Sometimes it is necessary to go back to the basics to focus on new sports bettors, as we understand that they often wonder what all the numbers and symbols mean when they look at an odds board. While most bettors and sports fans in general are accustomed to seeing the point spread, they do not necessarily know what it means.
The easiest way to describe a point spread is to define it as a number handicappers and bookies use as a median between two teams or sides in an effort to generate betting interest on both of them. Favorites need to give ‘chalk’ bettors the right number of points to generate enough interest to back them while underdogs should not be such long-shots that ‘dog’ players refuse to try their luck with them.
So when you check out NFL odds for the week and see the point spread in the Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys game, it looks like this:
Dallas -4.5 (-110)
Washington +4.5 (-110)
The favorite team is associated with a minus (-) value, so the Cowboys are favored by 4.5 points in this game. Consequently, the underdog is shown with a plus (+) value.
Based on the point spread of 4.5 points, a wager on the Cowboys would be made if you believe they can win the game by 5 points or more. So if Dallas wins the game 20-14, then the team not only wins by 6 points but also covers the 4.5-point spread as the favorite. However, if the Cowboys win 20-17, then they win by 3 points and have not covered the 4.5 points, but the Redskins have because they stayed within the spread. If you are still not sure how this works, take the final score and subtract the favorite value from their total or add the underdog total to their score to see who has more points.
Get all the latest Betting and Sport News updates on your social media outlets. Find us on Facebook What does -110 mean?
The -110 on either side is like paying a tax or commission to the sportsbook for placing a wager there. Usually, bettors pay 10 percent known as the juice or vig to the sportsbook, which is essentially a fee for brokering the wager. So the -110 indicates that a bettor must risk $110 to win $100. Some sportsbooks will even reduce the juice for you. That means you can earn the same $100 payout but risk less money to do it.
For example, if you see -7.5 (-107), then you only need to wager $107 to win $100 (saving you $3). If you see -7.5 (-102), then you only need to wager $102 to win $100.
How do winning and losses work?
If you win you get your original $110 bet back plus the $100 you won for a total of $210.
If you lose the bet so do you the $110, you can see that the sportsbook will get an extra $10 and still end up ahead even if you place another $110 wager and win it next time.
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