No matter how you bet on the NFL, there’s one indisputable truth: a full understanding of NFL odds — how they’re set, how they move, how they change as the game progresses — is key to your long-term NFL betting success. Every number that gets released by NFL oddsmakers is heavily scrutinized, and for good reason.
Any sportsbook’s NFL odds board contains lots of information. Once you know how to use it to your advantage, your betting game can really take off. You’ll have a much firmer stance whenever the endless debates about spreads, totals, and other odds come up.
More importantly, you’ll be ready to make your NFL Week 1 bets with as much confidence as you bet in Week 17. Regardless of your experience level, our NFL odds page will guide you further down the path towards upping your NFL betting game.
Week 1 NFL odds: Spreads, Moneylines & Totals
Check the latest Week 1 NFL odds (point spreads, moneylines, totals) from all top US legal online sportsbooks below. Check our NFL futures odds page for odds on the winner of the next Super Bowl, AFC/NFC champion odds, NFL MVP odds and much more. Click on any odds to register, claim your sign-up offer and start getting your NFL bets in. Use the drop-down menu of the left to toggle between spreads, moneylines and totals; use the menu on right to change your legal betting state.
How NFL betting lines & odds work
Whenever there’s an NFL game you’ll find multiple odds and lines available at all of the top online sportsbooks. If you click on the “NFL” or “Football” tabs within the sportsbook app or online sportsbook, you’ll see all of the upcoming games listed out with a series of numbers next to each team. The average game line will look something like this.
|Dallas Cowboys||+225||+6.5 (-110)||Over 52 (-110)|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||-275||-6.5 (-110)||Under 52 (-110)|
The numbers next to the team names are the odds and lines for the big three pre-game bet types: moneyline, point spread, and totals. We’ll cover all three of them in full detail shortly. For now, remember the following points when it comes to reading the numbers.
- Negative numbers on moneyline and spreads are for favorites.
- Positive numbers on moneyline and spreads are for underdogs.
- Spreads and total listings include the lines set by oddsmakers as well as the actual odds for placing the bets.
- On the spread and moneyline, the range between the numbers indicates the perceived closeness or disparity of the matchup.
- A large span indicates a paper mismatch, while a close range points to a potentially tight game.
Some contests will naturally be more heavily bet than others, but each of the three main bets will bring in plenty of betting volume for each NFL game on the docket. Let’s take a closer look at how they work and what you need to know.
NFL moneyline odds
If you’re looking for a straightforward NFL bet in both execution and results, then moneyline betting is the ticket. The goal is simple: pick the winner of the game. There are no extra points or anything else to worry about; just the actual final result.
For each game on the NFL schedule, there will be moneyline odds listed on both sides. The odds will be negative on the side of the favorite and positive for the underdog, with the exception of the rare case in which the odds are equal on both sides. Here’s an example:
- Seattle Seahawks +105
- Indianapolis Colts -125
For this matchup, the Colts are favored, but the range between the numbers is pretty close. We can interpret that to mean that oddsmakers forecast a tight game. When examining moneyline odds, you can use the following benchmarks to sort out the games.
- A favored side with odds of -200 or greater indicates a strong favorite.
- A favorite at -125 or less points to a close game.
- The mid-range is between the two extremes – greater than -125 but less than -200.
While the moneyline bet is very easy to understand, that doesn’t mean that consistently picking winners is a piece of cake. The NFL is a parity-driven league, so anything truly can happen whenever two clubs step on the field.
NFL point spread betting odds explained
The point spread wagers are a bit more complex. Oddsmakers install a spread on each game which is essentially an estimated margin of victory. This bet isn’t about picking winners, but rather deciding which side will cover the spread.
