Pro football is the biggest betting sport in the United States, with total wagers now running more than $1 billion a week.
According to USA Today, over half of the American adult population had a financial stake of some sort on the outcome of last year’s Super Bowl.
That translates to over $5 billion wagered on that game alone.
Among the reasons pro football is the most popular betting proposition is that the NFL receives such thorough coverage on television.
With nearly every big play shown in replay during the game and many times thereafter, a viewer can’t help but see who made the big runs, catches or blocks that week.
In addition, although betting on the NFL is illegal in nearly every state, the point spread on games receives extensive coverage in both the print and televised media.
Late in the week, many newspapers have staff members make selections against the point spread.
ESPN’s Chris Berman and Hank Goldberg, as well as many radio commentators, make weekly selections as well.
All of this coverage makes the point spread enticing for viewers.
The information encourages them to form their own opinions.
Some bettors follow the advice of favorite writers or commentators.
Others try to prove they know more than the experts.