Updated: Sep 5, 2022
In 1949, the first legal sportsbook opened in the state of Nevada.
Sportsbooks at the time were referred to as Turf Clubs, and deals were made with local hotel-casinos to stay out of each other’s business.
Although these Turf Clubs were small independent shops off the strip when they first opened up, it was the beginning of what would become the thriving sports betting industry that we know today.
What Are Las Vegas NFL Odds
Before the US voted to give every state the choice of whether or not to legalize sports betting, Las Vegas owned the sports betting market.
Whether you were inside a Vegas sportsbook looking to make a bet on the game or across the country talking about a particular NFL point spread, you weren’t just talking about NFL Odds, you were talking about Las Vegas NFL Odds.
Because Nevada legalized well before anyone else in the US, all sports gambling odds were often referred to as Las Vegas Odds, or just Vegas Odds, because that is where the lines were being set.
Today, despite most of us placing bets online and not from inside a Nevada sportsbook, the term Las Vegas odds or just Vegas odds continues to live on.
How Are Las Vegas NFL Odds Set
When sportsbooks first opened up, odds were set primarily by a few select people who would get together and discuss their thoughts on a game.
Together, this small collection of oddsmakers would brainstorm until they could agree on a number, which would be the game’s opening line.
Fast forward to online sports betting in 2022, and things have changed quite a bit. Oddsmaking now is far more high-tech than it ever was.
Complicated algorithms with hundreds of different data points are the face of oddsmaking today.
In fact, back in the day, individual operators would take pride in their in-house oddsmakers and their ability for those people to set accurate lines.
Today, many operators outsource oddsmaking to some high-tech companies that specialize in creating algorithms to do this role.
How To Read NFL Las Vegas Odds
In North America, the most commonly referred to odds are expressed using either a + (plus sign) or a – (minus sign) in front of them.
Miami Dolphins +130
Buffalo Bills -150
By looking at the odds above, we can see the Miami Dolphins are +130, and the Buffalo Bills are listed at -150.
The + sign tells us we are dealing with an underdog. From a betting perspective, + odds let us know how much we would win in profit if we bet $100 on that team.
In this case, betting $100 on the Dolphins would result in $130 of profit.
When we look at the -150 odds for the Buffalo Bills, the – (minus sign) tells us were are betting on the favorite.
In this case, -150 means that to win $100 in profit, a bettor would have to risk $150 with their bet.
What Day Of The Week Do NFL Odds Open In Las Vegas?
Each sportsbook is slightly different and operates on its schedule.
However, we can follow some general times and guidelines when looking to see the opening lines on different types of NFL bets.
- Point spreads and totals are released Sundays at 7:00 p.m.
- Moneylines come out on Mondays at 4:00 p.m.
- First half lines go public on Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m.
- Quarter lines are scheduled for Thursdays at 4:00 p.m.
- NFL alternates go like this: TNF on Mondays, 8:00 p.m. Weekend Games on Wednesdays, 4:00 p.m.
- Team props go live on Tuesdays at 8:00 a.m., but additions can be made during the week.
- Player props open on Game Days at 9:00 a.m
What Is The Juice / Vig
The Juice or Vig is the cut or percentage a sportsbook will take from a losing bet.
We hear terms like a 10-cent line or operators with a reduced 5-cent line.
That means when you have two equal teams playing, a 10-cent line would list both teams at -110. A bettor would wager $110 to win $100 on either team.
A reduced 5-cent line would have both teams listed at -105, not -110. Sportsbooks trying to compete for more business will offer reduced lines to their customers.
They are willing to take less profit when a bet loses in hopes of attracting more customers to use their sportsbooks.
How to Place Bets In A Las Vegas Sportsbook
It is an easy step-by-step process, so follow these guidelines the next time you find yourself in Sin City and want to place a bet while inside a sportsbook.
1. Decide which kind of bet you’re playing, whether it is a: moneyline, point spread, parlay, teaser, or another type of bet.
2. Find the sport you want to bet on. Then go to the match(es) you’re looking for using the Vegas betting line board.
3. Choose the criteria you want your bet to be based on. It can be point spread bets, moneylines, totals, or across many other markets.
