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Everything You Need to Know about NFL Spread Betting

August 25, 2021

Written By,

Brijesh Mehta

NFL is the dominant American football league in the United States and it is gaining popularity outside the US today. NFL also has got much traction in the world of sports betting and NFL betting is offered by a large number of sportsbooks.

When it comes to NFL betting, spread betting (or also commonly referred to as “betting against the spread”) is one of the most common or popular betting options available in the NFL betting market. It is because the favoured team wins the game most of the time in the NFL. If you want to bet on NFL matches, then it’s important for you to understand how spread betting works.

On a side note, we have written an article about effective online cricket betting tips for anyone interested to take their cricket betting to the next level. If you are one of them, click the link to improve your winning chances on online cricket betting.

Those who are new to NFL betting might be confused with its spread betting. So, we are writing this article to help them out. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about NFL spread betting.


So, let’s get started.

What is NFL Spread Betting?

Spread betting acts as an equalizer for bookmakers or sportsbooks so that bets on two unequally favoured teams have almost even winning chance. All NFL teams do not have the same performance level. So, NFL spread betting is used by sportsbooks to even the field for two competing teams.

For NFL spread betting, the sportsbooks set a number or point for the favoured NFL team to overcome for winning. The bettors have the option of either wagering on the favoured NFL team to win by more than the number of points set by the sportsbook or wagering on the underdog NFL team to lose by less than that number.

If the number of spread points set by the sportsbook on the favoured NFL team is 4.5, this would mean that the wager on the favoured team will win if the team wins the match by more than 4.5 (5 or more). Whereas, the wager on the underdog will win if the underdog loses the match by less than 4.5 (4 or less) or wins the match outright.

Example of NFL Spread Bet

Let’s understand NFL spread betting with an example:


Dallas Cowboys-4.5 (-110)
New York Giants+4.5 (-110)

In the above example, the negative sign before 4.5 indicates that the Dallas Cowboys are the favourite team and the positive sign before 4.5 indicates that the New York Giants are the underdog team. If you place your bet on Dallas Cowboys, you will win the bet if the Cowboys wins the game by getting more than 4.5 points (5 or more). On the other hand, if you place your bet on New York Giants, your bet will win if the Giants loses by 4.5 or less (4 or less) points or win the match outright.

Spread Bet Set at a Whole Number

You can find NFL spread bets set at a whole number such as 2, 4, 5, 10, etc. You might be wondering what happens if the favoured team wins the match by the exact whole number set by the sportsbook. In such a case, all bets will be pushed i.e. your bet will be returned to you.

For example; the spread for Buffalo Bills is set at points 3 against the match with New York Jets. If the Bills wins the game by the exact 3 points, all bets will be pushed.

What about odds on the spread?

The odds are usually mentioned after or with the spread points by a sportsbook for both teams. If the odds are not mentioned, then you have to assume that the odds are -110 for both competing teams. The odds of -110 means that if you bet $110, you win $100 if your bet wins by beating the spread.

You might also see the different odds listed for the two sides. It is also common to see one team with odds -105 and another team with odds -115.


We hope that this article is helpful for you to understand how point spread betting works in NFL. Spread betting is very common in NFL and it is important to have a proper understanding of it if you want to bet on NFL games.

We would like to suggest anyone new to NFL betting know about the basic rules of the American football game and research about NFL teams and players before risking real money on betting. Knowledge is crucial when it comes to any sports betting.

Also, always perform any online betting activity on a safe, trusted and fully licensed betting platform. You can choose BetBarter which is licensed and registered under Curacao Authority. BetBarter is dedicated to providing a top-notch online betting experience and the site is also friendly to online betting India accepting common Indian payment options.

Written By,

Brijesh Mehta

Brijesh Mehta is a content writer & strategist from India providing his top-notch skills & expertise in the Sports and online casino industry for more than seven years. He is an avid reader and creative writer who is fond of words and uses them to teach others about online betting and trending sports news through his in-depth guides.