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How to Win in the NFL Point Spread System

By John Lindell

You have to "beat the spread" to win on online gaming sites and where sportsbetting is legal, such as in Las Vegas, when you wager on NFL games. The point spread is a number established for every game, indicative of the margin by which oddsmakers feel the favorite should win the game. In point spread lingo, "Giants minus seven," most often written "Giants -7," means that the Giants are a seven-point favorite over their opponent; in essence, the Giants' opponent has a seven point cushion, which means that the Giants must win by eight points or more for bettors to collect. You need to contemplate a range of issues to choose winners versus the spread.

Check how teams play at home and how they perform when on the road. A home team with an inferior overall record but a decent home winning percentage can be a good choice over a better team visiting that struggles on the road.

Keep track of a team's record against the spread. This information is readily available on websites and in newspapers and can offer you insight into which teams typically beat the point spread and which teams do not.

Always wait until the last possible moment before making your picks against the spread. This allows you to integrate information, such as an injury, that can prevent a key player form competing, adverse weather conditions that can hinder offenses and other events that can affect a game's outcome.

Consider how badly each team needs to win the game. At the beginning of the season, it is hard to judge which clubs will contend for a championship, but by the middle and end, you can easily see which teams are heading to the playoffs and those with little for which to play. When squads heading in opposite directions in the standings meet, strongly consider taking the favorite.

Avoid picking teams that already have wrapped up playoff spots late in the season, when oddsmakers often favor them by large margins. In many instances, these teams do not expose star players to potential injuries, keeping them out of games or playing them very little. This can allow an inferior team to make the result much closer and even win a game that is meaningless in the standings to its superior opponent.

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