NFL Matchups

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Beginning in the 2021 season, National Football League (NFL) teams play a 17-game regular-season schedule over the course of 18 weeks, with each team getting one bye week. Teams play six games against divisional opponents (home-and-away against each rival) and split the other games against teams outside of their division and conference. Usually, all but two of the weekly matchups occur on Sunday, with other games held on Thursday and Monday nights.

NFL odds and picks are regularly updated for specific matchups based on the performance and record of both teams, which team has home field advantage and betting trends among the general public. It’s not uncommon for NFL odds, picks, point spreads, and the over/under to frequently shift in the hours leading up to a game. 

There are 13 playoff games, including the Super Bowl. The winner of the respective conferences (AFC and NFC) earn a bye through to the Divisional playoff round, while the other 12 teams need first to win a Wild Card game. 

Understanding NFL Matchups

Unlike sports such as baseball and hockey, the moneyline isn’t necessarily the preferred bet for NFL picks. Moneyline bets simply involve the bettor predicting the winner of a specific matchup, ie. the Green Bay Packers to beat the Minnesota Vikings. 

The point spread is the most common type of bet for the NFL. This is a way for sportsbooks to handicap matchups between two teams that might have different records or other issues (injuries, etc.) that contribute to uneven odds. 

The Packers, for instance, might be heavily favored against the Vikings, so sportsbooks would even the odds by listing Green Bay at (-6.5), meaning they would have to win by seven points to cover the spread. Alternatively, the Vikings would be listed at (+6.5) and could lose the matchup by six or fewer points and still cover the spread.

Other NFL matchup bets include totals (over/under), in-game props on stats like quarterback touchdowns and player receptions, and parlays, which combine multiple events on one ticket to earn increased prizes. 

More of sports betting and sportsbooks on our Twitter @digital_obs.


NFL Matchups FAQs

The 17-game schedule allows NFL teams to have an extra game during the regular season, providing more opportunities for teams and fans. It was implemented in the 2021 season.

NFL odds and picks are regularly updated based on team performance, records, home field advantage, and public betting trends. They often shift in the hours leading up to a game.

Moneyline bets involve predicting the outright winner of a game, while point spread bets are used to handicap matchups between teams with different records or issues, leveling the odds for both teams.

Sure, for example, if the Green Bay Packers are listed at (-6.5) against the Minnesota Vikings, it means the Packers must win by seven or more points to cover the spread. Conversely, the Vikings, listed at (+6.5), can lose by six or fewer points and still cover the spread.

In addition to moneyline and point spread bets, NFL matchup bets include totals (over/under), in-game props related to player stats, and parlays, which combine multiple events on one ticket for larger potential prizes.

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