If you are going to beat the bookmakers knowing and understanding the pro football point spread, what it is and why it exists is vital. The point spread is commonly misunderstood by both novice and even veteran bettors. When most people see Indianapolis -7.5 over San Diego it is easy to regard this as a handicap for the Chargers and the final outcome bookmakers believe will come to fruition. When in all reality the purpose of NFL point spreads is to make an imaginary line that the betting public will have an equal opinion on.

This is of the utmost importance as the goal of the bookmaker is to collect an even amount of money on both the favorite and the underdog, pay the winners with the losing bettors money, and collect the 10% vig from the losers. In the end you must think of the bookmaker offering a service where they act as a broker, hold the money between bettors, and than take a cut or commission for that service.

You will often hear bettors complain after a blowout how poorly the linesmaker did in putting out a number. More often than not, the bookmakers could care less who wins and by how much, the point is to derive equal action on both sides. In a game where New England is favored by 6 points over Buffalo, the Patriots may win by 31, if the book has equal action on both sides the linesmakers job has been done right and they let the result play out between the Patriot and Buffalo bettors.

What this means is, a lot of the time point spreads are off what the current handicap should be since books are going off of public perception, making a lot of great betting opportunities for the astute football handicapper. We covered spreads now lets move to learning about betting on totals.