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Everything you need to know about NFL Vegas odds

Do you want to get started with NFL Vegas odds? You are not alone! Today people from all over the world are enjoying the NFL games twofold. One thing is the actual entertainment and the other the excitement of knowing that you might win money on the game.

You can jump straight into the action and bet as you see fit. Most likely this will help you to burn through your budget at express speed. You can also learn more about NFL Vegas odds, how they work and what the NFL expert picks are. This could not only help you save your budget and win some, but it could also let you truly enjoy your NFL betting.

If the latter is your choice, read on. On this page, you will find everything you need to know to get started with NFL odds and to truly make use of the information you get through the NFL experts' recommendations and picks.

The point spread

When you look at a table for NFL Vegas odds, you will be looking at the point spread that the oddsmaker sets for the games. The point spread number is either minus or plus. If it says -6 for a team, it means that this team is expected to win the game with at least 6 points. The spread points system is something you must understand well.

The oddsmaker bases the spread points on:

  • Statistics from previous games
  • Trends
  • The popularity of the team

If a team is very popular, people tend to bet on them more often. This can make the oddsmaker take the spread points up a few notches. Even if the NFL expert picks says one team, people can bet on the other simply because this is their favorite team and they want them to win. This is something the oddsmakers are well aware of when they set the point spread.

You will see that the NFL Vegas odds spread is usually the same for both teams. If one team gets more wagering, the sportsbook will even this out. Sportsbooks want an even split of the money and that is why you can see the spread change during a week. But this doesn’t mean that your bet changes. It will stay on the spread that you bet on.

An example of point spread

Let’s say that you are looking at NFL Vegas odds for a game between Denver and Green Bay. For this specific example, we will say that Denver is the favorite and you are pretty sure that they will win with more than 6 points.

In this case, you would bet on them at -6. Should Denver end up winning the game with 7 points, you win your bet. But if they win by less than 6 points, you lose your bet. If you think that Green Bay might win the game, or that they will lose the game by less than 6, you should opt for betting Green Bay +6.

If you bet Green Bay +6, and the game ends with 42-39 to Denver, your Green Bay bet covers the spread.

The over/under bet

You will also see the definition OU in the NFL odds spread. This stands for over and under and it refers to the end score of the game. If the over/under is set to 48 points, the oddsmaker is saying that the game will most likely end up with a score of 48 points. This is the combined score of both teams’ points.

If you think that the combined score of the game will be under 48 points, you pick under. If you think that the two teams will manage more than 48 points together, you pick over. If the final score of the sample game between Denver and Green Bay ends up 25-20, the bet on under wins. The total score of the game is 45, which is under 48 points.

But let’s say that the game ends up 24-24 which is exactly 48 points. This is a push and you get your money on the bet back. The same thing can happen with the spread points.

Moneyline bets

You don’t have to bet on the points of the game. You can also bet on the team you think will win the game. This is called a moneyline bet, or simply ML bet. You think that Denver will win and you see that they have a ML of -400. Green Bay are +325. If you bet $100 on Denver, you are betting with 1-to-4 odds. A bet on Green Bay means 3.25-to-1 odds.

Moneyline bet numbers with a plus-symbol mean that you can win more money back than what you put on the bet. This is important to remember.

This means that a winning bet on Green Bay would give you much more with a smaller sum of money than a winning bet on Denver. However, the reason you see these types of odds on Denver would obviously be because the oddsmaker agrees with you that they are the most likely winning team. This is simply the nature of odds!


You can also play what is called parlays, and many simply adore this type of NFL betting. With parlays, you will combine several bets. You must win every bet in the parlay to win money. This makes it possible to win a lot more money but the risk is also greater. One mistake is enough to lose the whole parlay bet. This is why experts give you the advice not to burn all your money on the parlays (see advice for beginners further down).

Future bets

If you follow NFL, you can also bet on the overall performance of a specific team or individual. Before the season kicks off, you get the future bets. It can be over or under of the wins of Denver 2020 or odds for winning a specific tournament. There are many different types of future bets to choose from at every sportsbook.

