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Joined: 10/7/99 Posts: 13676
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For anyone interested, an intro guide to sports betting

From the earlier thread, it seemed like some people wanted to better understand when others talk about to spreads of games each week. So hear is a short introduction for you with examples.

In general, the sports books fall into two categories, online and physical. The physical sports books are the ones in Vegas (and now other states) with most of them being run by five main companies. Each company sets their own lines but typically they are very close to each other. And those lines are set based on a lot of information, but with the ultimate goal of getting as close as possible to equal action on both sides of the bet. And once betters start putting down wagers, you might see the line move if too much of the money is on one side.

As for the bets, there are three main types.
1. Spread (or point spread or line) has a favorite and an underdog (Dog). If a team is favored to win by 4 points it will be shown as FAVORITE -4 and the dog as DOG +4 for the game.
2. Totals is the total points of both teams combined for the game. Your bet is for either OVER or UNDER the total points. And if a game goes into overtime then those points are included within the total.
3. Money Line (ML) is who will win the game (doesn't matter how many points they win by). An underdog will pay more if they win compared to what a favorite will pay.

The majority of spread and total bets will have -110 odds. This means you have to bet $110 in order to win $100. Or if you prefer to bet $100 you would only win $90.90 with those odds. For Money Lines the favorites will have worse odds. They might be -300 which means you would have to bet $300 in order to win just $100. On the other side, the dog might show +250 which means if you bet $100 you will win $250.

When you go to Vegas or look online you will see something like this (away team is on top and the spead is always shown with the favorite).

139 -5 Virginia (-210 ML)
140 50 Virginia Tech (+175 ML)

That means, if you want to pick VT, it is selection number 140. In this case UVA is favored to win by 5 points and the total for the game is 50 points.

The final score was:
31 Virginia
34 Virginia Tech

So VT covered the spread by 8 points, the Total was OVER (65 points total), and if you bet $100 on VT to win the game straight up, it would have paid you $175.
If UVA had won by exactly 5 points it would have been a push and your money would be refunded. If the total had been exactly 50 points, it would have been a push for any total bets.

Those are the basics for a single game bet in football. There are a lot of other bet options out there of course, so consider this just a simple foundational overview.

[Post edited by HokieAl at 06/12/2019 08:23AM]

Posted: 06/11/2019 at 11:32PM


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Current Thread:
  Makes all games a whole lot more interesting. ** -- reestuart 06/12/2019 09:31AM
  +1, now do parlay odds :) ** -- kingofcassell 06/12/2019 07:37AM

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