Betting on the spread is the No. 1 NFL odds market. Compared with moneyline bets, NFL spreads are much more predictable. They’re also fairly beginner-friendly, although betting on the spread is just as popular with pro bettors.
Check out the latest NFL spreads as posted at Connecticut sportsbooks below plus a few basic tips to get the most out of betting on NFL spreads.
This week’s NFL spreads
Below you can see the lines at Connecticut sportsbooks for this week’s NFL games. The numbers will update in real-time, so you can see which way the lines move at each of the books. Click on any odds to go straight to that sportsbook, claim your bonus, create an account and make your spread bet.
How to bet on NFL point spreads in CT
Before you can bet, you need to register and deposit some money at a legal Connecticut betting site, such as FanDuel or SugarHouse CT sportsbook. This is an online process that takes just a couple of minutes and involves providing some personal details.
Connecticut sportsbooks are obligated to verify the identity of their customers. It’s a step that we should appreciate: It means the sportsbook is committed to security and transparency, things that are often lacking at unregulated sportsbooks.
Normally the book will verify your info via the last four digits of your Social Security number, but you may also need to send some additional documentation in some instances. Below is the info you’ll generally need to create an account:
- Full name
- Full address
- Date of birth
- Phone number
- Email address
- Social Security number (last four digits)
The registration process is also your opportunity to grab a nice welcome bonus. Sportsbooks hand these out to new players to encourage them to sign up. You may need to type in a bonus code when you sign up; check the reviews on this site for any codes you may need.
Next up, you’ll need to deposit some cash to bet with. You can do this in the cashier section of either the sportsbook website or app. CT sportsbooks tend to have a good variety of payment methods. Choose the one that works best for you.
You should have no trouble locating the NFL game spreads. Because they’re such a popular bet, they’ll appear prominently as part of the main game listings in the sportsbook’s NFL section. Click on a bet to add it to your bet slip, or add multiple spread bets if you want to place a parlay. Type in how much you want to bet, and click confirm to place your wager.
Best sportsbooks for NFL point spreads
All the sportsbooks in Connecticut offer NFL point spread bets, but our go-to right now is the FanDuel CT app. There’s a couple of reasons for this. For one, the NFL spreads are super visible on the white background when you open the website or app. They always show up first in the NFL section. Here is what they look like:
The Dallas Cowboys are a 4.5-point favorite over the New Orleans Saints here. That means to win a bet on the Cowboys, you would need them to win the game by five points or more. To win a bet on the Saints, on the other hand, you would need them to avoid losing by five points or more.
The odds here are -110 for both sides, which is standard for football spread betting. It means that a bet of $110 would win a profit of $100, or $11 would win $10, etc.
Betting on the spread at FanDuel is fast and simple, and a great place for beginners to start. However, part of the reason it’s our favorite at the moment is that FanDuel also has additional spread betting options.
For one, you have the option to buy points on the spread. This allows you to move the spread in any direction you want, in exchange for a change in the odds. Here’s what it would look like for the above game:
Buying points on the spread gives you total control. You can set your own spread, and the sportsbook will give you action. If you want to bet on the underdog but think the spread is too generous, knock it down a couple of points and get even better odds. Or take an extra point if you’re betting on the favorite to give yourself more wiggle room.
FanDuel has some other fun prop bet variations on spread betting, too. You can bet on the spread in the first half only, or even in individual quarters. Regular spread bets are classic sports betting staples, but it’s fun to have other spread betting options, and FanDuel ticks those boxes.
Who sets NFL point spreads?
The short answer is that the spread for NFL games is set by individual sportsbooks, but adjusted by the public. Let’s unpack that a little.
A sportsbook will set the original line, aka the overnight line, with the aim of attracting equal betting on each side. If the action is balanced, it means the sportsbook is guaranteed to make money thanks to the juice — the built-in house edge that the book includes in its odds.
So, the original spread should reflect the perceived difference in ability (not necessarily the actual difference) between the two teams. In the example above, FanDuel is suggesting that the Cowboys are better than the Saints by 4.5 points.
Now, say the public decides that that line is too generous, and lots of people start betting on the Saints. The sportsbook may adjust the NFL spread odds to try to balance the action, or it could even move the line, for instance by moving the Cowboys to -4 or -3.5 and the Saints to the same as a positive number. This should attract more bets on the Cowboys, and work toward the sportsbook’s ultimate aim — balancing the action.
Difference between Vegas and Connecticut NFL spreads
Historically, Vegas odds referred in a literal sense to the odds available at sportsbooks in Las Vegas. For a long time, Vegas was the only place in the US where you could legally bet on sports. So, when people talked about Vegas odds, they were referring to the only place in the country where you could get legal and professional odds and lines.
Since the US Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018, however, legal sports betting has begun to spread across the US. This means there are legal sportsbooks setting Vegas-style lines in multiple states, including international sportsbooks that have signed deals with local casinos in order to access the US market.
Since point spreads vary a little from sportsbook to sportsbook (rather than from region to region) the NFL Las Vegas spread odds may or may not be the same as local Connecticut NFL game spreads. And one is not necessarily better than the other.
When is the best time to bet the spread?
Timing is everything with NFL point spread betting. However, there is, unfortunately, no simple answer to when you should bet the spread. It all depends on how you intend to bet and how you expect the line to move.
