Gambling on the NFL
The start of the NFL regular season is tomorrow. It’s time to get back online and check out how the accounts on your bookmakers! The summer isn’t officially over, but the vacation season has come and gone. Let’s get you caught up on the first week of NFL action.
I’ve already explained this before, but I’ll do a quick recap for the new sports gamblers out there. There are three basic types of bets that you can make on an NFL game: Point Spread, Money Line and Total Points. The point spread is a bet placed on one team or the other; one will be an underdog and one will be the favorite. Betting on either team will cost roughly the same amount of money.
How to bet?
If you see a (-110) next to the two teams, there is about an equal number of bets on each side. This mean you will have to wager $110 to win $100 on either team. Any variation from this means that there is an unequal amount of betting on one team. The most that this will change is (-125) and (+105) before the point spread changes by a half point.
The moneyline is a bet that is place on one team to win the game. It doesn’t matter which team is favored, so betting on one team might cost more to win the same amount if they are the favorite. The total points is an over/under bet on the number of points the two teams will score combined for that game.
If you are going to bet on a game, make sure that you the sportsbook that offers the best line for that game. If you are betting on the favorite, you want the spread to be as close to 0 as possible. If you are betting on the underdog, you want the spread to be as far away from 0 as possible. This is called line shopping and you can learn more about this at NflBettingLines.org.
Week 1 Predictions
The first game is between the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos in Mile High Stadium. The game isn’t being played in Baltimore because of a scheduling conflict with the Baltimore Orioles that couldn’t get resolved. Denver lost to Baltimore in the playoffs last season in 2OT. They are considered heavy favorites over the Ravens.
This game has already had a lot of action. The line opened up at 8.5 points. It went up to 9.0 points before it dropped like a rock back down to 7.5 points. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this line drop further to 6.5 points since more than half of the bets are currently on Baltimore to beat the spread. You can check out the live lines for these NFL games here.
Baltimore at Denver (-7.5) – Final Score Denver 27-21
New England (-9.5) at Buffalo – Final Score New England 38-13
Tennessee at Pittsburgh (-7) – Final Score Pittsburgh 17-13
Atlanta at New Orleans (-3) – Final Score New Orleans 35-31
Tampa Bay (-3.5) at New York Jets – Final Score Tampa Bay 20-16
Kansas City (-3.5) at Jacksonville – Final Score Jacksonville 23-21
Cincinnati at Chicago (-3) – Final Score Chicago 24-17
Miami at Cleveland (-1) – Final Score Miami 20-14
Seattle (-3) at Carolina – Final Score Carolina 27-24
Minnesota at Detroit (-5.5) – Final Score Detroit 28-24
Oakland at Indianapolis (-9) – Final Score Indianapolis 30-16
Arizona at St Louis (-4.5) – Final Score Arizona 20-18
Green Bay at San Francisco (-4.5) – Final Score San Francisco 30-28
New York Giants at Dallas (-3.5) – Final Score Dallas 33-31
Philadelphia at Washington (-3) – Final Score Washington 24-21
Houston (-3.5) at San Diego – Final Score Houston 27-17
There are a few games that jump out at me right away. I give Buffalo very little chance of keeping New England within 10 points. I give Oakland even less of a chance of keeping Indy with 10 on the road. Pittsburgh doesn’t have the offense to beat Tennessee by more than a TD. San Diego is rebuilding and is very short on wide receivers; they won’t be within a TD of Houston.
On the other side, I’m going to refute some “easy” picks that people are making. Everyone is betting on Tampa Bay to beat the Jets handily. However, the Bucs haven’t been that good on offense recently and the Jets still have a decent defense. This shouldn’t be enough for the Jets to win because of their awful offense, but they might cover at home.
About 90% of the bets are on Kansas City to win on the road against Jacksonville. They haven’t improved that much to deserve that type of respect no matter how bad Jacksonville is going to be this year.
This could be a trap game for Seattle, which is weird to say first game into the season. They have to travel to the East Coast to play an early game which often gives the Seahawks problems. Their defense isn’t nearly as good on the road, either.
Detroit has done nothing to earn a 5.5 favorite against the Vikings. These two always play closer than a TD and usually closer than a FG. Look for Adrian Peterson to start the season hot.