Point Spreads for NFL Games

At legal online sportsbooks, you’ll find hundreds of NFL betting odds ranging from this week’s 49ers moneyline to Matthew Stafford passing props to live betting on halftime scores.

The bulk of NFL betting, though, centers on the point spread. It’s the top bet made on the NFL every year.

With 17 games on the schedule now, there are even more opportunities for California gamblers to bet NFL spreads. Below, check current NFL spread odds at CA sportsbooks for this week’s games, plus tips and trends for betting the spread.

This week’s NFL point spreads

Check the feed below for the latest NFL point spreads at California sportsbooks. Note that the lines can move from the time you check them here. Click on any spread to go right to the CA betting site and lock in the odds you want.

What is this week’s Rams spread?

Check this week’s spreads for all California teams above or on their respective team pages here:

How does an NFL point spread bet work?

A point spread bet is one where the sportsbook gives you a favorite and an underdog in a two-team matchup and then sets the number of points by which the favorite “should” win the game.

If the underdog is able to win outright or lose by fewer than that predicted amount, then bets on the underdog win. Conversely, the favorite must win by that number of points or more.

Here’s an example of a fictional point spread betting opportunity at an NFL betting site:

San Francisco 49ers+7.5 (-110)
Oakland Raiders-7.5 (-110)

What you see here is a game between the Raiders and the 49ers, with the Raiders’ odds showing them to be the favorites by 7.5 points. The (-) in front of the number indicates the favorite. The (+) indicates the underdog.

Both teams carry payout odds of -110, which is common in point spread betting because the addition of the points effectively “evens” the playing field in the eyes of the oddsmakers. Payout odds of -110 mean that you must bet $110 to win a profit of $100.

You don’t need to bet a full $100, though. For example, you’d need to bet $11 to win $10, etc.

If the Raiders win 27–20, then bets on them will lose. The 7.5 points mean they would have to win by at least eight points to beat the spread.

A 32-20 game in favor of the Raiders, however, would make the favorite a winner in this case.

How do sportsbooks determine NFL spreads?

Every legal and regulated sportsbook has its own oddsmakers. They are experts in the field of sports betting and use massive amounts of data from multiple sources to comb through all of the relevant information on a player, a team, a league or a specific sport and develop their own odds.

Part of that process includes creating a point spread model to work for every game. The oddsmakers determine just how competitive a game between two teams will be. Then, they use their data and analytics to determine which team is the underdog and the favorite, plus by how many points the favorite is expected to win.

The goal of the point spread, of course, is to draw an even amount of action on both sides of the bet. That way the sportsbook is most likely to make a profit from the vig, or juice, they charge to make your bets.

Because of the variety of oddsmakers setting these lines, it’s important to always take the time to shop for the best odds available. This will earn you the most potential return on your money.

How do you bet on NFL point spreads in California?

First and foremost, you need to find a legal sportsbook, or multiple sportsbooks, to open an account. Follow any link above to go directly to the sportsbook website where you can then register an account. You’ll be asked to provide personal information, such as your Social Security number, address and birth date.

Once you’ve signed up for an account, you’ll be asked to accept the terms and conditions. Additionally, you will need to allow the sportsbook to verify you are within California’s state lines before you’re able to finalize a wager. This is done using geo-location software on your phone.

Now you can claim your betting bonuses, make your initial deposit and download the sportsbook app to your phone or your computer.

And that’s it. You’re ready to make your NFL point spread wagers.

Vegas NFL spreads vs. local NFL spreads in CA

Las Vegas used to be the premier destination for sports bettors. But a ruling by the United States Supreme Court in May 2018 put the right to decide on the legality of sports betting in the hands of state legislatures.

The result has been a boom in betting across the country. California is just one of the many states poised to embrace the hobby and its revenue.

So how do point spreads for the NFL differ from Vegas to California? Well, they aren’t that different at all.

Prior to that 2018 ruling, because Vegas was one of the few hubs of legal betting, it employed the best oddsmakers in the industry. Now, several top-flight companies have hired their own expert oddsmakers to calculate lines, point spreads and more. That means the point spreads and NFL odds you’ll get at California online sportsbooks will be extremely comparable to those you’d find in Vegas.

One benefit of Vegas odds is to use it as a comparison when line shopping. By using multiple mobile betting apps, you ensure the best possible return on your wager.

When is the best time to bet on NFL point spreads?

When the lines are originally released for an NFL game, you’ll see which team is the favorite and the underdog.

If you’re employing a betting strategy, you’ve likely already done your homework on the next matchup. You can see if the oddsmakers see the game as close as you predict or if there’s a significant difference.