Point spread betting odds have two components. There’s the amount of the spread that’s set by oddsmakers, as well as the actual odds for placing the bet. When you view an NFL game listing at your book of choice, you’ll see the two numbers listed together:
- Cleveland Browns +5.5 (-110)
- Kansas City Chiefs -5.5 (-110)
The Chiefs are favored by 5.5 points in our example. The side you pick has to cover the spread. You can take the favorite minus the points or the underdog plus the spread. As with the moneyline, there are ranges to watch for as you break down a weekly slate of games.
- A spread of a field goal or less indicates a close contest.
- Spreads of a touchdown or greater project out as paper mismatches.
- Lines between the magic numbers of three and seven points are in the mid-range.
The point spread bet is challenging and tough to beat consistently, but also a very popular attraction throughout the NFL season. The element of which side will cover or not helps to enhance the appeal of even the most unattractive matchups on the docket.
How NFL over/under odds work
The last of the big three bet types revolves around the total combined points that will be scored in a game. Sportsbooks set a benchmark number of points, and bettors then get to decide if they expect the total final score to be over or under that amount.
As with the point spread, there are two parts to a totals line: the number set by the book and the actual odds for placing the bet. When you review the odds for upcoming NFL games, you’ll see both numbers as part of the game listing.
- Over 5 (-110)
- Under 5 (-110)
If you bet on our example line, selecting the Over means that you expect 50 points or more to be scored, while Under bettors are banking on 49 points or less. As you view the odds for upcoming games, keep the following ranges in mind.
- Potentially lower-scoring games are set at 42 points or less.
- Games with projected higher scores will be at 50+ points.
- The mid-range of contests will be between 42-50 points.
Through the years, various rule changes have led to NFL games being more high-scoring on an overall basis. Also known as Over/Under bets, total wagers are very popular items on the NFL betting menu and help to really ramp up the excitement level for games.
When do NFL game odds get released?
For Week 1 of the regular season, odds will come out soon after the NFL schedule is officially released, which typically happens soon after the NFL Draft. From there, each week you’ll see the odds for next week’s games begin trickling in as the current games wind down.
In some spots, you may see odds for the following week well in advance of that. Others will wait until the Sunday afternoon slate is wrapped up, while the remaining odds and lines will come out no later than once Monday Night Football betting is in the books.
If there is a delay in the release of the odds for a specific game, that means oddsmakers are waiting on an important piece of information that could impact the matchup. Examples include the injury status of a key player or an uncertain weather forecast.
Beyond the main pregame bets, odds for NFL prop bets are unveiled as the week moves along and in advance of kickoff. As for NFL futures, the biggest odds markets are released in the offseason with more odds posted closer to the opening of the regular season. Check our full rundown on Thursday Night Football odds for more.
Why do NFL betting odds change?
After the initial release of odds, there’s a good chance that you’ll see some movement right up until kickoff. NFL games attract tons of betting action, so it’s incredibly rare to see the odds stay completely still. These are the main catalysts for line moves:
- Betting volume: sportsbooks will adjust the numbers as preferences emerge in a bid to even out the action.
- News: additional information can develop after the initial release, such as a major injury or the potential of severe weather.
As an example, a game could open up with moneyline odds split at +115/-145. Once the public begins weighing in, more money could be placed on the underdog side. In response, the book could lessen the appeal on that side to +105 while dropping the favorite to -130.
The same thing can happen with spreads and totals. The former could open up at 3.5 points at release, but be pushed down to 2.5 by kickoff. Meanwhile, a total could open up at 51 points and wind up at 52.5 when all is said and done.
As part of your NFL handicapping process, get in the habit of noting where the odds are at the release in comparison to where they are when you’re ready to bet. Movement on the odds board can point out where the public is leaning, as well as additional factors you may have missed.
Does Vegas still have the best NFL odds?
For decades, the answer to this question was easy. As the sports betting capital of the world, Las Vegas controlled the conversation on NFL betting odds. The initial release of numbers out of the desert set the tone for the market as a whole, and bettors looked to the oddsmakers in Sin City as the standard-bearers for the industry.
