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PFBPro, the Pro Football Betting Experts, provide free NFL Picks every week of the season. Bookmark this page or follow us on social to get our NFL 2019/20 picks, predictions and analysis each week.
If you prefer to find your own plays please make use of our basic guide to betting on the NFL below. When you understand the basics have a look at our NFL betting strategies, accumulated from decades of work in the betting industry.
Beginners’ Guide – What are the odds?
The first thing to understand about betting is how odds work. Odds tell you how much your bet could win. They come in three formats: American, decimal or fractional.
American odds show how much you could win for a $100 bet (e.g. if you bet $100 at +400 you will get your stake back plus $400 profit). If the sign is negative it shows how much you have to stake to win $100 (e.g. bet $150 at -150 you get your stake back plus $100).
Decimal odds show the multiple of how much a you could get back for every dollar you bet. For example a $100 at 1.5 odds would net you 100 x 1.5 = $150. Fractional odds are similar but they exclude your original stake, so decimal odds of 3.0 are equivalent to fractional odds of 2-1.
Game betting basics
There are three main ways to bet on the outcome of a game: money line, spread and totals. Money line is the most straight forward. This is betting on a team simply to win the game. The odds will vary by team and game according to the likelihood of success.
For Spread betting you decide which team will come out on top after points have been deducted from the favored team. The points spreads vary by game. Your sportsbook picks a spread line which aims to give both teams an equal chance of paying out.
A spread of +/-5.5 means the favored team would have to win by 6 points or more to cover the spread. If you bet the outsider they could lose by up to five points and your bet would still win.
Totals betting is wagering on the number of points that will be score by both teams combined. The sportsbook predicts a number and you can bet on the actual points total being over or under that prediction. Spread and totals typically pay out at odds of -110.
Other bet types
Props are bets on things which happen within a game. This could be anything from a team or player to score first, a quarterback to pass an interception or even the result of the coin toss.
A Parlay is a wager on more than one event or game. Parlays can be done using spread or money lines but to receive a payout ALL selections have to win. Payouts are calculated by multiplying the decimal odds of all selections.
Futures are long term bets typically placed on the outcome of the season. This could be a team winning their division, total wins achieved in regular season or a player becoming the MVP.
Ready for the next step? Read out NFL betting strategies here.