How to bet on NFL games
After all the drama and intrigue, there’s just one game left in the 2020-21 NFL campaign: Super Bowl LV, which kicks off Sunday, February 7 at 6:30 PM ET on CBS. Raymond James Stadium in Tampa is this year’s venue, which means for the first time ever, there will be a true home team: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They’ll host the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs, who opened as 3.5-point favorites on the NFL betting lines at Hard Rock Digital's Sportsbook.This should be one for the ages. We’ve got two of the greatest quarterbacks in the league: Tom Brady for Tampa, and Patrick Mahomes for the Chiefs. Can Mahomes win his second Super Bowl ring in three full seasons at the helm – just like Brady did at the start of his career? Or will Brady add a seventh title to his collection, and his first since leaving the New England Patriots behind? All will be revealed on Super Bowl Sunday.
Point-spread sports gambling works by “spotting” points to the underdog and “taking” points away from the favorite prior to kickoff. For instance, if the Kansas City Chiefs are a (-10) point spread favorite for the Super Bowl, the team must win by at least 11 points to “cover the spread” and win a bet. If the visitors win, tie, or lose to the Chiefs by only 9 points or less, then the “(+10)” underdogs cover the spread. Spread betting can be a refuge for those whose hometown team is a heavy favorite or long-shot underdog on a given Sunday. A 2-touchdown favorite won’t pay off very much with a moneyline victory, but a (-14) favorite that covers the spread pays off at close to a 1-to-1 bet at Hard Rock Digital's Sportsbook. Meanwhile, if you’ve taken the underdogs to “cover” a 14-point spread, you’re really just hoping for a close contest. Your NFL predictions can lose the game by 13 points and still cover. When the point spread is matched exactly by the outcome of a game, such as the New York Giants (-8) beating the Dallas Cowboys (+8) by exactly 8 points, wagers are returned in a “push” result.
More than just old-fashioned odds are available at Hard Rock Digital's online sportsbook. For a chance at making some money, betting speculators can wager between NFL prop bets and parlays in addition to live-betting sports markets each Thursday, Sunday, and Monday of the season. “Prop,” or “proposition,” odds come with multiple-choice or yes-no gambling questions posed by the bookmaker. Benchmarks are often used, such as “will Tom Brady pass for 300+ yards on Sunday?” Other props can be as simple as asking whether an athlete will start for his team and/or score points in a big game. Other prop bets might cover an entire season.A parlays is a bet on multiple teams to win or multiple teams to cover the spread, and all outcomes must be winners for the gamble to successfully win money. Because hitting an NFL parlay bet is among the more difficult gambling tasks, Hard Rock Digital's Sportsbook offers eye-popping payout percentages and even the occasional “teaser” or gambler’s choice line-movement on NFL spreads in a parlay. Live or “in-play” NFL odds are offered to gamblers as sports games are being played. Point spreads, over/under lines, and moneyline odds are continually updated in real-time as events on the field affect the likely results of drives, quarters, halves, and the final score. In-play gaming on NFL action comes with its disadvantages, such as not always being able to “grab” a bet slip prior to the rapid-fire odds changing once again. But there are advantages too, such as being able to find nice payoff odds on a surging underdog just as the gambling public might bet a favorite to come back in the 2nd half.Every style of betting on football comes with its own tactical fine points. Click around Hard Rock Digital's betting blog and “go deep” on some top strategies of winning NFL predictions.
In the vintage comedy film It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, a gang of accidental detectives try to dig-up a fortune hidden under a “big W.” In the comic drama known as the NFL, not every win, or “W,” is worth a lot of money. Sometimes, like in the movie, weekend bets amount to a car wreck instead. The owner of a last-place team, looking to clinch a top NFL draft pick for the following April, might even secretly hope that the club posts another Sunday “L.” But for gambling on moneyline, to win and make a decent amount of money on a bet is always a big deal.Moneyline odds promise a percentage payoff when a gambler’s chosen team wins the game. An NFL favorite’s moneyline odds are posted with a “-” symbol as in the moneyline (-200). Underdogs are marked with a “+,” as in an ML of (+350). The money payoff is calculated differently in the favorite and underdog markets, but always with or $100 bills in mind. The favorite (-200) mean that for every $200 bet on the team to win that week, the house will pay out $100 if the expected outcome occurs. On the underdog side, the odds represent the amount paid out on one $100 bet if the team wins. For example, (+350) equals a $350 payout on $100 bet, and a win with (+1000) represents a money payout of $1000 on the same risk, and so on.
The over/under wager collapses a pair of NFL opponents into a single market and asks how many overall points will be scored in the game. Each “O/U,” or over/under bet, has 2 components. The over/under line is a number with no math symbols, no bells, and whistles. Just (45) or (51.5) (with the “.5” fraction blocking a potential push, since teams can’t score half-points) or maybe (55) if a pair of high-scoring teams are planning a Monday night track meet. Next to the O/U number are the payoff odds—again usually around 1-to-1 risk and reward.
Recreational NFL gambling affects the over/under line. Whether it’s the NFC Championship, AFC Championship, or another high-profile game, the “over” market will tend to book too much sports action, as people who bet for fun prefer to cheer for a shoot-out and lots of TDs by both teams, even if their team doesn’t win. Online betting bookmakers will then move the O/U line upward to balance out the sports betting action on each side of the market. Therefore, the “under” can be a sure-fire winner when 2 opposing defenses are better than advertised.Whole-number over/under lines, such as (42), are “pushed” when the final score tallies the O/U exactly. If teams are tied 21-21 going into OT, a scoreless period results in a push on the O/U of (42) points, while a score of any kind by either club results in a win for a bet on the “over.”