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How to Bet On Sports- Betting a NFL Moneyline

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Updated: .December 23, 2017

The majority of the billions of dollars that are wagered on the NFL at online sportsbooks over the course of the entire football season are made with the use of pointspreads for the games. A pointspread is basically a handicapping tool that the Oddsmakers use to try and shift as much betting money as possible in equal increments to both sides of any matchup.

The inherent problem for sports bettors wagering on any game with the use of the pointspread is that equalizing affect it has on any matchup. Every online betting outlet knows that its NFL customers already have a biased lean towards the favorites and they will tweak their pointspreads accordingly.

For example, a high-profile team like the Dallas Cowboys is often heavily bet as favorites, so the actual spread might open higher than normal for any game they are favored to win. This, in turn, actually adds value to the underdog in this game. If you are set on betting the Cowboys as favorites since you think they are going to cover an already inflated spread, then you might want to turn your attention to a straight-up bet on the NFL moneyline.

Moneylines are primarily used to bet on sports such as baseball and hockey where an actual pointspread does not come into play, but many casual bettors tend to forget that they are still set for the majority of the NFL games on the schedule during the regular season and in the playoffs. Going back to the Cowboys, if they have been opened as seven-point favorites at home for this Sunday’s game, you might find a moneyline bet at -250 for a SU play in this contest. While the risk is much higher based on a $100 bet, all they need to do is win the game as opposed to covering that touchdown spread.

Some of the best value in a NFL moneyline bet is on an underdog that you believe can win that Sunday’s game SU. While it is probably not all that wise to chase a high moneyline return on a game with a high pointspread for the underdog, you can usually find a handful of games that have a good chance to result in a SU upset.

Going back over the first 15 weeks of the 2017 NFL regular season according the results from one highly prominent online sportsbook, underdogs have won SU almost 30 percent of the time. This winning rate increases to 31.5 percent for underdogs playing at home. That means on a statistical average that in a typical 16-game NFL weekly schedule there should be as many as five games where the underdog pays off on a moneyline bet.

The best betting strategy for NFL moneylines is to base all of your handicapping efforts on a SU matchup. What you are looking for is the team with the best chance to win regardless of any pointspread one way or the other. Picking outright winners in the NFL is far easier than picking winners against the spread. They did not come up with the term ‘Any Given Sunday’ by accident and there is always a reason why they play the games.

One very important stat for any NFL team is their record ATS when closing as an underdog. From there you can look back to see how many of those games that same team actually won SU. You already know that teams such as New England and Pittsburgh are going to win the majority of their games SU, but every season there are teams like Philadelphia, Jacksonville and the Los Angeles Rams that make that worst to first run to the top of their respective division.

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