These days, the story has evolved. Now that sports betting has been legalized in additional states – with many more to come – books in legal areas are dishing out comparable numbers. Due to market action, you’ll find some outliers here and there, but you can rest assured that the odds from top operators in local markets stack up very well with the Vegas NFL odds.
Line shopping for NFL odds
When you research an NFL game at a certain set of odds and the numbers suddenly shift, it can be pretty frustrating. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to just grin and bear it. Instead, you can engage in what’s known as line shopping to find the odds that align closer to your liking.
Line shopping simply means that you compare the odds from multiple operators. Our live odds feed above makes doing so a snap. By taking a quick look, you can know where the numbers stand at the industry’s top sportsbooks on all of the major bet types.
All you need to do is change your legal betting state via the drop-down menu on the right to see the books in your state. Use the menu on the right to flip over to the moneyline or totals lines. Click on any of the odds to go directly to your sportsbook of choice, open a new betting account and get started.
While the numbers could be right in line across the market, there will also be plenty of times where you can find more favorable odds, and even a half-point of difference or more on spreads and totals. Odds can also vary especially on NFL moneylines. For example, the favored team in an NFL game could have odds of -130 at one sportsbook and another book may be offering odds of -120 for the same outcome.
Again, this may not seem like a significant difference, but the extra return afforded by the book with more favorable odds can add up over the course of the season. By taking the time to line shop, you just may find numbers that are right up your alley.
NFL betting trends
As the NFL season moves along, noticeable NFL betting trends will develop. Some squads will perform well as favorites, while others may thrive as underdogs. Some teams seem to have a knack for covering the spread, including ones with a poor overall record.
The same applies to situations such as home games versus away games, coming into or out of bye weeks, playing on a short schedule (ie a Thursday game after a Sunday game) and more. Staying mindful of these trends can help to point out exploitable situations, but it’s important to remember that nothing is foolproof when it comes to NFL betting.
Trends can help paint the picture but they’re far from the only ingredient needed. And those trends can change dramatically when it comes to regular-season NFL betting vs. playoff NFL betting.
Trends can also develop over multiple seasons, but the same note of caution applies. After all, each season is entirely different. Teams improve or decline from year to year, while others can remain in the middle. Historical trends can be great sidebars or additional weight for a specific argument, but it’s not a great idea to rely on them alone.
What to know about NFL odds for each part of the season
Interest in the NFL runs year-round, and the same holds true from a betting perspective. While the heart of the action takes place for a select few months of the year, there are other opportunities to explore in advance of the regular season. For betting purposes, there are some key points to watch out for in relation to when you are placing your wagers.
Futures market bets on various markets, such as the winner of the next Super Bowl, first pick in the NFL Draft, or Over/Under on team regular season win totals. There’s something to consider with NFL futures betting all year round.
- What to watch for: Odds come out early in the offseason for bigger markets, and closer to the season for other offerings. The board will adjust in response to betting action and other news that develops.
The NFL has chopped the exhibition season from four to three games beginning with the 2021 season. These are games in which roster battles are sorted out, game plans are tweaked, and rookies get in some real game action for the first time.
- What to watch for: Preseason games attract a decent amount of volume, but nothing compared to the games that matter. They can be tough to project due to uncertainty over playing time, especially when it comes to spreads and totals.
For 18 weeks, each team plays 17 games with one bye week. All games on the docket will attract a ton of betting action. Odds for the weekly slates come out well in advance of the first kickoff.
- What to watch for: All games are heavily wagered on, so there will be plenty of movement in the odds. In recent seasons, offenses have started fast while defenses start to catch up around the mid-way point.
The league’s top teams make it to the dance, beginning with Wild Card weekend and wrapping up with the Super Bowl. All told, there are 13 games to bet on the NFL playoffs, each of which are among the most heavily-bet events of the entire year.
