Sports betting has been legalized in more than a dozen states over the last few years. And it appears as though it could be legalized in more than half of the country in the years to come.
As a result of this, there are a lot of new sports bettors throwing their hats into the ring and betting on things like NFL and college football. If you’re one of them, it’s important for you to know how to bet on football before you do it.
More specifically, you need to know what a handicap in football is and how to place bets on football games that have been handicapped. It’ll put you in a much better position to win your bets on NFL and college football action.
If you’re sitting there thinking, “What are handicaps in football?”, right now, you’re not alone! There are tons of new sports bettors who don’t have the slightest clue when it comes to what handicaps in football are.
You should take some time to learn about what football handicaps are prior to placing your first bet on a football game. Find out all about them below.
What Is a Handicap in Football?
When two NFL or college football teams take the field to play against one another, one of the two teams is usually better than the other one. It’s the main reason why handicaps in football exist.
If there was no handicap in football, most people would just bet on the better team. But handicaps in football help to even the playing field and make the outcome of a sports bet more unpredictable.
By handicapping a football game, a sportsbook either gives an underdog a head start by providing them with points or puts a favorite at a disadvantage by taking points away from them at the start.
For example, if Team A is playing Team B and Team A is the better team, then a sportsbook might make Team A something like a 5-point favorite over Team B. This means that Team A will need to win by more than 5 points to “cover the spread” and help those who bet on them win their handicapped bet. Team B, meanwhile, will need to either win a game outright or lose by less than five points to “cover the spread” on their end.
The so-called “spread” is created by sportsbooks based on a variety of different factors, including everything from the records that two teams have to the location of a game. It’s up to sports bettors to decide which team they’re going to bet on with the spread if they choose to partake in handicapped betting.
What Is the Purpose of Football Handicaps?
After hearing about the handicap in football, some people wonder what the purpose of it is. If you’re going to bet on a football game, why not just bet on one team or the other without worrying about a spread?
As you’ll find out in a few minutes, you can do that if you want. But the handicap in football is designed to make football games way more exciting than they would be otherwise.
It doesn’t take much skill for someone to look at a football game and say, “I’ll bet on the favorite!” But when you have to bet on the favorite to win and win by a certain number of points, it can really throw a monkey wrench into things.
Handicapping in football gives both those who bet on a favorite and those who bet on an underdog an equal chance of winning a bet. Handicaps in football are what make betting on sports like NFL and college football so much fun.
How Do You Find Out What the Handicaps in Football Are?
Now that you have a much better idea of what a handicap in football is, you might be wondering where you can find football handicaps. It’s pretty easy to track them down.
In the days and sometimes even weeks and months leading up to a game, sportsbooks will release the spreads on the NFL and college football games that are coming up. They’ll also update these spreads accordingly as they move closer to the games.
Oftentimes, things like injuries, weather, and even betting patterns will influence spreads and force sportsbooks to change them. It’s why it’s important for those who bet on football to keep a close eye on football handicaps.
How Should You Go About Betting on Handicaps in Football?
If you’re going to bet on football games that have handicaps on them, you’ll need to take the right approach to doing it. You’ll have to do more than just look at which teams have the best records and bet on them.
Instead, you’re going to have to try and get into the heads of oddsmakers to see why in the world they’ve handicapped games in the way that they have. It’s essential for sports bettors to do a lot of research on NFL and college football games prior to picking one team over another.
When you’re researching a particular football game and trying to decide which team to bet on, you should take a look at things like:
- How two teams have fared against one another in the past
- What injuries two teams might be dealing with at the moment
- If the weather is going to have any impact on a game
A lot of sports bettors, including tons of new sports bettors, get into the habit of betting on favorites since they can’t imagine an underdog keeping up with them. But it’s important to remember that underdogs don’t have to win a game against a favorite for you to win a bet on them. They just have to cover the spread by keeping the game somewhat close.
Do You Have to Bet With Football Handicaps?
The handicap in football helped to revolutionize sports betting. It made betting on NFL and college football games so much more exciting than it used to be.
But it’s worth noting that you don’t have to bet on point spreads when betting on football games if you don’t want to. You’re also more than welcome to bet on football games straight up without getting the spread involved.
That being said, you are going to have the pay the price for doing. When you “moneyline” football games—or bet on them without a point spread—you’re going to get longer odds on your bets. You won’t make as much money on winning bets when you wager on favorites.
You might be able to turn a consistent profit by betting on underdogs with the moneyline. But even then, you might also end up kicking yourself every time an underdog loses a game and covers the spread when you bet on them winning straight up. It’s yet another reason why it’s worth learning more about the handicap in football.
Are Handicaps Only Used in Football?
You could make the argument that football is the sport that benefits the most from handicaps. Since there are always points being put up in bunches on the football field, it’s so exciting to sit and watch a football game when you’re getting or giving points for one team.
But we should point out that football is not the only sport that has handicapping. Pretty much any sports that involve the use of points have some form of handicapping attached to them. This includes basketball, soccer, tennis, and more.
And there are even some sports that you might not think would be handicapped that include handicapping. We’re talking about sports like auto racing and even horse racing.
Handicapping does work a little bit differently in football than it does in other sports. You should read up on how handicapping works in the sport that you want to bet on before doing it.
You should also read more on college football handicapping and NFL football handicapping if you’re interested in kickstarting your sports betting career. You can find out how to use the handicap in football to your advantage by doing this.
You’ll be placing winning bets on football games in no time once you understand the ins and outs of handicapping. You’ll also be teaching others about them and encouraging them to give sports betting a try once you see how exciting handicapping can make things.
Find Out How Exciting a Handicap in Football Can Make Sports Betting
Don’t want to have to worry about the handicap in football while betting on NFL and college football action? Then feel free to bet on football games straight up.
But once you’ve wagered on games with handicaps in football, we’re willing to bet that you’ll love doing it. It’ll give you a brand-new perspective on sports betting and make it so much more exciting than it would be otherwise for you.
Would you like to get some more sports betting tips that can help turn you into a better sports bettor? Find them today by reading through the other articles on our blog.