Understanding Important NFL Point Spread Numbers
The most popular bet in the NFL is a point spread wager which is where you need to pick whether a team is going to win by a given amount of points or not. If you have never seen a point spread wager in the past we’ll take a look at a quick example for you right now.
* Detroit Lions +14.5 vs. San Diego Chargers -14.5
In the above example the Chargers are the clear favourite in the game at -14.5 and the Lions are the big underdog at +14.5. What this point spread means is that the Chargers need to win the game by 15 points in order for you to win on the Chargers. If you bet on the Lions then they could lose the game by 14 points and you would still win the game because the Chargers didn’t cover the posted point spread.
Now that you know what a point spread wager is we need to take a look at some important numbers that you need to know when betting on NFL point spread. Most NFL games will finish on a few key numbers which are important to know when betting on the games. The most important number in the NFL is 3 points as almost 15-20% of NFL games finish with a difference of this number. When you see a game that has a spread of -3 its fine to bet on because as long as you capped the game right you should end up with a push at worst.
If you notice that the spread is set at -3.5 then you need to be really careful betting on the favourite. Since most games end up with a 3 point difference you’re better off in most cases taking the underdog when the spread is set at +3.5. Another key number in the NFL is seven with about 10% of all NFL games finishing with a point difference of seven. With this in mind you’re often safe betting on favourites when the spread is set at -5 – -7, but once the spread jumps to -7.5 you need to consider betting on the underdog. Not that many games in the NFL will finish with a point differential of over 7 so often taking the underdog is the smart bet with a -7.5 spread.
Another key number in the NFL is 10 points as about 10% of games fall on this number. When dealing with point spreads of -10.5 and bigger you need to be really selective about the favourites you bet on. A lot of underdogs cover when the spread is over 10 points since most of the games finish with a point differential of less then 10 points. You don’t usually see a lot of point spread of over -10.5, but this year there have been a few of them each week.
There are a few other key numbers in the NFL, but for the most part you need to worry about the numbers above the most. When the spread start jumping from -3 to -3.5, -7 to -7.5 and -10 to -10.5 you need to watch out for backdoor covers by the underdog. If the line moves as specified above you should probably layoff betting the favourite and choose a better game if possible.