- What to watch for: Fewer games on the docket means that the odds are even more heavily scrutinized than normal. Betting volume is astronomical, so there may be plenty of shifts in the numbers to watch out for.
NFL prop betting odds
For each NFL game, sportsbooks will have prop bets available for bettors to consider. You can find what’s available for each contest by clicking through on the individual game listings. Prop betting can be based on game events or team performances, as well as on the accomplishments of individual players. For the last item on the list, you’ll see options such as:
How many total touchdowns for Patrick Mahomes?
- Over 3.5 -125
- Under 3.5 +115
In the player prop category, you’ll see many two-sided options available as in our example, such as Over/Unders on player rushing, passing, or receiving yards. There will also be props that have multiple choices, such as the first touchdown scorer in a game between the Baltimore Ravens and Las Vegas Raiders.
Player to score the game’s first touchdown:
- K. Dobbins +110
- Josh Jacobs +125
- Mark Andrews +160
- Darren Waller +180
- Lamar Jackson +200
- Henry Ruggs III +250
For bets such as the one up above, there will be odds listed for all of the reasonable choices, ranging from the favorites down to the longshots. As with all other bets on the board, oddsmakers set the numbers for prop bets. These are very popular options for busy Sunday slates and the primetime tilts, and there’s often a good deal of value to be found in the odds.
Key NFL numbers & stats to watch for betting odds
Handicapping NFL games revolves around numbers, whether we’re talking about point spreads or specific stats. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the more important numbers to consider when handicapping games:
- Point Margins: A late field goal or touchdown can decide many NFL games. As a result, it’s not uncommon to see many games decided by three to seven points. These are considered key numbers, and it shouldn’t be surprising that many point spreads are in these ranges. For example, a game may open with one team as a two and a half-point favorite, but public sentiment can push it up to three and a half points at kickoff. Sharp bettors are quite mindful of these situations and will wait for the right opportunity to pounce.
- Pass Yards Per Attempt: There are plenty of ways to measure the efficiency of passing games, but this stat can be particularly useful. Quite simply, teams who gain more yards per pass attempt are moving the ball more crisply than others.
- Yards Per Play: This is a similar concept, just on a team-wide basis. When looking at overall team efficiency, the amount of yardage they are gaining or allowing on each play can help to bring it into focus while separating the contenders from the pretenders.
- Turnovers: Few things can change the momentum of an NFL game like a turnover in a vital spot. When a team gives up the ball, they are handing the opponent another scoring opportunity, and vice-versa. As such, teams who turn the ball over a lot are often not as successful as those who have positive turnover margins.
What does betting against the public mean?
Following along with the wisdom of the crowds can be useful in many situations. However, sports betting is one of those scenarios in which it can be quite fruitful to take a different approach.
Betting against the public means going against the grain of popular sentiment. Also known as the contrarian approach, which means you’re taking a stance that’s the opposite of what the majority may think.
Most oddsmakers are very good. They’ve spent years perfecting their craft and working their way into that position with sportsbooks, which are massive companies that have a wealth of data at their fingertips. Said another way, the sportsbooks don’t make a habit of being wrong. If they were constantly losing money and/or facing lopsided propositions on numerous bets, there would be changes to come at that sportsbook.
Of course, the public can be right about specific games or instances. It’s certainly worth the time taken to understand the lay of the land in a given week while gaining a sense of where most of the public money has come in.
However, you also shouldn’t follow this blindly. Don’t be afraid of taking a different stance, as well as looking for opportunities that look ripe for exploitation. There is certainly the possibility that you have picked something up in your research that has been missed in the general chatter surrounding a game.
From a bottom-line perspective, the public is not always right. If they were, many of the massive sportsbooks would be a lot less profitable than they currently are.
Odds for NFL live betting
After the games get underway, you don’t have to stop betting, unless you want to, of course. Live betting has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. It’s now a featured offering at all of the industry’s top books, and a popular option for NFL bettors as a result.