4. Pick the amount of money you’re willing to bet.
5. When it’s your turn, approach the bookmaker.
6. Tell him/her the rotation number, the type of bet, the betting criteria you want to wager on, and the amount of money played.
Remember, you must be specific with your information because many different types of bets and odds are available for each NFL game.
Making things easier on the bookmaker avoids confusion and placing wrong bets and is always appreciated.
NFL Super Bowl Betting Favorites
Thanks in large part to modern technology, once the Super Bowl ends, sportsbooks can immediately start to offer odds on all 32 NFL teams to win next year’s Super Bowl.
The amount of bets being offered today far exceeds what was being offered when Las Vegas sportsbooks first opened up.
Futures betting, player prop betting, and even in-game or live betting are all popular forms of sports wagering today that weren’t available without technological advancements.
Even though the Super Bowl can be weeks, months, or even a year away, as a bettor, we always have access to NFL odds and are able to make a futures bet.
Buffalo Bills – Not only did the Buffalo Bills open at many sportsbooks as this year’s betting favorite to win the Super Bowl, but Josh Allen also was the odds favorite to capture the NFL MVP award.
It appears that Buffalo has firmly taken over as the top team in the AFC East. The expectation by the betting public is that they are far better than that as well.
The Bills won the East last year with an 11-6 record, and their playoff loss to KC will be remembered as one of the greatest games ever played.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – There was a brief window of opportunity for sports bettors to actually get the Buccaneers at +2200 or better to win the Super Bowl.
Of course, that was during the two-week time period that Tom Brady was thought to be retired.
Now that Brady is back, the odds on Tampa Bay have dropped significantly.
The Bucs will face little competition again this year in the NFC South division and should be comfortably in the playoffs well before the season ends.
Kansas City Chiefs – If you are a fan of NFL gunslingers and enjoy watching offenses march the field, then you will enjoy watching Kansas City try to battle their way to another AFC West division title.
Patrick Mahomes will take on Derek Carr, Justin Herbert, and Russell Wilson, who recently arrived in Denver.
If Mahomes and company can successfully get through their six games against divisional opponents, they should be battle-tested and ready for the playoffs. However, that is a big if.
Los Angeles Rams – Is it disrespectful to have the defending Super Bowl champs listed only as a contender and not as a favorite?
Last year Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp combined efforts, leaving Kupp with one of the greatest statistical years by a wide receiver ever.
Their dominance propelled the Rams to a 23-20 win in the Super Bowl. It is only fair to assume a bit of regression this year for Kupp.
If that is true, how much will it affect the Rams’ chances of repeating? That is for bettors to decide.
Cincinnati Bengals – With two minutes to play in last year’s Super Bowl, the Cincinnati Bengals held a four-point lead.
Unfortunately for Bengals fans, Matthew Stafford found Cooper Kupp with only 90 seconds remaining, and their Super Bowl dreams ended right there.
If Bengals fans need reasons to be optimistic, Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase have not yet hit their prime.
Divisional rivals Pittsburgh and Cleveland don’t expect to be very good this year, and Cincinnati has a great chance to find themselves in a playoff spot again this year.
Green Bay Packers – Aaron Rodgers used 2021 to prove that he is currently the game’s best player. Last year was the second consecutive season Rodgers took home the NFL MVP award.
In a division with Detroit, Chicago, and Minnesota in it, 2022 should be another year that Rodgers finds himself back in the playoffs.
The Packers did lose star wide receiver Davante Adams this past offseason.
It will be interesting to see if Rodgers can once again lay claim to being the game’s best player even without Adams catching passes at Lambeau Field this year.
Always Shop Around
The single greatest edge a sports bettor has over the operators is their ability to shop around for the Best Odds available.
Regarding futures betting and betting on the NFL Super Bowl winner, odds can differ drastically between sportsbooks.
The Denver Broncos can be listed anywhere from +1000 to +2000 to win the Super Bowl this year. For a $100 bettor, the payout on that bet is a difference of $1000.
If you aren’t shopping around for your odds, you aren’t giving yourself the best chance to beat the sportsbooks.
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