With correct future bets, it is possible to win a lot of money. For example, if you get the future odds of 40-1 or +4000 for Denver to win the Super Bowl, and you bet $100 on this, you will win $4000 if you are right.

Likewise, you can bet on an individual. For example, you could bet on how many goals a specific player will score during the entire season.

Proposition bets

You can also place prop bets, or proposition bets. These are bets during the game. You can bet on the team or on an individual. There are many variations of prop bets.

Some examples are:

  • Bet on whether there will be overtime
  • Bet on how long it will take for the national anthem to be sung
  • Bet on a possible defensive touchdown

As you can see, the prop bets can get very creative. They can be very entertaining but make sure that you know what you are doing before you take them on!

Basing your bets on NFL expert picks

Ideally, you should not base your bets on what others say. But beginners might feel safer knowing that a well-known expert endorses a certain bet. There are plenty of experts available through different sites online. How can you tell if they know what they are talking about?

It can be helpful to have a look at an NFL betting news outlet that lists different NFL expert picks next to each other. If you see that several of the experts say the same thing, it is quite likely that they are on to something.

But this is not a golden rule. And if you want to pick your NFL bets according to the expert’s opinion, it will serve you well to know who they are. Have a look at their previous statements. If you see that a certain expert has been right many times, you might want to follow his lead.

Learn more from the experts

But don’t just copy the picks of the NFL experts! These are people who can teach you a lot about strategy and how to bet right. Before you even look at their predictions, you should take the opportunity to listen to an interview or watch a tips video. This can help you come to your own conclusions without their picks.

Once you get a better feel of the style of the NFL expert, it is easier to determine if this is a person you want to be guided by. There is so much to learn and sometimes you might be surprised how you have totally missed some very basic things in NFL betting.

Common mistakes when betting on NFL

There is no shame in being a beginner NFL bettor. But be aware of some of the beginner mistakes. Don’t just use the NFL expert picks, learn how to think like an expert and bet the same way! Here are some of the foremost beginner bettor mistakes that you need to consider when you get started.

Putting all your eggs in one basket

If you are looking at NFL expert picks, you might totally miss that it is not recommended to put all your eggs in one basket. Ask the experts and they will tell you that you should take your budget and split it into different bets and perhaps also different sportsbooks.

Underestimating key numbers

If you are a beginner on NFL Vegas odds, you might not be aware of the importance of the key numbers. If you are taking +2.5 in a game that you could get a +3 in, you will probably not win long term. This is something you want to understand better before placing your bet!

Too many parlays

Experts give the advice not to overdo the parlay betting. This is a common beginner mistake. It could be wise to have a separate bankroll that you can manage for parlays and do the majority of your wagers as straight bets.

Bad money management, betting more when you are losing

Beginners often get carried away and miss the point of money management. This doesn’t mean that you can’t occasionally double and triple. But the idea is to stay away from putting everything in and making hasty decisions. Chasing often means to bet more when you are losing and pull back when you are winning, not such a great NFL betting strategy!

Recency bias

Many beginners also base their bets on what happened last week. What happened last week is important and it will influence NFL Vegas odds. NFL expert picks are to some extent based on what happened recently. But experts know that no team is the same week after week.

Decisions need to be made seeing a broader perspective. If last week your favorite team was a killer, it might continue the same way, but it could also turn due to other things that expert bettors know how to detect.

12 questions and answers about NFL odds

Do you wonder how accurate the NFL Vegas odds are or what NFL team is moving to Vegas? Many ask just the same questions! Here are some of the most common NFL odds questions and their answers.

1. What do I need to know to read NFL Vegas odds?

To read NFL odds, you must understand rotation number, point spread, over/under and moneyline. Be aware of other names used for these terms. Sometimes moneyline is shortened to line and over/under can be called the total.

