (21), and a tie with Pittsburgh for the most Super Bowl titles. The mere blemish on the Patriots’ run was that after becoming the first team to have a 16-0 regular season, they were unable to finish undefeated after losing to the New York Giants in Super Bowl 42.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

While not a franchise that’s had historic success like the first four, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are one of the league’s most popular teams currently due to one player: Tom Brady. The team is known for extreme periods of futility and success.

The team lost the first 20 games of its existence after coming into the league in 1976. The Bucs largely struggled until head coach Tony Dungy led a defense containing Hall of Famers Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, and John Lynch; the Bucs made the playoffs in five out of six years from 1997-’02, culminating in a Super Bowl title. It would be nearly two more decades until the Bucs won another playoff game. After signing Brady before the 2020 season, the Bucs became the first team in the then-55-year history of the Super Bowl to play the game in their home stadium. They beat Kansas City 31-9 to the delight of the hometown fans at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

NFL Betting Strategies

Track Line Movement

Oddsmakers are trying to create an even amount of betting on each team when setting a line. Their line isn’t a prediction of the game outcome. Sometimes, they miscalculate and 75-80% of the action will be on one team. Thus, the line will move in favor of the other team.

If you’re tracking lines, look for a reason for the line shift. Absent an injury, lineup change, or other outward factor explaining the change, it’s likely a correction to the initial line.

If oddsmakers are just trying to get more action on the other side by giving them a half or full-point edge, the value likely still lies in the team that’s seeing most of the action. This is because the sportsbooks are trying to correct their miscalculation on the opening line, so unless there’s a significant line shift of a few points, don’t take the bait.

Over-Under Bias

Just like the point spread, oddsmakers are setting a total line to what they think will get half the public to bet over and half to bet under. Long-term betting trends show that casual bettors tend to take the over because they expect to see each offense score points.

But in the 2021 NFL season, just eight of the 32 teams had more games go over the total than under. Now that isn’t normal and may just be a one-year outlier, but what is true is that there is a bias towards the over. Oddsmakers will take advantage of that by oftentimes setting the total at a higher number than they actually think the final score will be.

After all, if people are going to take the over anyway, why not make the line a few points higher than it should be? It gives the house a better chance to win against those players.

Home Underdog Strategy

For this NFL betting strategy, you don’t want to blindly bet every home underdog. Instead, do so under two circumstances:

Home underdog is getting +9.5 points or more
Home underdog is getting +2.5 points or fewer

For the heavy home underdog, parity is such a big part of the NFL; it’s tough to win in a blowout. It’s even harder to do so on the road. From 2011-16, there were 22 games where a road team was favored by double-digits, and the home underdog went 14-8 in those games against the spread.

For a home underdog getting +2.5 points or fewer, the sample size is greater and also more tilted towards the underdog. The thinking here is that oddsmakers have found the public is more likely to take a road favorite if they are favored by less than a field goal, but this is just a way to entice betting on the favorite. The dirty little secret here is that this narrow of a home underdog usually covers or wins outright.

Home underdogs from 2011-16 went 89-61 against the spread, which is about 59%. If you jump on this kind of line early in the season, however, your chances are even better, as the results over the first four weeks of the season is 22-14. That’s around 64%, so a pretty good return!