# How to Understand Betting Lines

A betting line shows the the margin of victory and dollar amounts assigned by sportsbooks to handicap a game where, usually, one team is the favorite and one team is the underdog. A betting line comes in various forms, though they are pretty consistent across all major sports.

For the most part, most betting lines show the point spread, the moneyline, and the point total. Here we will break down how betting lines work and how they differ in various sports.

There are three main parts to a betting line.

The first is the point spread, which is the margin of victory a favorite must win by in order for your bet to win. So if the Lakers are a -7 point favorite, they must win by 8 or more points for your bet to win. Or if the Clippers are a +7 underdog, they can win or lose by as many as 6 points and your bet would still win. This is done to even the playing field and incentivize betting on the underdog.

Another part is the moneyline. Instead of using the point spread, you can make a straight up bet. Here, sportsbooks will even the playing field by paying out much less to heavy favorites. So if the Jets are a -200 favorite, a \$200 wager would net you \$100 in winnings. But if the Bills are a +150 underdog, your \$100 bet would earn you \$150.The other part is the point total. Here, you can bet on whether the final result will be “over” or “under” the combined score projected by each sportsbook.

NFL betting lines are pretty straight forward. Let’s take a game where the Titans are favored over the Jaguars.

The Titans are a -120 favorite while the Jaguars are a +110 underdog on the moneyline. That means a \$120 bet on the Titans would win you \$100 while a \$100 bet on the Jaguars would net you \$110.

The Titans are also a -3 favorite. If you bet on the point spread, the Titans must win by 4 or more points for your bet to hit while the Jaguars can lose by as many as 2 points and still win your bet.

The game has a 42 over/under. That means the game must have at least 42 points for the “over” bet to hit and under 42 for the “under” bet to hit. If the game ends at 42 combined points, the result is a push and your money is refunded.

NBA betting lines look exactly like NFL betting lines. There is a point spread that varies from game to game based on team strength, a moneyline that also fluctuates depending on the matchup, and a point total.

MLB betting lines are similar to the NFL and NBA except they don’t have a point spread listed because every baseball game has the same “run line.” A run line essentially sets the point spread for each MLB game at 1.5 runs, so every favorite must win by 2 or more points while every underdog must either win or lose by no more than 1 run to win your bet.

NHL betting lines work exactly like MLB betting lines. There is no point spread because every game has a “puck line,” which sets the spread of every hockey game at 1.5 goals. The favorite must win by 2 or more goals while the underdog can win, draw, or lose by up to 1 goal to win your bet.

## Best Sportsbooks 2020

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NFL
Jacksonville Jaguars at Baltimore Ravens Betting Preview
| By: Field Level Media
Sunday, December 20, 2020, M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland, 1 p.m. ET Jaguars at Ravens Betting Preview: Jaguars (+12/5/-110), Ravens (-12.5/-110)  Jacksonville Jaguars Running back James Robinson became the fourth undrafted rookie in NFL history to total at least 1,000 rushing yards, and the fastest to do so, reaching the feat in the fourth quarter of last week’s loss to the Titans. He is third in the league in rushing with 1,035 yards, to go along with seven touchdowns. He’s also is well on pace to break the league mark set by the Colts’ Dominic Rhodes, who ran for 1,104[...]
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Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings Betting Preview
9:07 AM ET
Sunday, December 20, 2020, U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1 p.m. ET Bears at Vikings Betting Preview: Bears (+3.5/-110), Vikings (-3.5/-110) Chicago Bears Chicago snapped a[...]
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Jun 2, 2023
Cleveland Browns at New York Giants Betting Preview
9:07 AM ET
Sunday, December 20, 2020, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey, 8:20 p.m. ET Browns at Giants Betting Preview: Browns (-5/-112), Giants (+5/-109) [...]
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Jun 2, 2023
San Francisco 49ers vs. Dallas Cowboys Betting Preview
9:07 AM ET
Sunday, December 20, 2020, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas, 1 p.m. ET 49ers at Cowboys Betting Preview: 49ers (-3/-110), Cowboys (+3/-110) San Francisco[...]
NFL
Jun 2, 2023
Detroit Lions at Tennessee Titans Betting Preview
9:07 AM ET
Sunday, December 20, 2020, Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee, 1 p.m. ET Lions at Titans Betting Preview: Lions (+11/-106), Titans (-11/-114) Detroit Lions Give interim coach Darrell[...]
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Jun 2, 2023
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts Betting Preview
9:07 AM ET
Sunday, December 20, 2020, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1 p.m. ET Texans at Colts Betting Preview: Texans (+7/-108), Colts (-7/-112) Houston Texans The heartbreak[...]
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Jun 2, 2023
Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints Betting Preview
9:07 AM ET
Sunday, December 20, 2020, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana, 4:25 p.m. ET Chiefs at Saints Betting Preview: Chiefs (-3/-110), Saints (+3/-110)  Kansas City Chiefs The[...]
NFL
Jun 2, 2023
New York Jets at Los Angeles Rams Betting Preview
9:07 AM ET
Sunday, December 20, 2020, SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California, 4:05 p.m. ET Jets at Rams Betting Preview: Jets (+17.5/-114), Rams (+17.5/-106) New York[...]
NFL
Jun 2, 2023
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins Betting Preview
9:07 AM ET
Sunday, December 20, 2020, Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida, 1 p.m. ET Patriots at Dolphins Betting Preview: Patriots (+2/-112), Dolphins (-2/-109) [...]
NFL
Jun 2, 2023
Seattle Seahawks at Washington Football Team Betting Preview
9:07 AM ET
Sunday, December 20, 2020, FedExField, Landover, Md., 1 p.m. ET Seahawks at Washington Football Team Betting Preview: Seahawks (-5.5/-110), Washington Football Team[...]
NFL
Jun 2, 2023
Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals Betting Preview
9:07 AM ET
Sunday, December 20, 2020, State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona, 4:05 p.m. ET Eagles at Cardinals Betting Preview: Eagles (+6.5/-110), Cardinals (-6.5/-110) Philadelphia[...]
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Jun 2, 2023
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons Betting Preview
9:07 AM ET
Sunday, December 20, 2020, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia, 1 p.m. ET Buccaneers at Falcons Betting Preview: Buccaneers (-5.5/-114), Falcons (+5.5/-106) Tampa Bay Buccaneers It’s safe to[...]
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9:07 AM ET
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Jun 2, 2023
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns Betting Preview
9:07 AM ET
Monday, December 14, 2020, FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio, 8:15 p.m. ET Ravens at Browns Betting Preview: Ravens (-2.5/-110), Browns (+2.5/-110) Baltimore Ravens[...]
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Jun 2, 2023
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions Betting Preview
9:07 AM ET
Sunday, December 13, 2020, Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan, 4:25 p.m. ET Packers at Lions Betting Preview: Packers (-7.5/-110), Lions (+7.5/-110) Green Bay[...]