Two of the best times to bet the spread are at either extreme — as soon as it opens and right before the game starts. Here’s when you should opt for each:
The opening line is a chance to bet before any public betting has influenced it. This means that if you expect to be betting on the same side as the public, you should place your bets as early as possible, since the more money that goes on one side of a bet, the more the line moves against it.
NFL spreads often come out around a week in advance during the regular season. The sharpest bettors are all over them as soon as they are available, looking for the best value.
A downside to betting as early as possible is that a lot can change in a week. A key player can get injured, or new information might become available that would affect your betting choices.
Waiting until right before the game begins is theoretically a smart play because by that stage you have all the information up to and including the starting lineups. It also makes sense if you’re betting against the public since the lines should have moved in your favor by then.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. By the time betting ends, the lines can end up quite tight. There is more volatility in waiting up to the last minute. It does, however, mean that you can sometimes find chances to hedge your bets at the last minute based on line movement.
Why does the spread change?
As we’ve said, the line may move in response to bets from the public. If lots of money comes in on one side, the sportsbook will change the spread to encourage more bets on the other side. Remember that the goal of the sportsbook isn’t to set an accurate spread in terms of the result. It’s simply to attract the same money on either side of the bet.
It’s also worth thinking about the differences between the general public and the sharp money. The sportsbooks move their lines in response to where the most money goes, not the highest volume of individual bets.
So if the majority of people are betting on one side, but the majority of money is going on the other, the line will move in favor of the former. This is a form of reverse line movement, and when this happens, it’s usually a sign of sharp money and potentially something to follow.
What is betting “against/with” the spread?
Betting against the spread simply refers to a bet on a game that takes the point spread into account, as distinct from a moneyline bet on the straight-up winner. If you’re betting on the favorite against the spread, that team needs to not only win the game but to do so by at least the margin of the spread — known as “covering the spread.”
If you’re betting on the underdog, that side needs to either win the game or not lose by the given margin — once again, covering the spread.
Here’s an example from the DraftKings sports app:
If you bet on the Miami Dolphins against the spread and they win by two points, you’ll lose your bet. However, if they cover the spread and win by four points, you’ll win.
Why bet spreads over moneylines or totals?
Ultimately it comes down to good old-fashioned preference and where you think you can get the best value, but point spreads do have some built-in advantages over moneylines and other types of bets.
For one thing, point spreads give you the chance to bet on the favorite with decent odds. If you’re betting straight up on the moneyline, a lot of the time it’s just not worth it to bet on big favorites, even if you are confident they’re going to win. Betting on the spread can be the solution.
The predictability of point spread odds is another positive. You know that the odds are always going to be around -110, which makes it easier to plan your strategies and understand how much you stand to win.
However, the reverse is also true. If you love bets with longer odds, which might result in fewer wins but bigger one-off payouts, moneylines, or even props are probably a better bet — no pun intended.
Of course, you can always group a few spread bets together in a parlay, or give away a few points on the spread to push those odds out, but still.
NFL spread betting tips
There’s no magic formula for winning spread bets. However, there certainly are some concepts you should adopt to give yourself the best shot of doing so.
Shop around for lines
We’ve talked a lot about how line movement works in spread betting. But how can we use this knowledge to our advantage? Line shopping is a very simple strategy that can really affect your margin in the medium and long term.
Connecticut sportsbooks tend to have comparatively similar spreads, but seeing a difference of a half point or full point between them still happens. Plus, if you notice the line moving in the same direction at a couple of books but not another, you can have a pretty good idea of which way the wind is blowing and get in on the action at that last book before the line moves.
There’s just no real reason to limit yourself to a single sportsbook. Keeping an eye on the lines at multiple books is easy in the digital age. Picking up a half-point advantage here and there might not sound like a massive difference, but when you bet on the spread regularly, it adds up to a lot of extra points.
And, unfortunately, we can speak from everyone’s experience when we say that missing out on a win by half a point happens all too frequently.
Key numbers in the NFL are specific figures that you should be aware of in spread betting. They coincide with the most common margins of victory in games, which are three points (the value of a field goal), seven points (the value of a converted touchdown) and finally 10 points (the value of both together).
When the spread lands exactly on a key number, your ears should perk up. These can often be the difference between the two teams when all is said and done. For example, getting a team at -3 instead of -3.5 is significantly more valuable than getting it at -3.5 instead of -4. This is because four points is a less common winning margin than three.
Unfortunately, sportsbooks are well aware of the importance of key numbers and often set their lines around them accordingly. However, as we know, lines are subject to movement, so you can still find yourself the chance to bet on key numbers — provided you like the bet in general, that is.
There is also the option of buying points on the spread to move a line onto or off of a key number, but sportsbooks often charge a premium for this.
Set your own lines in advance
Successful sports betting is all about identifying bets you think are good value. A great way to do this with point spreads is to come up with what you think a fair spread should be before you check the sportsbook, or before the lines even come out.
If you find the book has come up with a couple of points different from what you predicted, you can jump on it.
Even if you decide not to bet, comparing your lines with the ones from the sportsbook is a great way to learn more about predictions and how sportsbooks think. Plus, it removes the second-guessing element, when you try to evaluate a game once you’ve already seen the lines.