How to Bet Odds

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Become a Sports Odds Betting Expert

When we, as sports fans, learned our multiplication tables, we aced the number 7. Seven, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42 were easy because we all watched football on the weekends. Multiplication by sevens, then add a three, a six after a missed PAT. It was easy.

So even though no one gets into sports or sports betting because they love math, an appreciation for and an ability to understand mathematics comes with the territory. That’s because this is fun math. It tells us how many points our favorite team needs to win and how much money our winning bet is going to put in our pockets.

If, however, you are new to the math of sports odds, not to worry. You will soon be a sports odds betting expert.

Sports Betting Odds Basics

Being able to quickly recognize posted odds for what they mean is important for a couple of main reasons. First, being able to immediately know who the sportsbook considers to be the favorite in a matchup helps you dial in on a strategy. If you’re looking for favorites or underdogs to fade, a quick scan of the board will direct your focus.

Second, with a greater understanding of odds, you can figure out at a glance just how much each bet would pay, helping you find the best values on the board. It’s not only about finding the teams you think will win. You want to find the teams that come with a potential payday that overshadows the potential risk of the bet.

With packed schedules on Saturdays and Sundays, and you trying to parse all of the football, basketball, and hockey bets that might be on the board at the same time, saving time, especially when the game kicks or tips off in a matter of minutes, is invaluable.

Basic Odds Rules

Each bet you place is fixed at the time you make it. If you place a bet at +175, but those odds change between the time you place the bet and the time the game begins, the odds on your ticket won’t change. You will always and only play the odds that were posted at the time of your wager.

For understanding payouts, all sports betting odds will pay on a “to one” basis. That means that when cashing in your winning ticket, you will get back the original cost of your bet along with the calculated winnings. If your bet was for $50 and your winnings totaled $75, cashing out your winning ticket will result in a payment of $125.

The Three Types of Odds

At American sportsbooks, you are going to encounter American odds, naturally. But there are different types of odds that are used worldwide, and it’s good to have a background in all three kinds so you can better understand all of the ways that sports betting is done and all the ways winnings are calculated.

Why Odds Move

Like point spreads, odds on a game are subject to moves in one direction or another. But why is that? Why are the odds you see on a Tuesday before an NFL Sunday different from what you’ll see shortly before kickoff?

Injury news might change the odds. In rare cases, a new weather report might cause them to change. But generally speaking, odds move, not because of any news that broke or anything the sportsbook did, but because of how the public is betting.

A sportsbook never wants to see heavy betting on one side of a game and only light betting on the other. This opens up their liability, and that is something every sportsbook on planet earth is trying to avoid. 

Sportsbooks are guaranteed money upfront in what they take as juice, also known as vig. If a sportsbook can get 50% of the bets on both sides of a game, they are guaranteed to make money. Only when the betting is unequal can they lose.

So if all of the bets come in on the Ravens at -135, in order to stimulate more betting on the Dolphins, a sportsbook will raise the Ravens number (lowering the payout) and give the Dolphins a higher potential payout.

Always remember, the sportsbook does not care who wins. Nor should their posted odds be seen as a prediction on who might win. 

When a sportsbook places odds, it is only motivated by keeping the betting equal and limiting their liability. That is how they make money, and that is why they are in business.

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Sports Betting How To Guide

How Money Line Works?

Moneyline betting is by far the easiest way to place a sports wager. There are no point spreads to parse, no garbage-time free throws to ruin your betting day, and no last-minute meaningless touchdowns to take you from a winner to a loser.

How to Bet Odds

When we, as sports fans, learned our multiplication tables, we aced the number 7. Seven, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42 were easy because we all watched football on the weekends. Multiplication by sevens, then add a three, a six after a missed PAT.

How to Bet on NFL Games

Baseball is America’s pastime, but football is America’s crazed passion, with its weekly schedule of games, millions of television viewers across the country and the world, and the billion-dollar stadiums that serve as Sunday cathedrals in 32 American cities.

What is the Spread?

If you are a golfer or have ever played on a bowling team, think of a point spread like a handicap. It is a way for two teams of differing abilities to play each other on equal footing.  The better team, and the favorite in the game, gives a certain amount …