NFL Betting Odds | How to Read NFL Lines and Odds | How To Bet

NFL Odds: How to Read Them and Bet

NFL Odds

NFL Betting Odds – Learning How to Read and Use Them in Your Favor

Learn how to read NFL betting odds and wager with high success rates

The ability to read NFL betting odds is one of the most important when it comes to football and NFL betting. This is one of the most dynamic sports leagues to watch in the US. It is also one of the most heavily bet on, as football reigns supreme among all other major sports, and NFL odds are researched in detail. 

The popularity of the sport has different meanings for each individual. One example of why it is the most popular to wager on is that there are so many options to choose from when it comes to making the best NFL bets. It all boils down to securing good odds: this is the key to fully maximize your profits when you practice sports wagering. How To Bet is offering the best odds of all kinds served on a plate and customized for you after thorough investigating and comparing all the top online sportsbooks.

That is why it is of such importance to read NFL betting odds the right way. When you do, you’ll learn how to bet successfully. Logically, we’ll begin our guide from the very beginning: what football odds are.

What NFL Odds Are

First you must know what NFL football odds are and how they work before you become a competent bettor. The odds show you exactly how much money you’ll win if your wager is a successful one. Nowadays oddsmaking has become automated and driven by mathematical algorithms and advanced stats data, replacing the manual setting by Vegas ‘sharps’.

The main point for sportsbooks when offering their lines is avoiding money losses and pocketing commission (‘vig’ or ‘juice’). The way they manage it is by balancing: the losing side of the bet always has to cover and pay the winning side. Your job is to find and use the best odds around so that you get bigger payouts and be part of the winners group. And ours at How To Bet is to save you time by delivering them right in front of your eyes.

Why You Need an NFL Betting Odds Comparison Tool

Odds comparison is fundamental when online sports wagering because it helps you find the best lines for your chosen sport and betting market. In the vast ocean of sports betting sites and apps, it’s a daunting task to discover where to place your wagers. Our NFL betting odds comparison tool ensures you save time and win real money. We’ve got you covered because it follows all of the top online sportsbooks 24/7 and takes note of each and every change in their betting lines. So all you have to do is bookmark this page and regularly check our widget in order to see the latest NFL odds.

Now it’s time to dig a little deeper and explain to you about the different types of odds and how to use them in your favor.

NFL Opening Odds & Lines: How to Read Them for Successful Wagering

Learn how to read opening NFL betting odds and use them in your favor

How To Bet’s odds widget shows you in detail the NFL odds history and line movement for the different betting markets for each matchup. This way you will see a clear picture of how the odds have shifted from opening lines to kick-off. Opening lines are usually released around a week before a given game. They are based on the football betting information that the sportsbooks have at the time of release. (Which is exactly the same information available to you at home!) The most important things to consider before releasing their opening lines are:

  • Statistics from previous games of both teams involved
  • Who has the home advantage
  • Recent form of both sides

Other key factors sportsbooks consider for changing odds between releasing opening lines and kick-off are:

  • Injury lists – For example, if Tom Brady is out, then the Tampa Bay Buccaneers odds may rise.
  • Head coach change – This almost always changes the dynamics of a team straightaway.
  • Sudden illness/virus spreading through a team – It can debilitate even the deepest rosters.
  • Weather change – Some teams just can’t cope with rain or cold for instance.
  • Referee assignment – It is always an important factor for the result of any sports game.
  • Money streams – Sportsbooks follow the volume of bets on either side to be insured.
  • ‘Smarts’ – Traders often follow punters graded this way by the sportsbook since they can be a very useful advance notification of a pricing mismatch.

