Understanding Sport Betting Odds

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If you’re new to betting, one of the first things you should do is learn how betting odds work. It’s critically important because it allows you understand how likely an event if to happen, and potentially what your winnings will be.

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How To Read Sports Betting Odds

  • Point Spread – If A Football Team Is -7, Then That Team Must Win By 8 Points To Win The Bet
  • Over / Under – If A Over / Under Is 42 In A Football Game, The Total Of Both Teams Needs To Be Over 43 To Win
  • Moneyline Betting Odds – If The Money Line Has Team A -150 Against The Colts, I Must Bet $150 To Win $100 And If Team A Wins, Then I Would Win My Bet

There are three forms of regular betting odds that you will see at every sportsbook that you visit, whether online or in person. These are the ones that you see right off the bat and the ones that really matter when you are betting on sports.

First there is the moneyline wager, which is the bet on who will win the event out right with no point spreads or other variables. You simply pick the team you think will win and place the bet. However, without using the odds, the payouts are usually much different then they would be with the odds in place.

When betting on the moneyline, the favorite will always have a negative symbol in front of the number and the underdog will always have a plus sign in front of it (example is -150 favorite or +150 for underdog).

Then we come to what could be the most common type of bet, which is the point spread. Betting the spread allows players to wager on the difference in score between the two teams. For instance if the spread is 7 and you pick the favorite to win, that team will have to win by 7 to push or by 8 to win.

There is also the total score or the over/under, and this line lets you bet on whether or not the total score between all competitors will go above or below a predetermined amount. You simply look at what the Over / Under is and then bet on which you think it will be. If the number is 42 in a football game and you bet the over, you would need 43 points total between the two teams.

With the spread and the total you will occasionally see that the odds are distributed with “half points,” which are in place to prevent a “push,” or no one winning or losing the bets. As long as there is a winner or loser, the sportsbooks will make their money on the juice and be happy.


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