Point spread betting is one of the cornerstones of NFL betting, but not all bettors understand how it works when they see numbers like +7 or -7 assigned to teams in the point spread market. These numbers signify one of the most common outcomes in NFL games, and bettors will see them regularly when they bet on pro football.
What Does +7 Mean in NFL Betting?
The +7 value in NFL betting signifies that a team is a seven-point underdog in the point spread market. In every football game, there is a favorite and an underdog, with the favorite having points subtracted from their score and the underdog having points added to their score. The team with the higher score at the end of a game once that point spread is applied is the team that covers the spread.
In the case of a spread of +7, it would mean that the underdog would have seven points added to their total once the game is completed. Therefore, if that team wins the game or loses by six points or less, they would cover the spread. If they lost by eight or more, they would lose against the spread.
What Does -7 Mean in NFL Betting?
On the flip side, a team with a point spread of -7 would have seven points subtracted from their score by virtue of being a seven-point favorite. In that case, the favorite would have to win by eight or more points in order to cover the point spread. This isn’t as easy as it sounds, as the high level of competition in the NFL makes most games very competitive.
It is important to remember that a seven-point margin is one of the most common margins of victory in NFL games, as teams are regularly separated by one possession in pro football. Therefore, it is also possible for point spread bets with a seven-point margin to be considered a push. A seven-point spread bet ends in a push when the favorite wins by exactly seven points.
Understanding the Point Spread
In addition to the point spread amount, which is seven points in the example that we are discussing here, bettors also need to keep an eye on what the odds are for each side of the spread. Typically, the odds for point spread wagers are -110 at most sportsbooks, which means that bettors must wager $110 in order to win $100. But those numbers can fluctuate slightly, impacting the amount a bettor needs to risk.
For example, one side of a point spread might carry odds of -105, while the other carries odds of -115. In that case, bettors on the side with -105 odds would need to wager $105 in order to win $100, while the -115 bettors would need to risk $115 to win $100.
Point Spread Betting Advice
The most important piece of advice to keep in mind when betting on NFL point spreads is that there are no guarantees when betting on pro football. Even when a team is demonstrably better than their opponent, there is the potential for teams to be upset or otherwise surprised by an opponent who plays their best from the start. While a touchdown favorite may feel like a lot in a football game, even the best teams in the league can have an off day against any squad they go up against.
To have the best chance at winning while betting on point spreads of a touchdown in the NFL, bettors have to determine where advantages and disadvantages exist heading into each game. Doing so will shed light on where there is value against the spread, whether that is with the favorite or the underdog.