Today’s top online sports betting site have done a great job of continually expanding the ways you can bet on NFL games. The standard straight bet on a pointspread or total line still accounts for the majority of the betting action the books take in. However, if you are looking for new and different ways to bet on the games, your options are almost endless.
One of the more interesting variations of the standard pointspread are alternative betting lines that tweak the spread one way or the other with corresponding moneyline odds. This allows you to bet on a spread more in your favor at a higher risk or roll the dice on a spread not in your favor for a higher reward. The following is an example of how an alternative line might look at an online sportsbook offering these types of bets.
New Orleans Saints +3 (-110)
Atlanta Falcons -3 (-110)
Alternative Line 1
New Orleans Saints + 3 ½ (-135)
Atlanta Falcons – 3 ½ (+115)
Alternative Line 2
New Orleans Saints +2 ½ (+115)
Atlanta Falcons -2 ½ (-135)
If you decide to take the Saints with the extra half point on the spread, you would have to risk $135 to win $100. If you are willing to give up the extra half point and bet the Falcons as favorites, you stand to make $115 on your $100 bet if they go on to cover by four points.
Some books will only offer one alternative line in conjunction with the spread for the game, while other books will expand these lines to several options either way. This unique combination of a pointspread with a moneyline allows you to test the confidence level you have in any particular NFL matchup.
There is a different strategy with this bet depending on whether you are siding with the favorite or the underdog. However, the goal should always be the same; minimize risk and enhance the reward.
Using the example above, if you believe that Atlanta is going to win this game by four or more points, you would definitely give the 3 ½ points to get that higher return on your bet. If you believe that the Saints are going to keep things closer than three points, then you might want to go with the 2 ½-point alternative line with moneyline odds of +115. If you have the Saints winning this game SU, then the best strategy is to bet the actual moneyline at +140.
Sports betting in general is all about confidence. If your confidence level is low for any of your picks, save your money and move onto the next matchup. If you have to convince yourself that your confidence level is high, save your money and pick the game for fun. The games that you want to bet on are the ones you absolutely love. This is when an alternative line can enhance that love with a higher return.
Whether you are a casual bettor looking to add a bit of action to this Sunday’s games or an avid sports gambler looking for an edge against the books, it all comes down to capitalizing on the best value on the board. Sometimes that value lies in the current spread and sometimes it lies in an alternative version of that number.
For example, if the spread is 2 ½ points that naturally leans towards the favorite. If the spread is 3 ½ points that leans towards the underdog. The alternative line comes into play when the spread is stuck on an actual scoring increment such as three points, seven points or 10 points. This is when moving that spread a half point either way with an alternative line bet may make the most sense.