What is the line?

In most football games there is a team that most people view to be more likely to win than the other. (ex. If the number one team is playing the number 30 team, odds are very good the number one team will win.) This would normally make several of the weekly picks obvious. The line is an artificial number of points added to (or subtracted from) the home teams score to level the playing field. So in the above example if the number 1 team is the home team the line may be -12. Now instead of the question being will the number 1 team win, the question becomes will the number 1 team win by more than 12 points. This clearly makes the decision more difficult.