Point spread bets are one of the most common bets made on Pro Football. Essentially the bet consists of the favorite receiving a negative points handicap for example -3.5 points which means for the bet on the favorite to win they need to win the match outright by more than 3.5 points whereas the underdog is given a positive points handicap for example +3.5 which means for a bet on the underdog to win they need to either win the game outright or lose by 3 or less points for the bet to win.
NFL point spread bets even the betting playing field so too speak, let's say your favorite team is the Kansas City Chiefs and they are taking on the Chargers. The Chiefs have been terrible all year and the Chargers are on fire so you can't see your team winning straight up and even though the odds for them to do so are juicy deep down you know you would just be throwing your money away. That's where the point spread bet comes in, to give you an even chance bet on your team and that Chiefs +10 line looks inviting.
With the way the points scoring works in the NFL there are certain margins of victory that are more common that others, these are known as key numbers and are important to know about and consider when betting football point spreads. The most common margin of victory in the NFL is 3 points which results in about 10% of all games. The next most important NFL key numbers are 7, 10 and 14 which occur around 5.5% to 6% of the time. Why should you consider the key numbers when placing your spread bet? Well with about 105 of all games finishing with a margin of 3 points the difference between you betting a team at +2.5, +3 or +3.5 can be the difference between an agonizing half point loss, a push or a win.
While the vast majority of players who bet NFL point spreads just bet the team they fancy or see value in there are others who attempt to middle or side a game. Basically a middle is a bet that consist of two bets, one on either side but at different spread so as to give the chance of the actual result falling in the middle of those bets. An example would be betting the Jets -2 and later betting the Ravens +3.5 in this instance no matter which team wins you will win one bet and lose the other unless the Jets win by 3 which would give you two winning bets and what is called a middle. The risk is low as you only lose the vig when it doesn't come off while the upside when you do hit the middle is a nice profit. There are statistics available as which numbers and scenarios are the best to attempt a middle with key numbers obviously playing a role. Similar to middles are sides which again involve a bet on either side at different point spreads, they give the opportunity for one bet to push and the other to win. This may occur in a situation for example where you take the Jets -2.5 and the Ravens +3, if the Jets win by three you win the Jets bet while the bet on the Ravens is refunded as a push.