This is perhaps the most confusing aspect of gambling on sports, what do all those number mean? You want to place a bet, and you want it to be a good and profitable one but you know nothing about the betting system or how to decipher sports betting odds. No problem. Here is a quick dummies guide to sports betting odds.
The Spread: The best way to understand the spread is, if you see a team with a negative number next to them in the sports betting odds, let’s say – 8, which means that they have to win by 9 points for you to win the bet. Simple so far? Good.
Over/Under: If an Over/Under is set at 45 for a football game, the total of both teams points at the end of the match needs to be over 46 for you to win your bet.
Moneyline Sports Betting Odds: If the money line has Team A -110 against Team B, I must bet $110 to win $100, and if team A wins, then you win your bet.
Above explains exactly how the sports betting odds works for these forms of bets, but there is more to it than that. Below is some more information to help you bet smart.
The Spread: This is one of the most popular forms of sports betting odds, although it seems pretty risky. Essentially, betting the spread means you wager on the difference in score between the given two teams. For instance, if the spread is 8 and you pick the favorite to win, that team will have to win by 8 to push or by 9 to win. Similarly, if you choose the underdog, the point spread between the two teams would have to be less than the 8 set.
Over/Under: This sports betting odds line lets you bet on whether or not the total score between all competitors will go above or below a predetermined amount. You look at what the Over/Under is and then bet on which you think it will be. In the above example you got the Over but you can also choose Under. This would be a great time to do some research or check out your favorite sports pick provider. If the number is 45 in a football game and you bet the over, you would need 46 points total between the two teams and 44 or less if you bet Under. Pretty straight forward.
The Moneyline Sports betting Odds: This is the bet on who will win the event out right with no point spreads or other variables. Simply pick the team you think will win and place the bet. However, without using the odds, the payouts are usually much different than they would be with the odds in place and its still always best to make an informed pick, especially if you have to drop a few hundred bones on it. The Moneyline is not that friendly $20 bet you place with your buddies on game night. When betting on the Moneyline, the favorite will always be a negative number and the underdog will always have a plus sign in front of the number.
So this is pretty much what you can expect to see in Vegas, or at bookies – and even with online sports betting odds. These aren’t the only betting formats out there though. There are some less common ones you may encounter, including Parlays, which are a combination of bets rolled into one, where all bets made have to win in order for you to win. Pleasers are bets that pay big money but are near impossible to win. They involve a point spread and subtracting points, then combining with another similar bet. There rarely come through but some people are luck enough. Finally there are If Bets. For these, two respective bets are made, the first bet must come through for the second bet to have play – if it does not, both bets are dead.
Sports betting odds can be tricky and confusing for the novice but they are easily explained. A little bit of research can go a long way. As always, don’t bet haphazardly. Find a sports betting system or expert picker you can rely on before placing a wager. Sports have a lot of variables to contend with so if you don’t know much about it, you probably shouldn’t just go with your gut!
This article was written by James Mitchell, who loves sports betting and finds the odds in his favor frequently.
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