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NFL Point Spread Picks

NFL Point Spread Picks: Are you on the right side?

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Each week, the old cliché “Any given Sunday” proves true in the NFL. Teams that are supposed to win big, end up losing outright, not even taking into consideration the point spread. For example, week 2 of the 2010 NFL season just took place and there was one major upset. The Cowboys, who were favored by 8 ½ points lost outright to Chicago. The week before, The Seahawks were a 3 point underdog to The 49ers, but beat them by 25 points. The difficulty of picking games without the point spread can be shown by looking at the records of the Sunday morning experts. Take ESPN’s NFL Expert Picks, the best percentage through week 2 is a 62.5% by Mark Schlereth, and these guys don’t even worry about the spread.

If you want to place bets at a
 legal sportsbook or win your weekly office pool, you probably don’t need to win 67% of your games, but you do need to win more than 50%. Plus your picks will come against the point spread. While a point spread is intended to make games closer and harder to pick, sometimes the point spread can make a game an easy winner. Point spreads start out based upon who the experts believe will win the game, but over time the sportsbooks adjust the lines to even out the betting money. If you get in late, you may get a much better point spread than early in the week. You may also find better point spreads early in the week if an injury is announced or right when a weather forecast is issued. You can also play the point spread game by having accounts at multiple sportsbooks such as Intertops and BetOnline. Often the point spread on an NFL game can vary by as much as a full point or even 1 ½ points. Getting the best line may make the difference in winning or losing on that game. Here are some other tips to make sure you are using the point spreads on NFL games to your full advantage:

Don’t “tease” the point spread up by placing multiple bets
This is the most common error by newbie’s. When you tease your bets, you now have to win two games or both the over/under and the game to get a win. While you may have picked up a few extra points, you have decreased the odds that you are going to win. If you like two bets, place two bets. Don’t combine them and hurt your odds.

Do not count on the point spread, if you think the team will lose
Lots of people will bet a 6 point spread saying; “They won’t lose by more than that”. But this is a common error. According to, 62.5% of NFL games are won by 7 or more points. Very rarely will you find a point spread that is more than a touchdown. If you think a team is going to lose, don’t bet it. Remember, they may be losing by just 3 points in the fourth quarter but because they start taking risks and throwing the ball around, you lose on a defensive touchdown. You were right it would be a close game, but you still lost your bet.

Consider an Over / Under Bet instead of betting the points spread

Sometimes the best bet on a game isn’t the winner at all, it’s the over or the under. Lots of things can change the outcome of a football game including turnovers and injuries. But when you look at what teams are playing, the type of game probably will not change. Take “The greatest show on turf” from the Rams teams of 1999-2001, they lost some games but you could count on them to put up points, especially when “on turf”.

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