The point spread was invented in the early 1940s by math teacher-turned-bookmaker Charles McNeil. It is the great equalizer of the NFL.
In fact, over the last 15 regular seasons, NFL favorites have gone 1,859-1,860 against the spread, with 111 pushes, according to odds database BetLabsSports.com.
Also during that time frame, 1,890 games have gone over the total and 1,886 have stayed under the total, with 64 games landing squarely on the over/under.
What we're trying to say is that it's very difficult to bet on the NFL. Good luck taking on the oddsmakers who have produced the above results.
As we enter the first NFL season with expanded legalized sports betting in the U.S., here are some numbers and notes to know as you make your bets:
Where the money is going
• More bets have been placed on the Los Angeles Rams to win the Super Bowl than any other team at the Westgate SuperBook. The Green Bay Packers have attracted the second-most Super Bowl bets, followed by the Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers.
• More money has been bet on the Packers to win the Super Bowl than has been bet on any other team at the SuperBook. The Rams have attracted the second-most money, followed by the Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles.
• Station Casinos' largest Super Bowl liability is on the Cleveland Browns. A Browns Super Bowl victory would be five times worse than any other team for Stations' sportsbook.
• At the new FanDuel sportsbook located at the Meadowlands racetrack, across the parking lot from MetLife Stadium, more bets have been placed on the New York Giants to win the Super Bowl than any other team.
The Buffalo Bills have attracted the fewest bets of any team to win the Super Bowl at the Meadowlands sportsbook.
Notable Super Bowl bets at William Hill
• $12,000 on the Falcons at 22-1. Would net $264,000.
• $10,000 on the Raiders at 20-1. Would net $200,000
• $5,000 on the Lions at 40-1. Would net $200,000
• $4,000 on the Titans at 50-1. Would net $200,000
• $1,000 on the Jets at 100-1. Would net $100,000
• $1,000 on the Browns at 100-1. Would net $100,000
• "Train wreck": That's how one Las Vegas oddsmaker described the Bills' season. In fact, the SuperBook intentionally dropped the Bills' win total down to 5.5, the lowest number in town, to encourage bets on the over. "We're daring people to bet over on the Bills," said Ed Salmons, head football oddsmaker at the SuperBook.
• Favorites are 97-66-5 ATS on Thursdays since 2003.
• The Patriots are 69-46-5 ATS at home and 72-42-3 ATS on the road since 2003.
• Six times more bets have been placed on the New Orleans Saints to go over their season-win total of 9.5 than have been placed on the under at Caesars sportsbooks. There have been six times more bets on the Denver Broncos (7.5) and Houston Texans (9) to go under their season-win totals than there have been on the overs.
• More bets have been placed and more money has been wagered on the Giants to win the Super Bowl than any other team at the DraftKings sportsbook in New Jersey. The Giants are also No. 1 in overall Super Bowl bets at the FanDuel sportsbook at the Meadowlands, although more money has been bet on the Saints than any other team.
• The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have attracted the fewest bets and the least amount of money to win the Super Bowl at DraftKings.
Week 1 notes
Falcons at Eagles (-2.5, 45): At DraftKings in New Jersey, 87 percent of the money wagered is on the underdog Falcons. FanDuel is seeing similar lopsided action on Atlanta, with 86 percent of the money bet on the game backing the Falcons.
Jaguars (-3, 43.5) at Giants: At DraftKings, 71 percent of the money is on the Giants, while 76 percent of the money is on New York at FanDuel.
Jets at Lions (-6.5, 45): Only 43 percent of the bets at FanDuel are on the Jets, but 84 percent of the money is on New York.
Buccaneers at Saints (-9.5, 49.5): Including spread bets and parlays, there are five times more bets on the Saints than the Bucs at Caesars sportsbooks in Nevada, the most lopsided ticket count of any Week 1 game.