Learn How to Read our NFL Live Odds Widget

The odds displayed in our NFL Live Odds widget are color-coded so that you can see what’s going on at a glance. The color code used is as follows:

  • Black Bold is used to highlight the best odds available from the sportsbooks shown. If all you want is to find the more generous odds around, simply look for the bold black numbers for your chosen outcome.
  • Red is used to highlight odds that are drifting. This means that the current odds are more generous than they were previously.
  • Blue is used to highlight odds that are shortening. This means that the current odds are less generous than they were previously.
  • Black (without the bold emphasis) is used for odds that haven’t changed since the previous update.

In short, when looking at opening NFL odds and lines, be smart. The more you research, the better the chances you have to beat the sportsbooks and take advantage of the lines that are available in the opening phase. Make sure to look at official and high authority NFL news sources when researching.

Now, let’s take a look at the different betting markets and reveal their nature so that you can benefit from the best NFL odds today.

NFL Future Odds

Learn how to profit from NFL future odds

NFL future odds are the type of bet that is out in the future, hence the name. Think of this as a long-term wager on an event out in the distance. Here are a few examples:

  • NFL MVP odds
  • NFL DPOY odds
  • NFL OPOY odds
  • NFL championship odds
  • Rookie of the Year odds NFL

Sportsbooks will take a look at a variety of factors when offering this kind of NFL betting odds, such as the strengths and weaknesses of each team and player, and provide lines based on similar scenarios. For example, you could see the Kansas City Chiefs being marked as +500 favorites to win the Super Bowl, and then have someone like the Arizona Cardinals as +9000 long shots. 

Reading these odds does not have to be complicated. Assuming your bet wins for the Chiefs, a $100 bet on them would net you $500. For the Cardinals, a $100 bet would net you $9,000. These are examples of positive sign (+) bets which are definitely the NFL future odds you want to be keeping an eye on.

The key factor to make a profit with NFL futures betting is to hit the best timing. If you want to succeed on the longer odds, act early. With the passing of time you’ll get more information and make better decisions, but the payout will be lower.

NFL Moneyline Odds

NFL Moneyline Odds Example

With NFL moneyline odds basically what you see is what you get. The moneyline wager is one of the most common bet types out there with any sport. Everyone does it whether or not they realize it: you are simply picking who will be the winner of an event.

Let's look at the following example:

Looking at the BetMGM odds in the first column, you'll see that the Dallas Cowboys are quoted at +240. They are considered the underdog in this situation since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a minus sign. A $100 bet on the Cowboys would net you $240 if they win. 

The Buccaneers are considered the favorites since their odds are marked with a minus sign (-278). You would need to place $278 with BetMGM to net a profit of $100 if they win. This example for NFL moneyline odds reading should serve you well.

NFL Odds Spread

NFL Point Spreads Example

Point spread wagering is arguably the most popular way to bet on the NFL. Bookies will again consider the underdog and favorite, and attempt to handicap the favorite in the way of points. 

Let us use the previous example odds above to correlate the two teams at hand. We already see that the Buccaneers are a favorite, and in this case, a 6 point favorite. 

For this bet, you are wagering that the Cowboys will either win the game outright or lose by no more than 6 points. If you choose to side with the Buccaneers, you are wagering that they will win the game by more than 7 points. 

As you can see, the spread figure isn't a whole number, but 6.5. This NFL odds spread is used in most cases and ensures that there won't be any chance of a tie between the bettor and the sportsbook.

NFL Over/Under Odds

NFL Totals Example

The over/under bet is a great wager for bettors who simply enjoy the overall score of the game. For sure you will find lots of good NFL over/under odds to take advantage of. There are more in-depth strategies that go along with this, but you are mainly concerned about how both teams are going to perform rather than who will win. 

Consider the following example of NFL betting odds for totals:

Here you have a totals bet of 51.5. Go for Over (o51.5) and the two teams combined would need to score 52 or more points for your wager to win. Bet on Under (u51.5) and the total points scored by both teams combined would need to be 51 or less so that you win.

It does not matter which team scores what, as long as the total is met. So if one team has 30 points and the other has 10, your bet would win if you chose the under. The .5 added to the sportsbook number is the operator once again ensuring that no tie can take place. 

