Betting on Sports – Understanding the Odds


Whether you are betting on a game or a race, odds are a part of all forms of betting. Knowing how to interpret these figures can help you increase your wins, and minimize your losses.

When sportsbooks set odds for an event, they are based on probability. They also try to keep sides as even as possible. This ensures that a winning team can be paid for. However, there is a greater risk associated with higher probability events. If you want to reduce this risk, hedge your bet.

Bets include the point spread, odds, and totals. A point spread is a margin of victory set by oddsmakers. The favorite team must win by a certain number of points to “cover the spread.”

The underdog team has a higher probability of winning but has a lower probability of losing. A “push” occurs when neither team covers the spread. The bettor receives his original wager back.

A money line is a 3-digit number that represents the odds of a team winning without the point spread. The underdog team will have odds of -140 while the favorite will have odds of +140. This is easy to read if you remember (+140).

When betting on a game, odds are a part of the sportsbook’s menu. In addition to pointspread and money line, there are many other bets available. Some of these include spreads, teasers, totals, and exotics.

Point spreads are used in most sports. The favorite team must win by a specified number of points to “cover the spread.” For instance, the New England Patriots are favored by 14 points against the New York Jets.