In football betting, the point spread represents the expected margin of victory. The spread is determined by oddsmakers at sportsbooks. The favorite is usually marked with a minus sign (-) next to the total point total. To cover the spread, the favorite team must win by a certain amount of points more than the actual score. If the underdog wins, he gets the actual points plus the spread.
Another common betting line is +3/-3. This means that the bookmaker expects team A to win by more than two points. This is different than half-points, which most sports don’t allow. The bookie’s expectations are based on how the teams performed against each other.
In Week 12, the Chiefs played the Buccaneers. The Buccaneers were favored by 2 points. However, the game didn’t cover the spread. It didn’t cover the spread because the Chiefs won by two points less than the -3.5 closing line.
When you’re betting on the point spread, key numbers are also important. NFL games often feature spreads that are very close to the key numbers. A five-point spread is generally more favorable than a two-point spread because the game’s final score will be close to the margin. If the final score is close enough to the spread, it’s probably a good idea to go with the underdog.
While the Browns have been a consistent contender the past few years, the Steelers look to be on the decline. After all, they lost QB Ben Roethlisberger last season. Still, they had an elite defense last season. Therefore, the market sees the Steelers as a competitive team and believes that their home field advantage is negated by the Browns’ talent advantage. Because of this, the point spreads are pretty equal and the underdog will lose by less than seven points.