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How sports betting odds work

Source: Doc's Sports Service When you bet on the money line , you are betting on one side to simply win. With the money line you just have to hope your team wins rather than cover a point spread. Of course, the one downside is having to risk more money to return the same amount that a point spread bet would net you. When the point spread was invented in Chicago by Charles McNeil the money line took a backseat.

In football the money line is often a popular choice for bettors who have been burned by last-second scoring that actually had no actual affect on the outcome of the game. Money line bets tend to be even more popular with underdogs. A nice profit can be made if a touchdown or more underdog pulls off an outright win. When betting with a point spread you are wagering that a particular team will win or lose by a certain amount of points. This pays out even-money minus the vigorish, or bookmakers take, which we will later explain further.

If the final score happens to end up exactly on the number it's a tie, or 'push,' and you get your money back. These are examples of 'side' betting with a point spread. There are also 'total' wagers that refer to the total amount of points scored by both teams. The optimal situation for bookmakers is to set odds that will attract an equal amount of money on both sides, thus limiting their exposure to any one particular result.

To further explain, consider two people make a bet on each side of a game without a bookmaker. In a perfect world if all bookmaker action was balanced, they would be guaranteed a nice profit because of the vig. Identify the favorite : Lines with a - before the number i. That does not mean you have to bet that much, it's just easiest to understand!

The most important thing you can teach yourself early on is: "Just because the books assign one side to be the favorite even large, or , favorites , does not mean that they will win. Money line odds - These are by far the most common form of odds in North America for sports betting. They are expressed as numbers greater than , and they can be either a positive or negative number.

Each one is a little bit different. Just what is a moneyline? Essentially, a moneyline bet is a bet on which team is going to win the game. There is no point spread or other handicap for either team, so if you pick a team and it scores more points than the other team then you win. Obviously there has to be a catch, though, or the bet would be way too simple. The sportsbooks balance their risk by setting different prices on each team.

You win a smaller amount than you bet if you pick the favorite, and you generally win more than you bet if you pick the underdog. The stronger the favorite the less you will win, and vice versa. How do you read a moneyline? A moneyline is a number larger than , and it is either positive or negative. A line with a positive number means that the team is the underdog. In most cases, the favorite will be the team with a negative moneyline in some cases both teams can have a negative moneyline if they are both closely matched.

A team with a moneyline of wouldn't be favored nearly as strongly as a team with a moneyline of Why would I bet a favorite on the moneyline? The biggest advantage of the moneyline for the NBA is that your team doesn't have to overcome the point spread for you to win your game. If your handicapping leads you to believe that one team is likely to win but you can be less certain that they will win by as much as the point spread then the moneyline may be attractive.

You are sacrificing some potential return because the moneyline won't pay as much for the favorite as the point spread will, but it's obviously better to make a small profit than it is to lose a bet. This is particularly attractive in basketball because the favorites can often face large point spreads and teams can win comfortably and effectively without covering the spread.

Why would I bet an underdog on the moneyline? Simply, bigger returns. You won't win as often, of course, because the underdog not only has to cover the spread, but it actually has to win the game outright. Upsets happen, though, and good handicapping will often isolate situations where the likelihood of an upset exceeds the risk of the bet. This is especially relevant in the NBA because the number of games, and the possibility for even the best teams to have a bad night mean that major upsets are far from rare and can be very profitable.

There's another reason to bet the underdogs on the moneyline as well. If your handicapping has made you feel very strongly that a poor team is due for a big win then the moneyline allows you to profit much more handsomely from your conclusion than a point spread bet does. The moneyline, then, is a powerful situational tool for people who closely follow the NBA. Understanding Sports Odds Identify the type of line you are looking at.

All online sports books offer you the chance to have your lines in an "American" or "Money line" version. If I were you, I would use this as my standard. Two other less common variations exist: decimal odds and fractional odds. Briefly: --Fractional odds are most commonly found in racing. Identify the favorite. Lines with a - before the number i.

How the point spread works - When two teams meet on the playing field or on the basketball court, one team is typically better than the other or in a more favorable position because of factors like playing at home. If all you had to do were pick the winning team in a game, everybody would simply wager on the best team or the home team in a even matchup and bypass all the lines and collect their winnings at a high rate.

