Introduction to NFL Handicap Betting

For those who are new to the world of sports betting, navigating different bet types can sometimes feel overwhelming. One such bet that might cause confusion is the handicap bet.

So, how does NFL handicap betting work? Let’s break it down step by step.

The Basics: What Is Handicap Betting?

Handicap betting, sometimes referred to as spread betting or line betting, involves giving one selection a head start (or handicap) before the event starts. In the context of the NFL, this means giving one team a points advantage (or disadvantage) to balance the perceived difference in strength between the two teams.

Why Use Handicap Betting?

Handicap betting can make unevenly matched games more interesting. For instance, if a strong team plays against a weaker team, the odds for the stronger team to win will be very low. To make the betting odds more enticing and the game more competitive from a betting perspective, bookmakers introduce a handicap.


NFL Handicap Betting in Action: A Real Betting Example

Let’s consider a real-world scenario to illustrate how NFL handicap betting works:

The Match-Up: Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Football Team

The bookmaker perceives that the Cowboys are stronger than the Washington Football Team. To level the playing field, they might introduce a handicap of -7.5 points for the Cowboys.

The Betting Odds Might Look Like This:

  • Dallas Cowboys (-7.5) at 1.95 odds
  • Washington Football Team (+7.5) at 1.95 odds

In this scenario, if you bet on the Cowboys, they must win the game by 8 points or more for your bet to be successful. If they win by 7 points or less (or lose the game), the bet is lost.

Conversely, if you bet on the Washington Football Team, they can either win the game, or they can lose by up to 7 points, and your bet will still be a winner. If they lose by 8 points or more, the bet is lost.

Tips for NFL Handicap Betting:

  1. Research is Key: Before placing a bet, always research the teams’ current form, head-to-head stats, injuries, and other relevant factors that might affect the game.
  2. Understand the Lines: Handicap lines can change. They might start at -7.5 and move to -6.5 based on how people are betting. Be sure you understand the line you’re betting on.
  3. Diversify Your Bets: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. While handicap betting is exciting, it’s wise to diversify your bets to manage risk.

Wrapping It Up: A Game of Strategy

Understanding “how does NFL handicap betting work” can add a new dimension to your sports betting adventures. It offers a strategic approach, making even the most predictable games unpredictable. As with all betting, however, always bet responsibly and never wager more than you’re willing to lose.

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