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The NFL, the most popular sport in the United States, is also growing in popularity around the world. Not only has it been a popular sport in Canada for many years, but recently it has also gained some traction in the United Kingdom as well. Every weekend millions of dollars are wagered on games played in the NFL, or National Football League, and these come from across Canada, the US and further afield.
In this article we take a look at some of the more popular ways to bet on NFL Football in Canada.
Wagering Against the Spread
The spread is a number that odds-makers use to create equal betting action for both teams — it is effectively a handicap.
As an example, let’s imagine that the New England Patriots are playing at home against the New York Jets. In such a game the spread may be New England -7.5. Bettors may wager on New England -7.5 points, or the New York Jets +7.5 points. The odds on these types of bets are 10/11, meaning for every $11 dollars you wager you will get $10 in profit.
If the Patriots win the game 28-20, bettors that selected England -7.5 would win, because the Patriots won by more than 7.5 points. If the final score was Patriots 21 Jets 20, those who wagered on New York +7.5 would win because the Jets lost by less than 8 points.
If a point spread is -6 and the game is decided by exactly 6 points, all bets are refunded. Wagering against the spread is the most popular form of wagering when it comes to football games.
Wagering on the Money Line
Most gamblers don’t care how many points a team wins by, so long as the team they select wins the game. These types of gamblers would bet a team “on the money”, which means there are no point spreads involved.
As an example: the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys are playing a game in Dallas. The Cowboys are -200 on the money line. So in order to win $100 on a Cowboys win, you would need to risk $200. The Eagles are +160 on the money line. So if you think the Eagles are going to win the game you would need to risk $100 to win $160. The higher the favorite is against the spread, the higher the money line will be. If a team is favored by 10 points they may be as high as -400 on the moneyline.
Regardless of what the final score is in relation to the spread, whichever team wins the game will have their bettors cashing tickets. The Cowboys could win 21-20 or 41-3, it does not matter for purpose of the money line wager.
In addition to wagering on the money line and against the spread, gamblers can bet on the total number of points in a game. If the total for a game is listed at 45, gamblers can estimate that either more or less than 45 points will be scored during the game. Like against the spread wagering, these bets come with 10/11 odds.
If the final score of the game is 28-24, bettors who wagered on the over will win, since more than 45 total points were scored. If the final is 21-17 bettors who wagered on the under will win, since fewer than 45 total points were scored. If the total points in the game is exactly 45, all bets will be refunded.
If you don’t want to bet on the total number of points in game, you can wager on how many points each individual team will score. If the Chicago Bears are facing the Detroit Lions and Lions are -4 and the total is 44, chances are the total points on the Bears would be 20 points and the total points on the Lions would be 24 points.
You will have the option to bet that the Bears will score over or under 20 points and that the Lions will score over or under 24 points. Each wager is a separate wager. You could also bet that the Bears will score over 20 points and the Lions will score under 24 points. If the final is Chicago 21 Detroit 17, you would win both wagers. If the score was Detroit 27 Chicago 17, you would lose both wagers.
Another popular bet is a teaser bet. This is where gamblers take the point spreads from two different games and move each point spread by 6 points.
If the Philadelphia Eagles are -8 against the Washington Redskins and the Baltimore Ravens are -7 against the Cleveland Browns, a punter may elect to bet the Eagles and the Ravens in a teaser. In this case the new point spreads would be Eagles -2 and Ravens -1. In order for the teaser bet to be a winner, each team included in the teaser must cover the spread. If the Eagles win 21-20 and the Ravens win 21-10, the bet would lose because the Eagles did not win by more than two points.
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