NFL Betting Lines Explained

NFL betting lines

There’s nothing bigger than the Big Game, and there’s nothing better Bodog’s NFL betting lines. Super Bowl LVII will take place Sunday, February 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, and it will be the biggest single event on the sports betting calendar here at Bodog Sportsbook. No other game will come remotely close.


If this is your first time betting on the NFL, or you just need a refresher before the Super Bowl, here are all of the major types of NFL betting lines we have waiting for you in our sportsbook.

Point Spreads

You’re probably familiar with the point spread already – it quickly became part of mainstream culture after it was unveiled in the 1940s. Unless the two teams are evenly matched, every football game has a favourite and an underdog; the point spread simplifies betting by turning the outcome into as close to a 50/50 situation as possible, with even money payouts on either side.

To achieve this balance, the favourite is given a handicap: They have to win by more points than the assigned spread, otherwise the underdog pays out (unless it’s a tie against the spread, which results in a push – all bets returned). Here’s the point spread at Bodog Sportsbook from Super Bowl LVI:

Los Angeles Rams       –4.5 (–110)

Cincinnati Bengals      +4.5 (–110)

For this game, Los Angeles (the designated road team, and therefore listed at the top) was assigned a spread of 4.5 points, meaning they had to win by at least five to “cover” and pay out. The underdog Bengals needed only to stay within four points of LA to do the same – which they did in a 23-20 loss.

The “(–110)” shows the vigorish, aka vig or juice, that you pay the sportsbook for processing your wager. You’ll usually see –110 juice for either side, meaning you bet $110 to win $100, or $11 to win $10, or any multiple thereof.

The book has the option of adjusting the spread and/or the vigorish up or down in response to the betting action that’s coming in. The Rams opened as –4 (–110) favourites at Bodog, then moved to –4 (–115) and eventually –4.5 (–110) as more money came in on LA; likewise, Cincinnati opened at +4 (–110) before moving to +4 (–105) and closing at +4.5 (–110).


This line movement is normal and can be expected for every NFL game on the schedule; however, rest assured that the odds you get at the time of your wager are the odds that will be used to calculate your payout. If you get good enough at anticipating which way the NFL betting lines will move, you can time your bets appropriately to get the best odds for your chosen team.


The moneyline is the original way to bet on football – just pick a winner, and get paid according to their odds. Here’s the moneyline for Super Bowl LVI:

Los Angeles Rams       –195

Cincinnati Bengals      +165

At these moneyline odds, the favoured Rams would pay out $100 for every $195 wagered, while the underdog Bengals would pay out $165 for every $100 wagered. Since the Rams won straight-up, they were the correct Super Bowl pick on the moneyline.


Totals have only been around since Super Bowl II, but they’ve gotten very popular as sports betting has exploded across North America. All you have to do is pick whether the two teams will combine to score Over or Under the posted total of points, like the 48.5-point total at Super Bowl LVI:

Los Angeles Rams       O 48.5 (–110)

Cincinnati Bengals      U 48.5 (–110)

As a rule, the line for the Over is placed at the top; we use the uppercase “O” and “U” as reminders of which is Over and which is Under. The vigorish is once again listed in parentheses after the total. And in this case, the Under paid out when the Rams and Bengals combined for 43 points.


Now we move away from the “straight” or “single” bets and into the world of exotic wagers. Prop bets (short for “proposition” bets) ask you to bet on things other than the outcome of the football game itself, like whether a certain quarterback will throw for Over or Under the posted total of passing yards.

NFL props generally fall into three categories: player props, team props, and game props. Total Passing Yards is a classic player prop, while team props allow you to bet on an entire team reaching (or failing to reach) the given target. Game props are a bit more general in nature, like whether the game will go into overtime or not. There will be hundreds of different Super Bowl props to bet on – get your printouts ready so you can follow your progress while you’re watching the Big Game.

Parlays, Teasers and More

Aside from props, the most popular exotic NFL bets are parlays, where you combine several straight wagers into one giant combo bet; if all of your picks come true, your payouts are multiplied instead of added together. Get one pick wrong, though, and your entire parlay loses.

A teaser is a special kind of parlay where you “hedge” your bet by moving the spreads and/or totals by a specific number of points: 6, 6.5, or 7. This makes it easier for your combo bet to win, although you get a lower payout in return.

You should also know about NFL futures bets before the Big Game rolls around. These bets are on events that won’t be resolved until later on down the road – like who will win Super Bowl LVIII next year at Allegiant Stadium just outside of Las Vegas. Futures odds are usually available all year round at Bodog Sportsbook, so you always have something to bet on no matter what time it is.

There are a handful of other NFL bet types you can make, like round robins and sweetheart teasers; you can find out more by consulting our FAQ and Help pages. But for now, you have all the basics you need to bet on Super Bowl LVII at Bodog with our NFL betting lines explained. Enjoy the game, and we hope to see you at the pay window.