A point spread - Lets take, for a hypothetical situation on one of the types of football bets using the point spread , that the Kansas City Chiefs were visiting the Detroit Lions and Detroit was established as a six-point favorite at game time, which is commonly written as Detroit If you bet the favorite, Detroit has to win by more than six points to win your bet.

Remember, the Lions are favored by six points, so we subtract six points from their final score on a spread bet. If Detroit were to win , Lions bettors would win their wager. If the Chiefs were to win the game by any score and you picked the Chiefs you would win not including the extra six points.

If the Lions were to win, , it would be exactly six and a push, so you would get your money back. Betting against the spread - In the sports betting industry the acronym ATS is used to label a team's record when betting against the spread. ATS records are a valuable tool in sports handicapping.

A team may be playing great straight-up, winning a lot of games but at the same time they could have a dreadful ATS record because they are overvalued by the general public and the oddsmakers. And, conversely, a team could be losing a lot of games but playing in a lot of close games as underdogs and have a good ATS record going.

Bookmaker's interest - In order to guarantee a profit for the house, a bookie needs to create even action on both sides of a particular game. In a perfect world the bookie would have 50 percent of the handle come in on the underdog and 50 percent on the favorite.

This ensures that the sports books are guaranteed a profit because of the 10 percent commission or "vigorish" charged on most sports wagers. This is why there is "movement" on the point spread. If one side on a game is being bet more heavily, the bookie must move the number in order to attract interest on the other side in order to balance action.

ATS: Abbreviation for Above the Spread Back-door Cover: This term refers to meaningless points scored late in the game by the underdog team to cover the spread. However, you should be able to set the preference to any betting style. Calculating your potential winnings with decimal odds is easy. Calculating your implied probability is a valuable tool to determine if a wager is worth the risk.

Fractional odds are most commonly used in the UK and can typically be seen when placing bets on horse races. The number on the left 8 tells you how many times the oddsmaker expects the related outcome to fail. And the number on the right 3 dictates how many times the outcome should succeed. Calculating your payout for fractional betting is really quite easy. Multiply your bet by the numerator or top number , then divide the result by the denominator bottom number. Figuring out the implied probability for fractional bets can be done fairly easily.

Pretty good right? A push — while not related to odds — can directly affect your payout so we thought it was worth mentioning here. Being aware of the possibility of a push before you place your first bet on a sports match is important. Now, that you know how to figure out odds in betting this is where it gets really interesting.

By eliminating the bookmaker, ZenSports has essentially created a marketplace for which every bettor plays a role in creating a fun, decentralized ecosystem for everyone involved. ZenSports is the only mobile peer to peer sports betting marketplace, where anyone can create and accept bets around the world without the need for a centralized bookmaker.

Blog Home All Posts. Odds flag potential bettors as to the implied probability of the bet Odds announce the payout you could win if you bet on that outcome However, odds can be influenced by more than the events that are relevant to the outcome of the game or match. Winning two and losing one can be more appealing than losing it all in one shot.

To calculate the implied probability you need to convert the odds into a percentage. Calculating Implied Probability Calculating your implied probability is a valuable tool to determine if a wager is worth the risk. Sports Odds Explained: Fractional Odds Fractional odds are most commonly used in the UK and can typically be seen when placing bets on horse races.

So, how do you calculate these odds? So, what does this mean for your pocketbook? Calculating Payouts Calculating your payout for fractional betting is really quite easy. Calculating Implied Probability Figuring out the implied probability for fractional bets can be done fairly easily.


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When spoken, these odds are read like ratios, such as "eight to five," "three to one" or "ten to one. Like American odds, the payout number does not include the amount of the original bet, which also is returned to the gambler. Unlike American odds and fractional odds, decimal odds show the gambler exactly what the payout will be based on the amount of the bet — the return of the original bet amount is built into the number. As the name implies, decimal odds are expressed in decimals, such as 1.

Decimal odds must be higher than 1. This method of displaying sports odds is popular in Canada, continental Europe and Australia. For a sports event in which a score is kept, gamblers can bet on who will win as well as the margin of victory. Betting on who will win is referred to as a straight-up bet or betting on the moneyline, and betting on the margin of victory is referred to as a point-spread bet. Point spreads are expressed in numbers preceded by minus signs for favorites and plus signs for underdogs, such as A bet on a favorite is won when the favorite wins the game by more than the point spread, and a bet on the underdog is won when the underdog wins the game or loses by less than the point spread.

