If you love to bet on football, I am sure there have been times when you absolutely loved a game based on its posted point spread whether you were betting on the favorite or the underdog. Hopefully your hunch was right and you cashed in on a big unit play, but you could have really made some serious money if you would have bet on that same game using an alternative line.
The closer we get to kickoff for most NFL games, the top online sportsbooks with release alternative betting lines for the games. An alternative betting line is a combination of a pointspread and a corresponding money line based on how many points the original line is moved one way or the other.
For example, if you look up the current point spread for this Monday night’s New York Giants at Minnesota game you would find that most online books have the Vikings’ favored at home by four points with the standard 10 percent commission on a straight bet. The first alternative line you might find would have Minnesota favored by 6.5 points with a corresponding money line of +125 for the Vikings and -145 for the Giants. The spreads increase from there all the way up to Minnesota -9.5 points at a +185 money line with the betting odds on the Giants plus the 9.5-point spread set at -215.
Betting alternative lines are very similar to betting on exotics such as pleasers and teasers in a parlay bet, but you are only betting on the outcome of one game. That is why they can be a very lucrative bet when your confidence level for a pick is at its highest. Using our example above, if you are absolutely sure that Minnesota is going to win that game by at least a touchdown, you can bet the alternative line at 6.5 points to try and earn a +125 return on your $100 bet as opposed to just laying the four points at a $110 risk on a $100 wager.
The same betting opportunities also exist with an alternative betting line for the total. Taking this same game, the total is pretty much set at 42.5 points for -110 bet to win $100. Depending on how you see things playing out, you can try and enhance you return by going either higher or lower on this total line. By lowering the total line to 40.5 points, the new money line on the OVER has been set at -145 with a money line of +125 for a play on the UNDER. If you decide to go higher on the total line, a play on the OVER at 47.5 points would return +155 on a $100 bet. You would have to risk -175 to win $100 betting the UNDER at 47.5 points.
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Once again, betting alternative lines on a total all comes down to your confidence level in what you believe to be the final score. If you are sure that this game is going to turn into a low-scoring battle then you might want to go as low as you can on the alternative total line. If you see this game turning into a high-scoring shootout, then you want to go the other way.
One betting tip to keep in mind is to not force the issue when it comes to betting alternative lines. You should always do your due diligence handicapping any matchup to try and determine the actual outcome. When the conditions are right one way or the other on a point spread or total line is when the alternative line option should come into play.