NFL Odds Betting

TheFootballLines's picture
Sun, 2011-09-04 17:24 -- TheFootballLines

NFL odds bets or money line odds bets are probably the purest of all football betting options because it is a straight out bet on which team will win the game that's it, no points start or points off just who will win. One thing you can be assured of is that Pro Football teams from the Head Coach, staff and most importantly the playing roster have one objective and that is to win football games.

Money line odds are displayed like so in US odds format; New York Jets -161 v Baltimore Ravens +140 and the equivalent in decimal odds format would be New York Jets 1.65 v Baltimore Ravens 2.40, they are both the same in terms of pricing they just read differently. In US odds pricing the favorite with the negative number displays how much you need to bet to profit $100 in this example NY Jets -161 equates to betting 161 to make $100 whereas the underdogs odds those with a positive number such as Ravens +140 equates to how much profit you make for a $100 bet in this case a $100 bet profits $140. Decimal odds are read as how much you receive back per $1 bet i.e. Jets 1.65 x $100 = $165 or a profit of $65. Just like all odds NFL moneylines odds are a displaying a probability for that outcome with the percentages reflected in the odds which includes the bookmakers commission or vigorish.

To work out the percentage probability that the odds reflect and using the above example you would, Probability (inc vig) for NY Jets odds (1.65) = calculate 100/1.65 = 60.61% Probability (inc vig) for Ravens odds (2.4) = calculate 100/2.4 = 41.67%. Those are the approximate percentages with the bookmaker's commission. To work out the no-vig probabilities add the two together 60.61 + 41.67 = 102.28 -100 = 2.28% which is the bookies built in commission. Take that figure and subtract from 100 gives you 97.72% which is the bookies payout share, now multiply that payout share % by the teams probability inc vig in the NY Jets example this would be 60.61 x 97.72% = 59.23%

By setting an appropriate point spread to each game bookmakers offer the gambler the opportunity to have a 50/50 wager no matter how big a mismatch the game may be, with that well set point spread line evening things out. The only problem there is the fact that pro football teams care not about covering a point spread their sole objective is to win straight out whatever the margin. How many times have you seen an underdog play out of their skins and take it to the league leaders only to fall short right at the finish? The underdog made the game close enough to cover the spread but the favorite found the needed points to again get the moneyline win as they so often do. With almost all NFL games having a winner, your odds bet should either be a winning or losing bet slip, where as point spread and total bets that are based on a rounded number can and do fall on the spread number which results in a push which is a refunded bet.