Also known as in-play, these are wagers that you can place in real-time based on what’s happening on the field. As such, the odds will be based on the current state of affairs, so there’s no set benchmark for the types of numbers you’ll see.
That said, live betting offerings will generally fall into a few distinct categories. Here are the different ways to get in the game with this fast-paced market.
- Updated odds on the main pregame bets
- Odds for various prop-style wagers
- Bet on the odds for specific parts of the game – drives, quarters, halves
Since live betting has become so popular, many of the top shops have dedicated sections for current offerings once NFL games kick off. Mobile apps make for a fantastic way to stay on top of things as you can simply glance at your device while enjoying all of the action.
How are NFL parlay odds calculated?
A parlay bet is a wager in which a bettor includes multiple selections on a single slip. If you’re right on all of the choices, payouts can be fantastic. However, just one single slip up means that the parlay wager is a loser.
That being the case, parlays fall into the category of high-risk, high-reward. The potential return rises with each selection added to the slip, but the risk does as well. In short, the more choices you make, the less of a chance you have to win.
There’s a wide range of options to explore with this style of betting, and many operators have been offering what’s known as a single-game parlay in which you make multiple picks for the same contest. An example of a basic parlay is a trio of NFL moneyline selections.
- Tennessee Titans over Arizona Cardinals -144
- Houston Texans over Jacksonville Jaguars +114
- Minnesota Vikings over Cincinnati Bengals -180
- Total parlay odds: +464
Odds for parlay bets are based off of the numbers for each individual selection added to the slip. As in our example, odds of +464 make for quite the enticement for bettors to take their chances for a nice score, but it’s important to keep your expectations in check when betting on parlays.
2021-22 NFL futures odds
NFL futures betting revolves around outcomes that won’t be decided until the next season plays out. As the legal sports betting industry continues to grow, so too does the popularity of this market. Futures odds are released in the offseason with the board remaining active from there.
There are lots of different offerings to consider. The biggest markets will come out right after the current season is in the books, while others will be unveiled as the offseason moves along. Top NFL futures to consider include:
- Super Bowl odds
- Conference winners
- Division winners
- Teams to make or miss playoffs
- Team win totals
- NFL MVP odds, Rookie of the Year, and other award winners
- Season-long leaders – Passing yards, TDs, etc.
- Player totals – Yardage, scoring, etc.
- Team with best or worst regular season record
- Team to go undefeated or winless
- Starting QB for Week 1 for select teams
- Top seeds for NFL playoffs
- Bet on 1st pick in next NFL Draft
Oddsmakers set the bar with the initial release of numbers, and you can expect the odds to adjust in response to betting action. In addition to providing the opportunity for potentially lucrative returns, futures odds are a great spot to begin your research for the upcoming season.
Super Bowl 56 odds
The Super Bowl is the biggest betting event of the year. Here are some of the details on the next edition of the Big Game.
- Date: Feb. 13, 2022
- Stadium: SoFi Stadium
- Location: Inglewood, CA
- Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. ET
- Broadcast: NBC
For sportsbooks, the Super Bowl is akin to a holiday. Betting volume is through the roof as folks across the experience spectrum look to get in on the action. Operators are happy to satisfy the demand. Beyond the standard betting opportunities, you can expect to see hundreds of different Super Bowl prop bets available as you get set to enjoy the action. More on Super Bowl betting:
Best NFL bets: Payouts based on NFL odds
The sports betting odds board can also assist you in figuring out what you can expect back on winning wagers. Payouts are based on the odds at time of bet placement, and sportsbooks will display the potential return prior to you clicking submit.
While that can be a massive time-saver, it’s still helpful to know how to estimate returns by simply looking at the odds. This will help you to quickly spot potentially appealing opportunities on the wagers you’re interested in.
There are two ways to figure out payouts from NFL odds – one simple and one that requires a bit of calculating. For the former, just remember the following two points when scoping out the odds.
