Reading the Football Betting Line

December 1, 2010 NFL Football

Just because a team is favored on the football betting line does not mean they will win the game. People forget this simple fact when making football bets.

Football betting lines are far more than team names and numbers on the board each weekend. They are actually a language made up of their own meaning and based on many factors. As you look to make football bets you really need to understand what you are looking at. Football betting begins with the basics. Home field “advantage” is universally acclaimed to be worth about three points.

Now some teams have more added to their home field edge while others have less. After home field, the next basic factor that is taken into account with the football betting lines is the ability of the teams put together with the public perception of the teams in the matchup. For example, if the public thinks that a team like the New York Giants is better than an opponent, they will be made the favorite even though they actually shouldn’t be.

This is where public perception plays a major role in determining what the football betting lines actually are, and how some teams have less board value with the football betting lines because public demand for action on such teams drives the price higher than where it actually belongs. The football betting oddsmakers are going to charge extra for teams that the public wants. That means they will often be favored in football betting when they shouldn’t be and favored by too many points.

Beyond home field, team merit, and public perception of those teams, you also must consider that the football betting lines will feature such factors as injuries, motivation, revenge, media hype, and recent performance as part of the equation along with, again, the public’s perception of those various intangible factors. Ultimately, the number that you see on the football betting lines board has as much to do with you as the teams. When you make football bets remember that public opinion is very important. You must read the football betting line with an unbiased eye if you expected to win money making football bets.

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