NFL Parlay Odds

Constructing a winning parlay bet is an art in itself because you’re wagering on more than one event in order to multiply the NFL odds and get a bigger payout. For it to succeed though, the stars (aka your predictions) must be aligned perfectly. You can’t afford to miss on even one bet, otherwise you lose. That is why the NFL parlay odds are so appealing and at the same time so risky.

The key here is to find a combination of the best lines for more than one event you’re interested in only one sportsbook. If you do that, you can win big with a lesser investment. How To Bet’s advice is to construct parlays with a maximum of 3-4 events if you play with significant sums of money.

Odds for NFL Live Betting

The odds for NFL live betting are changing all the time, following the non-stop action on the field and off it (with the money flowing in one or the other direction). That’s exactly what makes in-game wagering such an exciting proposition for any punter in any sport.

It’s a really hard job to pay attention to the ever-changing NFL game odds so that you take advantage of your knowledge and hunch for football. Because of that you should find good sources that provide NFL live odds in a timely manner and stick to them. Bookmark this page and you’re good to go.

NFL Odds: Prop Bets

Prop bets are often viewed as supplementary ones that can add a little extra fun to proceedings. They don't depend on the outcome of the game itself, but rather on events that can take place within or in connection with the game.

Here are some examples for NFL prop bet odds you might find:

  • The color of Gatorade dumped on the winning coach
  • MVP of the game
  • How many yards the QB will throw
  • Which team will be the first to score
  • The result of the coin flip

There are usually dozens of prop bets that can be placed on an average NFL game odds list. Although they are fun to think about and unrelated to the result of the game itself, keep in mind that these bets need to be used with caution. It’s because the outcomes involved are generally a lot harder to predict. Still, they are one of the most fun amongst all NFL football odds.

NFL Vegas Odds

NFL Vegas Odds are provided by the largest Sin City sportsbooks and were the only legal ones until just some years ago. Today they offer more or less similar lines compared to sports betting sites and apps. Las Vegas NFL odds are still highly respectable in the business but nowadays this term is used for describing the consensus lines.

How to Use the NFL Odds Page

In our detailed guide on how to read NFL odds we can’t go without explaining to you how to use the widgets on this page.

What you should know is that the odds there are always updated from the best online sportsbooks. It’s our way to keep you informed with the latest NFL odds available from multiple sports betting operators, which used to be quite a time-consuming task. Otherwise you’d have to visit each sportsbook in turn and note down the lines manually. Fortunately, that’s no longer the case. Here at How To Bet, we work hard to make your life as easy as possible. That’s why we have developed an NFL Betting Odds widget that does all the hard work for you.

Using it is both simple and straightforward. However, it incorporates several handy features that are worth pointing out. Here, then, is our step-by-step guide to using the widget for the first time.

Step 1 – Select the Betting Market Type

Select the Betting Market Type

This will show you the available betting markets for the NFL.

The available betting markets will obviously vary depending on the sport you select. Having said that, our NFL Betting Odds widget is equipped to deliver odds for the Moneylines, Point Spread, and Totals as and when applicable.

Step 2 – Select the State

NFL Odds State Select

The state that you intend to wager in will determine which sportsbooks you can bet with. You should therefore click the third button to view a pulldown menu of all the states where online sports betting is currently available.

Select the state that you want to bet in, and you will see that the columns on the right-hand side of the widget change to show the sportsbooks in that state. Some states, such as Pennsylvania, might only have one or two sportsbooks, but others, like New Jersey, will have many more. They will surely provide NFL lines and odds that will keep you satisfied.

Step 3 – Load More

NFL Odds Load More

The NFL Betting Odds widget will automatically show you the most popular markets in time order. That enables you to see the markets for the events that are due to take place soonest at the top of the widget. If you want to explore more markets, simply click the long LOAD MORE button at the bottom.

