The Duel

NFL Betting Explained

Jason Schandl
Explaining NFL betting lines, odds, point spread, prop bets and over/unders.
Explaining NFL betting lines, odds, point spread, prop bets and over/unders. / Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
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The NFL isn't just the biggest sports league in the United States, it's also one of the most popular for sports betting.

With sports betting being legalized in more and more states, there are more and more opportunities to bet on the NFL at FanDuel Sportsbook.

With that in mind, here's a rundown of how NFL betting works.

How Does NFL Betting Work?

Each week, FanDuel Sportsbook will post betting odds for every game on the NFL schedule. There are a variety of ways to bet on the game, from something as simple as picking the winner (moneyline) to betting on how much a team will win or lose by (point spreads) or how high the score will be (over/under). You can also place bets on individual players' performances (prop bets).

How to Read NFL Betting Lines

NFL betting lines on FanDuel Sportsbook are presented in what is called the "American odds" format, with odds for favorites getting "minus" odds while underdogs get "plus" odds (i.e. -120 for a favorite and +120 for an underdog).

For the favorites, that line reflects how much you would need to wager to win a $100 payout. So if you wager $120 on a -120 betting line and win, you get your initial $120 back plus an additional $100. The plus odds reflect what you would win from a $100 wager, so winning a $100 bet on a +120 line would get your $100 wager back plus $120 in winnings.

How to Read a Point Spread

Point spreads are a way to keep betting lines close even for a lopsided matchup. Also appearing as "minus" and "plus" lines, point spreads refer to how much a team has to win (or lose) by for a bet to cash.

For example, a heavily favored team may have a -7 point spread, while the opponent is at +7. If you wager on the favorite, they need to win by more than 7 points for your bet to cash. If you wager on the +7 underdog, you win the bet as long as they lose by fewer than 7 points.

What is Over/Under in Betting?

With an over/under, you're not betting on either team, but rather the final score of the game. Also known as "totals," these kinds of wagers refer to the combined points scored by both teams.

For example, if a game's over/under is set at 53.5, you can either bet that the teams combine to score more points (i.e. at least 54) or fewer (i.e. no more than 53) in the game.

What are Prop Bets?

Prop bets are wagers that can be placed on things other than the outcome of the game. This can range for things like individual player statistics (i.e. will Tom Brady throw for over or under 324.5 yards), but can also be for team statistics (i.e. how many touchdowns will the Buccaneers score?) or for the Super Bowl even things like the color of the Gatorade dumped on the winning coach.


Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook today and get your first bet risk free for up to $500!


Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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