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2013 NFL Betting, Online NFL Betting Odds & Lines

NFL Handicapping

NFL Handicapping

Posted by on 4/6/2017 3:37:31 PM
NFL Handicapping

NFL Handicapping

While soccer is still the most wagered-upon sport in the world, by far the American sport that takes the most betting action at sportsbooks like BetOnline is the National Football League. One season of the NFL takes in more handle than every other sport combined. And other than the quadrennial men's soccer World Cup, no single event on the planet draws more betting action than the annual Super Bowl, which is always held the first Sunday in February of the New Year. Here are some basics of NFL handicapping.

There are 32 NFL teams divided into two conferences, the AFC and NFC, and four divisions of four teams in each conference. Each club plays four preseason games (they don't count but you can still bet on them) and 16 regular-season games. There are 17 weeks in an NFL regular season as each team gets a bye week at some point. NFL games for the most part are played on Sundays. But you can also find one game per week on Thursday (three on Thanksgiving) and Monday nights through Week 16. All Week 17 games are on Sunday and against opponents in the same division. The league schedules a couple of games on Saturdays late in the year when college football's regular season has concluded.

Six teams in each conference make the playoffs: the four division winners in each and then the next two teams with the best record in the AFC and NFC, called the wild-card teams. This could change as early as 2017, however, as the NFL is considering adding one more wild card per conference. The top two division winners in each conference get a bye in the first round of the playoffs. The division winner with the best overall record is the top-seeded team in each conference and would host any playoff game other than the Super Bowl, which is held at a rotating neutral site.

No sport is more affected by injuries than the NFL with its violent nature. Thus, the league puts out an injury report each week. Players are either listed as questionable (50-50 chance of playing), doubtful (25 percent chance) or out.

Nothing affects an NFL point spread more than a starting quarterback being injured and potentially missing a game. In fact, if a quarterback is in question of playing many sportsbooks will not list a point spread or a total on a game until it can be conclusively determined if the quarterback is playing.

Point spreads are what the book sets to determine how much one team is favored over another. That's not a projection of a final score at all, just what number draws the most betting action on both teams. NFL spreads can be anywhere from a pick'em (so no spread) to as much as 20, although that latter number is very rare. Game totals are simply betting on the over or under the total points scored by both teams. Those numbers are generally anywhere from 38-58.

While spreads and totals are by far the most popular bets in NFL handicapping, there are also dozens and dozens of player and team props available on each game. Over/under touchdown passes for Tom Brady. Will Adrian Peterson rush for a touchdown? Total receiving yards for Odell Beckham Jr. Will there be a defensive or special teams score in the game? Which team will score first? The options are many. In the Super Bowl, the prop options are into thousands.

And there are NFL futures available every day at BetOnline for NFL handicapping. Odds to win the Super Bowl, the AFC or NFC or a particular division are the main ones during the regular season. There are also player futures odds such as to win NFL MVP.

Those futures numbers change each week depending on what happened in the previous week of action or if a top player was lost to a season-ending injury. Futures naturally don't pay out immediately like betting on a spread or total or game prop. But you can really cash in on futures odds if you back a relative underdog early in the season at a long-shot price before the books adjust.


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