This will expand the widget vertically so that more markets can be displayed. Of course, that is subject to there being more of them to view. If no more markets are available, no change will be seen. On the other hand, you may need to press the LOAD MORE button several times if there are quite a few NFL lines and odds for markets to browse through.

Step 4 – Note the Colors

NFL Odds Legend

The lines displayed in our NFL Live Odds widget are color-coded so that you can see what’s going on at a glance. We’ve already discussed on this page how the color code is used but let’s repeat it here because of the importance of this information:

  • Black Bold is used to highlight the best NFL betting odds available from the sportsbooks shown. If all you want is to find the more generous odds around, simply look for the bold black numbers for your chosen outcome.
  • Red is used to highlight odds that are drifting. This means that the current ones are more generous than they were previously.
  • Blue is used to highlight odds that are shortening. This means that the current ones are less generous than they were previously.
  • Black (without the bold emphasis) is used for odds that haven’t changed since the previous update.

Step 5 – Click to Bet

NFL Odds bet now

When you find NFL lines and odds that are attractive enough for you to want to bet on them, we’ve also made that very easy. Simply click the odds you want, and you will be taken directly to the sportsbook offering them

Because you may want to use our NFL Odds widget to explore other betting opportunities, the sportsbook will be opened in a new tab in your browser. The widget will therefore continue to be available in your current tab.

NFL Odds and Predictions

Now that you know everything about NFL betting odds and how to use them in your favor, there’s just one thing left. When you find the best lines, you’ll have to figure out what to bet on for the event(s) in question. To complete the cycle between finding the best NFL odds and predictions, How To Bet has delivered the optimal solution.

Check our free NFL picks from our expert team which combines their own models and algorithms based on advanced data with their innate hunch for the game. Our high success rates speak for themselves so save precious time and win some real money today or anytime this week!

NFL Betting Odds FAQs

What are Las Vegas NFL odds?

NFL Vegas odds is a phrase that people use since Las Vegas is considered the gambling capital of the US. You can find all the Las Vegas NFL odds under the sun to bet on in Vegas, so some people simply like to refer to that area. You can find odds at any trusted sportsbook online.

Where can I place wagers on NFL games online?

To place bets, you need to be old enough to do so (21 in most states) and live in a state that allows online sports betting. If both of those criteria are met, you can find details of the best operators around on our online sportsbooks page.

Why do NFL odds change?

NFL odds are always subject to change, for several reasons. The first is that the market will have an influx of bets that isn’t always balanced. If one team is heavily bet on, then the market must adjust, so the odds will change.

Other factors that can lead to a change in the odds include the recent performance of the teams, player injuries, and shifting expectations.

About Oscar Cooper
Oscar Cooper author profile

Oscar is a keen sports fan with an even keener eye for advantageous betting odds. The only thing he enjoys as much as watching his favourite teams win is being able to land sportsbook winners at the same time. He takes a strategic and mathematical approach to betting and he encourages others to do the same.

Was this article helpful?

28 People have found this article helpful. Your feedback helps us improve our work.

message icon background
Join Our Tribe

Get all the latest sports news, expert tips and reviews.

Accept Cookies

To improve your user experience, we use cookies on our website. By continuing to use the service, you accept the use of cookies and our privacy policy.

Additional Information
responsible 18responsible 21responsible 21 - Sports Betting & USA Online Gambling Guides

We are committed to sharing our expert betting knowledge so you can have a winning chance against the bookie, the house or even naming the winner of the next Dancing with the stars. is part of Raketech Group - licensed and operating in PA, NJ, IN, CO, WV, MI, TN, IL, VA. Address: 263 Shuman Blvd Ste. 145, Naperville, IL 60563, United States

Disclaimer: It is your responsibility to check gambling regulations in your jurisdiction. does not accept responsibility for factual errors that may be evident. The site contains commercial content. This website is not responsible for third-party privacy policies.