Ever wondered how the sportsbooks come up with NFL odds? It’s not as simple as you might think. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at how oddsmakers create betting lines for the NFL season.
Types of odds
The first thing to understand is that there are two main types of NFL odds: point spreads and moneylines. Point spreads are the most common type of NFL bet, and they involve oddsmakers predicting how many points one team will win or lose by. For example, if the New England Patriots are playing the Buffalo Bills, and the point spread is Patriots -7, that means oddsmakers believe the Patriots will win by 7 points. If you bet on the Patriots, they must win by more than 7 points for you to win your bet; if they win by exactly 7 points, it’s a push (a tie) and your bet is refunded
Moneylines are a bit simpler; they just involve betting on which team will win outright, without any spread. The favorite will always have a negative moneyline (e.g. -200), meaning you must bet $200 to win $100; the underdog will have a positive moneyline (e.g. +150), meaning you’ll win $150 for every $100 you bet.
Oddsmakers create betting lines by analyzing a number of factors, including each team’s schedule, personnel, past performance, etc. They also take into account public perception; if the majority of bettors are backing one team, oddsmakers may adjust the line to encourage more bets on the other team (this is called “shading the line”). Ultimately, their goal is to come up with a line that will entice an equal amount of bets on both sides, ensuring that they make a profit no matter who wins.
So next time you’re looking at NFL odds and wondering how they came up with those numbers, now you know! Oddsmakers pour over hours of game tape and statistical data to try and predict how each game will play out. Keep in mind that public perception plays a role in setting lines as well; if everyone’s betting on one team, oddsmakers may adjust the line to try and get more bets on the other side. And finally, remember that sportsbooks always want to ensure they’re making a profit; so even if their initial prediction is off, as long as there’s an equal amount of bets on both sides of the line, they’ll still come out ahead in the end.