Football Betting 101

Online sports betting is huge in every part of the world and it’s still growing, with sportsbooks now offering betting lines on all major league sports in the States, Europe and beyond.

NFL Football is by far the most popular sport to bet on, with the volume of betting on the Super Bowl setting records, year after year. It may seem straight forward, but understanding betting lines and choosing the smartest wagers to make can be a daunting task for the rookie sports bettor. Here’s some basics that’ll get you up to speed.

Understanding the Point Spread

The most fundamental thing to understand when betting on the NFL is the point spread. The point spread is a betting line that represents the number of points a team will win or lose by, with sports bettors wagering on whether a team will win, or lose, by more or less than the established line.

For example, let’s say the Oakland Raiders are visiting the Denver Broncos, and the Broncos are favored to win by 7.5 points.

This will be represented by a betting line that looks like this:

Oakland Raiders +7.5

Denver Broncos -7.5

The + symbol in the Raiders betting line indicates that they are 7.5-point underdogs and would be a winning bet if they win the game outright or lose by less than eight points. And conversely, the – symbol in the Broncos’ line indicates they are 7.5-point favorites, which means they must win the game by eight points or more to “cover the spread:” and win the bet.

Understanding the Moneyline

Another fundamental line to understand in football betting is the moneyline. With a moneyline bet, a team must simply win the game outright for the bet to win. Winners will be paid off according to the posted moneyline odds. For example, let’s say that 49ers, as the home team, is the moneyline favorite in a matchup against the Seahawks.

That betting line that could look something like this:

Seattle Seahawks +130

San Francisco 49ers -125

As longshots, a $100 bet on the Seahawks would win $130, while the 49ers are moneyline favorites, meaning  it would require a $125 bet on San Francisco to win $100.

Understanding the Total

The third key element of an NFL betting line is the total, which predicts the total number of points that will be scored by both teams in the game. Total betting lines will look something like this:

OVER (-110)


UNDER (-130)

The point total in the example above is set at 51.5. You can bet that the total points in the game will finish OVER or UNDER 51.5, with moneyline odds accompanying each option.

In the above example, to win $100 by betting on the OVER requires a wager of $110 while a $130 bet on the UNDER is required to win $100.

It’s pretty easy to find explore different online sportsbook options by visting a site like Check out different site options and tinker with different bet types before actually making a wager.

Once you get the basics down, you can add a layer of complexity to your NFL bets by combining multiple single bets into a parlay wager, or manipulating point spreads using teaser bets.

Tailgating Tips For Turning Any Car Into An MVP‏ just put together a list of tailgate tips to maximize your car for the ultimate tailgate experience This year’s favorite is the RAM 1500. The RAM has built in WiFi, and the beverage ready RamBox provides tailgaters with a built in cooler.

Here are some tailgating tips from Patrick Olsen, Editor-in-Chief

What’s the best way to use storage space for tailgate gear?

Patrick Olsen: Three words: Cover, secure, safety.

Cover: It starts with laying down a good protective cover (tarp, etc.) inside your car. Even the cleanest travel grill will have a lot of grease and grime after tailgating, and you don’t want that all over your interior.

Secure: Once you have the tarp down, start by putting in the grill because it usually has the most unwieldy shape. You’ll want to put some bracing items around it (coolers are good) to limit any movement while you drive to and from the game. A grill that tips over while you’re driving will make for a bigger mess than the Jacksonville Jaguars. Once you have that down, put other things in with the biggest items (folding chairs, coolers, etc.) first and smaller stuff toward the end. Finally, don’t leave food or other items to become projectiles in the case of a sudden stop or crash.

Safety: Don’t stack anything in your line of sight — especially out the rear or rear-quarter windows — and make sure you store sharp objects like knives or metal tongs in an enclosed container. And, as tempting as it might sound, avoid draping team flags over windows you need to see out of until you get to the tailgate lot. We’re all about creating the ultimate fan-mobile, but do it safely.

Tips for conserving battery life?

PO: Be prepared: Have jumper cables or a rechargeable jumping kit on hand. But feel free to leave the engine running throughout the tailgate. When idling, the typical car only consumes about a gallon of gas per hour, so for most cars, a four-hour tailgate would use less than a quarter-tank of fuel, and eliminate the risk of a dead battery.

Be aware: Avoid standing (or having trash bags and other items) within a couple feet of the exhaust to avoid burns or fires. And obviously this is a bad idea if you’re tailgating in an area with limited ventilation.

How to maximize rear space for an optimal tailgating experience?

PO: See first question.

Tips for quick clean-up after the tailgate?

PO: Set aside some time: Tailgates often turn into a rush for the gates when everyone realizes the game is about to start, and if you aren’t prepared, you might miss kickoff. So keep track of time, and leave yourself 15 minutes just to clean up before heading into the stadium.

Make it a team activity: Don’t be afraid to delegate; after all, you planned this shindig, and you shouldn’t have to clean up alone. Bring a few trash bags, fill ‘em up and identify public trash containers (most tailgate lots have plenty) where you can leave them.

Sound is a key element to any tailgate is there a car with a particularly great sound or multimedia system for tailgating?

PO: Bring your own: While some cars, like GMC’s Acadia SUV, have thought about tailgating when designing the factory stereo, by and large, car stereos are designed to fill the cabin with noise, so they don’t do a very good job broadcasting music outside the car. Bring along a portable stereo with Bluetooth or an iPod plug-in, and either plug it into a car using an inverter or a factory household-style, two-prong outlet.