2. How accurate are the Vegas NFL odds?

Very accurate! The Vegas NFL odds are set by oddsmakers. But as the game rolls around, the market will influence the odds. If the market is very big, the accuracy gets even higher.

3. How do NFL experts get to their picks?

It depends on the expert. Many of the famous expert NFL bettors have extensive experience of the NFL and of betting. They base their picks on this experience but also on important current information that affects the team and the players.

4. Which European city could get NFL teams?

The league has already been in London so that might be a good guess. American football is popular in Germany and specifically in Frankfurt, which could be another possible location. Berlin is also a good guess considering that they are a founding member of the NFL Europe. Barcelona in Spain is also a possibility.

5. Do NFL players bet on the games?

This is not allowed but it happens. If they do it, they use intermediaries. Because of this, the NFL has a habit of letting a lot of inside information out to the public. This reduces the advantage an NFL player might have due to inside knowledge.

6. How much can I make on NFL betting?

You can make thousands of dollars but you can also lose them. A proper budget for NFL betting is not based on expected wins but rather on losses. Be prepared to lose but have a plan for what to do with the wins.

7. Can anyone start a new NFL team?

In theory yes. In reality there is a long way for a new team to happen. NFL has to vote to add the team. There needs to be a proper plan for the team, its home base and more. And not least, there have to be millions of dollars to invest in this type of venture.

8. When will the Raiders move to Las Vegas?

It will not happen before 2020. That is the year they are expected to move into their new stadium in Las Vegas.

9. Can you trust NFL computer predictions?

Computer predictions can be reliable. If they are built on enough information, they can be used as a pretty strong form of prediction model. Computer predictions should not be used alone but can be a good complement to other betting strategies.

10. Can I bet on just one NFL game?

Yes, you can bet on one game only. Sportsbooks don’t force parlay play or several bets on one game.

11. What types of NFL Vegas odds are available?

NFL moneyline odds where you bet on who is going to win. The moneyline bets can be found on all top online sportsbooks during the NFL season. NFL point spread odds where you take points with the underdog or lay points to push the favorite team. NFL over or under odds where you bet on the total score of the game and whether it will be over or under the suggested number.

12. Are NFL odds only about the Super Bowl?

No! NFL odds are about which team will win each conference, which team will win each division and more. It is a world of betting of its own with many interesting bets and opportunities for odds that could lead to big money.


7 facts about NFL betting and odds

There is a lot to say about NFL betting and odds. Here are a few facts that you might not be aware of…

1. Different NFL odds – It is possible to find sportsbooks with different odds. This is due to the fact that each sportsbook will set its own odds for NFL. The calculation is made based on several different factors and betting trends will influence the NFL odds. It can be wise to shop around a bit before you place your bet.
2. Your bet stays the same – Once you make a bet on a point spread that changes as more bettors get into the betting, your bet does not change. The odds you got when you placed your bet will remain the same. For this reason, it might be good to place bets as soon as possible.
3. Early picks are a help – Since more wagers will move the lines, it is very helpful to get the betting value first. Look for NFL expert picks that haven’t been read by a million others to get maximum value out of them.
4. NFL season means 256 games – The NFL season starts the weekend after the first Monday in September. It ends in December or in early January. 256 games are played during 17 weeks. Each of the 32 teams plays 16 games during the season.
5. More accounts, finer NFL odds – If you want to find the best NFL odds, you can benefit from having several sportsbooks accounts. The odds for NFL can differ on different sites but they can also change quickly as players discover this. With several accounts, you can make use of the gems you find ASAP!
6. Historical 0-0 game A tie is not a common phenomenon in the NFL. Last time it happened was in a game between Detroit Lions and New York Giants, in November 1943.
7. NFL biggest driver of sportsbook business in the US
– NFL is huge in the US as well as internationally. Every day people are looking to learn about the latest updates on NFL point spreads, matchup data and injuries. Thanks to online services, you can get the NFL lines updates in seconds. This can greatly influence the outcome of your betting