Negative odds: the amount is equal to how much you have to bet in order to have the potential for a return of $100.
- Example: Bet $120 at odds of -120 for a chance to win back $100.
Positive odds: the amount is equal to the amount you would get back for placing a winning $100 wager.
- Example: A winning $100 bet at odds of +110 returns $110 in profit.
The above can help you quickly size up the odds board and ballpark potential returns. If you’d like to get some exact amounts based on your wager size, use the following formulas.
If the odds are negative: Wager amount/(Odds/100) = Potential profit
- Example with odds of -140 and a bet amount of $100
- $100/1.4 = $71.43
If the odds are positive: Wager amount * (Odds/100) = Potential profit
- Example with odds of +150 and a bet amount of $100
- $100 * (150/100)
- $100 * 1.5 = $150
For NFL bettors of all experience levels, the ultimate goal is the same; to turn a profit over the course of the season. Tracking your returns and being aware of potential profits and losses can help you get there. In addition to the above, there are plenty of online handicapping calculators that you can lean on to do the legwork on your potential returns.
Figuring out probability from NFL odds
By noting the direction of moneyline odds, we can quickly see which side is the favorite or underdog. Can we use that information to determine the actual likelihood of the outcome? We certainly can. Known as implied probability, the game odds are the starting point.
- Green Bay Packers +112
- New Orleans Saints -132
The Saints are the favored side in our example, but the overall range between the odds isn’t that big. So how likely is it for either side to pull out the victory? Similar to the way we can figure out potential returns, there are specific formulas to use based on the odds direction.
Negative odds: The actual odds divided by the sum of the odds plus 100. Multiply the result by 100.
- Example using odds of -132
- 132/(132+100) * 100
- 132/(232) *100
- 565 * 100 = 56.9 percent
Positive odds: Begin with 100 and divide it by the amount of the odds plus 100. Multiply the result by 100.
- Example using odds of +112
- 100/(112+100) * 100
- 100/(212) * 100
- 472 * 100 = 47.2 percent
Based on the odds, the favored Saints have a 56.9 percent chance of winning the game, while the underdog Packers have a 47.2 percent shot. By adding the two numbers together, we come out with a total of 104.1 as opposed to a straight 100. That’s due to the vig – also known as juice – which is basically the amount charged by the operator for facilitating the bet.
Vig is built into all wagers, which helps to further bolster the case for taking the time to line shop. Those little ticks of difference may not seem like much, but they absolutely add up over the long run. As for the probability aspect, it’s another tool that you can add to the arsenal to help place NFL betting odds and upcoming matchups into the proper perspective.
3 essential tips for betting on NFL odds
There are plenty of different schools of thought on the best approach to NFL betting, and also lots of ways to get to the same endpoint. The path that you take should be what works best for you, your strategy, and the amount of time that you have available. If you’re finding success and enjoying the ride, then you’re on the right track. Here are three tips to help you do so.
- Track line movements: As we’ve demonstrated, the NFL odds board is packed with information. One of the key pieces of intel that you can glean comes from tracking lines moves from the time they are released up until the time you’re ready to place your bets. The movements can help you spot the preferences of the betting public and oddsmaker response, and also potentially point out factors that you may have missed in the research process.
- Factor in recent play: When the regular season opens, we’re all relying on last year’s data points and current projections as we break down the schedule. After the first three weeks of the season are in the books, it’s time to shift the approach. Recent play should be weighted heavily in your thinking. Teams will rise and fall during the lengthy season, so you’ll want to consider current momentum or lack of as a good indicator of what’s to come.
- Stick to what matters: There are lots of stats and opinions to consider when researching NFL games. It can be really easy to get lost down the rabbit hole as a result. That approach can also lead to information overload, which can actually cloud your judgment. Instead of doing that, focus on what can really impact a game and tune out the noise. By keeping it simple and sticking to what matters, your decision making can become that much more crisp.