NFL spread betting explained

NFL spread betting explained

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NFL spread betting explained

The 2022/2023 NFL season is in full swing now and it’s safe to say that excitement levels have reached fever pitch all around the world. Indeed, the NFL is now a global product with interest in American football at an all-time high. In particular, the NFL has now become one of the most followed sporting leagues in the UK with games now hosted in London owing to the unprecedented demand for additional coverage across the pond.

In short, we are currently witnessing a revolution as a sport once only appreciated in North America, begins to find a place in the hearts of sports lovers around the planet. With this in mind, it perhaps won’t come as a surprise to discover that the surge in popularity has now brought greater interest in NFL betting. Essentially, the more clued-up fans become on the sport, the more they want to capitalize on this newfound knowledge by winning an NFL bet.

Now, if you’re reading this and have, like millions around the world, taken an interest in the NFL but currently find yourself out of the loop when it comes to betting on American football, then fear not. Below, we’ll take a deep dive into the most popular NFL betting market which is undoubtedly spread betting. Indeed, this is the market that knowledgeable fans flock to the most so without any further ado, let’s get you up to speed.

What is NFL spread betting?

First things first, let’s begin by establishing exactly what spread betting is. In reality, whilst it may sound complicated, the truth is that it’s frighteningly straightforward when you consider that spread betting only involves deciding whether a team wins or loses by a certain number of points. For instance, head to the latest NFL spreads market and you’ll see a host of upcoming games. On this occasion, we’ll use the example of the New York Giants vs the Green Bay Packers, with the spread at 7.5 at odds of 10/11 both ways. Put simply, the Green Bay Packers are the outright favorites so if you were to bet on them using the spread market, they would have to beat the Giants by eight or more points for you to be successful, this is called covering the spread. However, if you were to bet on the Giants’ spread of +7.5, you would be successful if they lost by fewer than eight points. Indeed, the New York franchise doesn’t need to win for you to be paid out so long as the losing deficit doesn’t go over 7.5 points.

At this stage, you may be wondering why a half point has been added to the spread, the answer is that this cancels out the possibility of a draw so that there is always a definitive outcome in spread betting.

By now, you can probably see why spread betting is so popular given that it provides value in almost every NFL match even if there is a significant gulf in class between two teams. With that said, even when a tight contest is predicted, spread betting markets are still provided though typically, the spread would be just 1.5. Again, there’s significant value to be found here when two teams are evenly matched. Your task, however, is to determine who is likely to cover the spread when it’s supposedly too close to call. With this being the case, this is what you should take into account when spread betting.


In general, when it comes to betting on sports, it’s a common mistake to blindly back the bigger team who have historically enjoyed greater success when it’s coming up against a smaller outfit in good form. Yes, unlike the minnows, they might have a greater budget and a bigger trophy cabinet, but betting is about the here and now. This is especially true when it comes to spread betting.

In other words, even if a less fancied franchise who are playing well ultimately loses the game, it won’t be by much which is something to keep in mind when deciding which spread to put your money on. Alternatively, if a big team is flying and in ruthless form then it is likely they will win by a higher margin after putting in a dominant display. The long and short of it is that you must keep the form at the forefront of your mind when betting.


Injuries to key players – especially quarterbacks and cornerbacks – will play a key role in the outcome of spread betting. Indeed, if a team’s explosive quarterback is on the treatment table then you can imagine that scoring might not be as easy with a team short of creative attacking ideas.

Similarly, when the team’s man-mountain cornerback is injured, opposing teams may be able to exploit the defensive frailties found in the backline. Needless to say, it’s good practice to always keep an eye on any injury news before betting as it can often decide how many points are scored.

Home ground advantage

Never underestimate the momentum a team gets when playing in front of their home fans. Yes, it may sound like a cliche but a partisan fanbase is like having an extra man on the field and we see that time after time in the NFL. To help you out, this list of the loudest fanbases in the league should give you a better idea of what teams not to bet against due to the raucous atmosphere their supporters create.

Is spread betting worth it?

Spread betting is most definitely worth it for a host of different reasons but chiefly because it makes every game a heart-stopping spectacle which is, in essence, all sports fans truly want. Indeed, irrespective of how the two teams differ in terms of ability, spread betting will always make every play a potentially defining moment in the game. Gone are the days of dead rubbers or boring walkovers thanks to this unique betting market which is the great leveler, adding a whole new avenue of enjoyment to the sport.