So many times football handicappers fail to notice the significance of the alternate NFL betting lines offered on a particular game, opting to go with the point spread, moneyline or total, sometimes even though the value just isn’t there.

Often times that decision is a costly one, when if they had just understood the value of the alternative betting line, they could have turned a bad day the betting window into a good one.

That’s why we have put together a few tips to explain when, how and why handicappers may opt to wager on the alternate NFL betting line.
First, handicappers need to understand what alternate lines have to offer. Usually they tender an alternate high, alternate low, alternate extra high and alternate extra low betting line. These lines offer a handicapper an opportunity to find better value than the regular line offered.

This is nearly always the case early on in the NFL season, when most of the lines are based on perception rather than actual results. The betting public loves to jump on favorites heading into a new season, and lines will usually be tilted based on a certain perception of a team’s capability to win games, rather than its actual ability.

With that, handicappers can find value in the alternative betting line, especially when an early season favorite is expected to cover a big spread against what has been supposed to be a much weaker team. However, if that result is actually lower than expected, and the favorite wins by a much smaller margin, the alternate line could have added more value, betting on the underdog to keep the game closer than most believed.

Consequently, a way for handicappers to hedge their bet in this situation is to first place their bet on the favorite, and then use a reduced line to adjust for the close margin of victory they expect. Sure the payout is smaller, but they will end up on top.

The above is a perfect example of how alternate lines can allow NFL handicappers to create their own spread bets, by mixing bets on the regular spread and the alternate line. This eliminates some level of risk, while maintaining the monetary rewards.

But betting on an alternative NFL line just isn’t good for when handicappers spot value in an overlooked underdog. It can work well when betting on the favorite too.

Take for example a heavy favorite that storms out of the gate early, beating their opponents week in and week out by even larger margins than anticipated. If a handicapper was to spot this, he or she could easily make more money by betting on the higher alternate lines.

Finally, because the scoring system in football is, for the most part, relegated to three and seven point increments, alternative betting lines can help handicappers overcome the “trap” oddmakers set, when they position the lines so that the favorite in a game is just below those numbers.

In the end, while alternate NFL betting lines can offer handicappers a variety of options that can insert additional value, they need to follow the league closely, watching for any sign they may have to use NFL alternate betting lines to their advantage.