Pointspreads and total lines capture the attention of most sports bettors when another season of NFL games rolls around, but you could be missing out on a great opportunity to build your overall sports betting bankroll if you are not open to betting on moneylines for the games.
Most sports bettors immediately think of baseball and hockey when it comes to betting moneylines, but most of the top online sportsbooks in the game today offer a complete list of moneyline odds for each week’s games in the NFL. In reality, a NFL moneyline is just another way that an oddsmaker creates the spread between the favorite and the underdog in a particular matchup. They are both designed to even out the money that is bet on either side of the game.
The basic premise with this type of wager is that you have to risk more to bet a favorite with a moneyline and you can increase your potential return on a bet by going with the underdog. Note the following example for both a NFL pointspread and a moneyline:
Pointspread- Chicago at Green Bay (-3)
Moneyline- Chicago +130 Green Bay -140
In this particular betting scenario, you would stand to make $130 on a $100 wager if you bet the Bears as road underdogs and they win the game straight up. If you decide to bet on Green Bay to win SU as a home favorite, you would have to risk losing $140 to win $100.
One of the biggest benefits of betting NFL moneylines is all you need to do to win money is to pick the SU winner. How many times have you lost money because you went with a favorite that failed to cover against the spread? How many times did you go with an underdog and the points and they went on to win that game SU? If start to spend more of your time handicapping games on a strict head-to-head basis with no pointspread involved, you are bound to find at least one or two strong chances to cash in on a NFL moneyline bet each week.
There are two basic betting strategies when it comes to winning NFL moneylines. The first is to focus your efforts on one or two favorites that you are extremely confident in to win their game this week. Remember, the higher the pointspread for a game, the higher the risk factor with a moneyline bet. A large spread does not have to be an automatic deterrent to playing a high-risk moneyline bet, but you need to be sure that everything you have uncovered in your efforts to handicap this matchup clearly point to the favorite winning this game outright.
Another betting tactic that can prove to be very effective when it comes to betting NFL moneylines is finding one or two underdogs that are poised to pull off an upset that week. Once again, this all comes down to the confidence you have in your handicapping efforts that point towards the underdog winning that game SU. One of the best things about betting underdogs on the moneyline is that you can still win money even if you spilt your two bets. For example, you win with Team A at a +150 moneyline and you lose with Team B at a +120 moneyline. The net effect is still a plus $30 gain. Over the course of an entire NFL season, it is very possible that you could have an actual losing percentage on your picks, but still have a positive return on your moneyline bets strictly betting underdogs.