Betting on the NFL: Navigating the Odds Between Favorites and Underdogs

The NFL season is a time of high anticipation and excitement, not just for the fans cheering on their favorite teams but also for bettors looking to capitalize on the ever-shifting dynamics between favorites and underdogs. This article delves into the intricacies of NFL betting, offering insights into how both favorites and underdogs present unique opportunities and challenges in the betting landscape.

The Intrigue of Betting on NFL Underdogs

It’s important to understand that betting on a favorite to win outright and choosing them to cover the spread are two different strategies, both of which require you to put down more money than you would win back. The real opportunity for value comes from selecting an underdog to win on the moneyline, as these odds can be significantly higher and result in a much larger payout. For example, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may be +5 (-120) to cover the spread against the Philadelphia Eagles but their moneyline number is +210. If you think they’re going to win the game outright and they succeed, you would win $210 on that $100 wager.

Batting on NFL underdogs to win the game is undoubtedly risky but can offer substantial value if you do your homework. Look into how teams perform at home versus on the road, the two teams’ recent history, and study the injury and weather report prior to making a decision on the game. If you think they can cover the number but are hesitant about them winning, focus more on the spread and not the moneyline.

Favorites: A Safer Bet or a Risky Proposition?

Favorites in the NFL are often seen as the more reliable choice for bettors. However, this reliability comes with a price, as the moneyline odds are less favorable, requiring bettors to risk more for substantial wins. For example, if you think the Eagles are going to beat the Buccaneers and their moneyline odds are -330, you have to put down $330 just to win $100 back. It’s better to look at the spread with favorites as this is a less risky proposition​​. While the favorite has to win by a certain number of points, you will win back close to the same amount as what you put down.

Understanding NFL Odds

NFL odds are the backbone of betting, providing a crucial framework for all wagering activities. These odds are dynamic and influenced by various factors, including team performances, injuries, and overall betting trends. Successful betting requires not just an understanding of these odds but also strategic timing in placing bets to capitalize on the most favorable conditions​​.

The Excitement of the NFL Draft

NFL Draft betting adds another layer of strategy and excitement to gambling. This form of betting is about trying to determine which player will be selected at a specific pick. It demands a deep understanding of team needs, player potential, and how these factors might influence draft decisions, offering a unique betting experience extending beyond the regular season​​.

Super Bowl Favorites and Potential Underdogs

Looking ahead to the 2024 season, teams like the 49ers and the Chiefs are already emerging as the favorites, with teams like the Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills not far behind. However, the inherent unpredictability of the NFL means that underdogs, such as the Las Vegas Raiders and New York Giants, cannot be overlooked. These dynamics underscore the thrilling unpredictability of the NFL, where any team can rise to the occasion​​​​.


The NFL’s commitment to parity ensures a constantly shifting landscape where today’s underdog can become tomorrow’s favorite. This creates a betting environment filled with analysis, intuition, and strategic decision-making. As we anticipate the 2024 NFL Draft and season, the balance between favorites and underdogs will continue to capture the attention of both fans and bettors, reminding us of the unpredictable yet thrilling nature of the game.