If you believe the point spread is favorable upon release, you should take advantage of that before any adjustments can be made. If you have a point spread of three points and public betting becomes slanted toward the favorite, there’s a likelihood that the spread could move to 3.5 to help push some wagers toward the underdog and reduce payout liability for the sportsbook.

Since you were already planning on betting on the favorite, for example, getting in on it early is a good idea. However, it might be worth waiting if you think the point spread is a bit more favorable for the underdog and plan on betting on that side of the spread.

If the odds shift or the point spread moves, you’ll have an even better chance at winning.

Keep an eye on the odds and how the line is shifting. If they continue to change on the side of the favorite (from -110 to -115 or -120 for example) you can likely expect to see a potential shift in the spread as well.

Why does the spread change?

The NFL point spread, like any other bet, is susceptible to change. The two major reasons for a shift in the spread come from additional information or public betting trends.

Oddsmakers use multiple sources of data to create their odds and spreads. When a piece of news surfaces regarding the game, they pay close attention. If a key player is out due to an injury or suspension, or even if the weather pattern is expected to shift, the point spread will likely adjust along with the game odds.

Sportsbooks will also move a point spread if public betting is heavy on one side of a bet over the other. So if bettors are placing a large volume of bets on the favorite, it is likely you’ll see the odds shift first, followed by an adjustment to the point spread if the trend continues.

This tactic is used to help push bettors to the other side of the bet, which reduces potential financial liability by evening out the number of wagers on both sides of the potential outcome.

Is the point spread the best NFL bet?

It’s impossible to say which bet is the “best” in the NFL or any other sport. That merely comes down to bettor preference.

For some newcomers to the hobby, betting on the point spread can be slightly confusing at first, though it is rather easy to understand with practice. Those newcomers may lean toward the moneyline as their preferred wager, or NFL player prop bets if you’re more in tune with an individual’s performance.

More experienced bettors, however, typically prefer the point spread. The spread tends to make the game a bit more “even” in terms of wagers since the underdog can indeed win without winning the game.

Others prefer to bet on totals, known as the over/under. Totals bets don’t require you to pick a winner of the game at all. Instead, you determine whether the two teams will combine to score over or under the predicted total points.

Keep in mind that you should only use a very, very small portion of your bankroll to wager on unknown bet types, if only for the uncertainty of it all.

What is betting against the spread or with the spread?

Betting with the spread means that you believe the oddsmakers are correct in their choice of favorite and underdog and that the favorite is going to win by the amount predicted (or more).

Betting against the spread, on the other hand, happens when a bettor decides that the underdog should either win the game outright or lose by fewer points than the predicted difference.

In either case, your bet payout will be determined by the odds for your side of the spread. If they are at -110, for example, you would get paid out $100 in profit for every $110 you bet.

Betting the NFL spread vs. the NFL moneyline

If you’re considering betting on an NFL game and you’re not sure if you want to bet on the moneyline or the point spread, take a look at it from this point of view: the moneyline is very black and white; one team will win and the other will lose; you need to pick the correct one.

If you’re right, you get paid out. If you’re wrong, you lose your original bet amount.

Point spreads, on the other hand, allow for a bit more wiggle room in the win and loss department. That’s because an underdog might still lose the game, but if they manage to keep it closer than the oddsmakers predicted, you’ll make a profit off your bet.

For example, if the San Francisco 49ers were playing the Seattle Seahawks and were the underdogs by 7.5 points in the spread, you know that all they have to do is lose by fewer than eight points and your bet on them will be a winner.

The point spread allows for a little margin of error when compared to the moneyline. Sure, the favorite might still win the game, but the underdog can help you profit from your betting if they’re able to beat the spread.

Basic NFL spread betting tips

  1. Shop for lines: Don’t stick with just a single sportsbook. You don’t owe them any loyalty. If there are better odds available at a different sportsbook, you should make your bet there. It’s your hard-earned money, which means you should try to get the best possible profit for your bankroll.
  2. Watch betting trends: Once the lines release, you’ll be able to see the trends as the lines shift in the various sportsbooks. Our odds tracker, located above, will have automatic updates 24 hours a day. This means you’ll never see old information when visiting our site. You can use that tracker to keep tabs on line movements, which will help you see the trends and how the sportsbooks are responding to the volume of betting on a particular game.
  3. Understand the key numbers: In the game of football, the two big numbers to keep in mind when betting the point spread are seven and three. A touchdown with an extra point is seven points while a field goal is three points. Many games are determined by that margin. So when you see a team is favored by 6.5 points, they have to win by a touchdown and PAT. If you’re betting on the favorite to win, that number is more favorable to your strategy than 7.5 would be. Learn the key numbers for the sports you’re betting on. You’ll find better value when line shopping for NFL football spreads, as well as for other sports.
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