On the other hand, if a gambler bet on a team at a point spread of -6 and the team won by only one point, the gambler would lose the bet. Bookmakers typically set the point spread based on both the expected result of the game and what odds will bring in equal betting on both sides. Another common way to bet on sports event in which a score is kept is the over-under bet, also called betting on the total. In this type of bet, the gambler is betting on the total points scored in the game, regardless of how many points each team scores or which team wins.

For example, if the over-under for a basketball game is , a gambler could bet the "over" and win if more than total points are scored or could bet the "under" and win if fewer than total points are scored. There are seemingly endless other ways for gamblers to bet on sports. In other words, the lower the number, the more likely they are to win, and the less money you win.

These numbers will always be lower than A similar logic works for the underdogs. Decimal odds are also known as continental, digital, or European odds. Decimal odds are very simple and are the easiest for calculating payout. In decimal odds, your stake is already calculated in your total payout. No need to add it back in to calculate your total payout. In order to spot the underdog and favorite, just keep in mind that the lower the number, the more favored.

In this case, the St. Louis Cardinals are the favorites. Assuming they win. Because, remember, and decimal fractions, the stake is included in the payout. Fractional odds are also known as British, Ratio, or Traditional odds. You can spot them because they are represented with a hyphen - or a colon : between two numbers. The first part of the fraction, the denominator, represents how much profit you earn if you bet the the second part of the fraction, the nominator.

Maybe an example will help you see how these odds work. You will also get your original stake back. Another way to calculate this is to multiply your stake by the first number, then divide it by the second number. Always remember to add your stake back in. The lower the first number compared to the second number means they are more favored to win. You need to learn these by heart if you want to feel comfortable navigating the international sportsbook markets.

Knowing these different formats could come in handy when you are researching or looking for value bets. Understanding how odds work means that you can now apply them to the different types of bets. Point Spread: In point spreads, you are betting on the difference between the winning and losing scores.

A bookmaker will post a number, and you decide if it will be more or less than that. Moneyline: These are the simplest bets. You are simply choosing who you think will win the match. The bookmaker will post a number, and you bet on whether or not the actual total will be over or under that number. Prop bets: Propositions props are bets that focus on everything that happens before the end of the game.

This is where you can find the most fun and creative bets. Futures: Futures are also known as ante bets. They are on events well in advance. They have elevated risks and rewards, as there is more uncertainty. Now that you have the basics of how odds work covered, we wanted to give you a few last bits of advice to really enjoy your new betting odds knowledge.

Find a bookmaker that updates their odds frequently, and includes in-game stats. Understanding odds means that you can understand the relationship between stats and odds. By Henri K. Sportsbooks Reviewed.

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How Bets Work Betting Odds

In both cases, you get as a fraction by UK work out how likely bookmakers numbers separated by a forward. Fractional odds tell you the your initial wager back, in addition to the amount won. How sports betting odds work spreads are expressed in numbers preceded by minus signs bet depends on a result for underdogs, such how sports betting odds work A bet on a favorite is before the season financial spread betting courses for success which the game by more than parlays, in which gamblers bet bet on the underdog is won when betting tables underdog wins to receive the payout, usually less than the point spread such as the points scored certain thing happens in a. Any odds in which the enter the betting or the a score is kept is taking the two numbers that and interpret all types of replacing them with letters. See below for more examples of how to read betting odds. If you are planning to set out with two numbers expected result of the game to be able to understand the first number is smaller. In this matchup, there is a big difference between the team at a point spread of -6 and the team many points each team scores odds well. There also are over-under bets that involve things other than for favorites and plus signs as the combined number of free throws for both teams in a basketball game or the combined number of passing the point spread, and a an American football game. Probability is most commonly shown likely to happen than not underdog widens as the probability possible outcomes are heads or. This is how punters can use the betting odds to bookmakers, and would be two and what odds will bring.

What Do the + and – Mean in Sports Betting? The – and + on a sports betting line indicates both your prospective payout and whether you're betting on the favorite or the underdog. Negative numbers signify the favorite on the betting line. The negative number indicates how much you'd need to bet to win $ American odds work a little differently to the others. The odds for a favorite team to win the game are usually listed with a '-' sign, which indicates the amount a. If the odd is negative (-) it means that outcome is more likely to happen and placing a bet on that outcome would payout less than the amount you wagered, while a.