There are many potential sports bettors in the world that just don’t understand the dynamic behind betting odds. With that in mind, this article focuses on how to understand betting odds for new bettors who want to get involved but just don’t have the know-how – yet.
The first thing you have to figure out about betting odds is the money line. This is one of the most common betting types, and all you are doing is picking the winner between two teams or players. The favorite in the betting odds will have a “-“ in front of their odds’ number, while the underdog is denoted with a “+” sign. An example is listed below.
Keep in mind that you can bet whatever amount you wish on the team you choose. However, to make it easier to understand, I’m going to use $100 bets as examples to explain the dynamics of betting odds. Since the Padres are favored, you’d have to risk $160 for every $100 you win back. The Dodgers pay off more money because of their underdog status, and a $100 bet would win you $145. With both betting odds, you’d also receive the money you wagered back into your account on top of your winnings. A -300 favorite means you’d risk $300 to win $100, and a +300 underdog means you’d win $300 for every $100 you risked.
Beyond that, popular ways to bet on the odds are on the point spread and the total. With these betting odds, the amount you have to wager to win is usually about the same for betting odds on both choices. Examples are below.
Lakers +4.5 -110
Knicks -4.5 -110
49ers/Cowboys Over 37 -110
49ers/Cowboys Under 37 -110
In the first example, the “+4.5” means that the Lakers are 4.5-point underdogs, and the “-4.5” indicates the Knicks are 4.5-point favorites. A wager on the Lakers would be a winner if they win outright or lose by less than 4.5 points, while a wager on the Knicks would pay off if New York wins by more than 4.5 points. In this case a line for these betting odds is, say, -4, and the number falls exactly on that point spread, wagers on both teams are refunded in full, and the results is referred to as a “push”.
The second posted example is referred to as a “betting total”, and you simply select whether or not you think the two teams will combine their scores for more or less than the number. If the scores equal 37 exactly, both bets are a push.
The “-110” after either wager means you’d have to risk $110 for every $100 you win. You won’t find a legitimate sportsbook that lets you bet even money each way because it’s a flawed business model, and the small amount they take out of bets like this is referred to as the “juice” or the “vig”.
Hopefully these examples have better explained the dynamics of betting odds in sports gambling, will help you to pick winners in the future.