This is where the scoreline matters. The oddsmakers will set a line that reflects the difference in quality and form between the two teams. As an example, the explosive Chiefs might be expected to beat the struggling New York Jets at home by 12 points. In that case, the line would be set at 12, giving you the choice of Chiefs -12 or Jets +12. If you take the Jets, they do not have to win – they just have to lose by less than 12 points.
With NFL betting, it is worth remembering that scores can change significantly in a short space of time, and leads can be deceptive. For example, 21-7 seems like an overwhelming advantage but, with touchdowns (and a successful extra point) worth seven points, the gap can close quickly. Untimely turnovers (interceptions or fumbles) can completely flip a game, allowing a team to score 14 quick points.
When betting on an NFL game spread, beware “garbage time”, where one team has a comfortable lead and takes their foot off the gas while the other throws caution to the wind with their offense. Garbage time touchdowns can take a chunk out of a lead and ruin bets.
Total points scored is another popular NFL betting option. A line will be set, balancing the offensive and defensive abilities of both teams, and you have the choice of betting over or under that number. The line typically falls somewhere between 42 points and 50 points, depending on the game.
Keep in mind that there also plenty of in-play options when betting on NFL games. Again, deficits can be erased quickly so watch for inviting odds for teams that fall behind early. Like with the NBA, you can also bet on the outcome of the first half or even the first quarter, or take a double result, where you have to correctly pick who will be winning at half-time and at the end of the game (e.g. Chiefs 1st half – Chiefs final, Jets 1st half – Chiefs final).