Sports betting has loads of terms and vocabularies that they use. While having dedicated jargon within specific fields may seem ordinary, online sports betting is very particular about them and often uses them.
One such example that confuses the many newcomers to the sports betting world and those who have got quite the wagering experience is the minus sign before numbers like 1,2,3,4. There is nothing to worry about, since it is a simple concept, or it becomes once you learn about this. and learn you will, not only about the -2 thing, but also about some of the most popular bets like total line, money line, prop, and others. You will also learn specifically about this term used when betting on handicap points. In betting, it is fundamentally used to even out the field between two teams. The bookies use handicaps to make conditions of success more balanced. Without further ado, let us get started.
What the most popular bets
In the upcoming few sections, we will mention the most typical sports betting markets and show you some examples to grasp the concept once and for all.
Totals, or Over/Under bet type, is a very popular wagering option. This is also one of the simplest wager types to understand. What TTotals bet means is the total number of scores set for the match between two teams.
A bettor can bet on either the “under” or the “over.” If you wager on the “under,” it means you are predicting that the combined score of both teams will be lower than that number that was set by a bookie.
However, if you are to bet on the “over,” you are then anticipating that the teams will score more points than the set number.
Remember, it doesn’t matter who scores or which teams win. The only thing that matters is the total score of the match. Let’s look at a simple example.
Suppose the Lakers are playing against the Bulls. Now, the total score points are set to 250 by the oddsmakers: it means you must guess whether the score goes over or under 250.
If you were wagering on the “under,” you win your bet if the final score stays under that number. For instance, it is 100-120, with the overall 220 result, which is obviously Under 250. As you can see, the team which was playing has no control over your winning or loss. Well, they actually do, but not directly.
However, there are types of bets in which choosing a team matters more than this. If you are interested in finding out about this, keep reading as we will discuss a bet type of that sort next.
Money line bets
The second most popular type of bet, and a bet that allows you straight up bet on a team of your choice, is money line bets. A popular bet type in the USA, the money line’s concept is evident to grasp. If you bet on a team, you expect that team to win, in which case you also win.
Nevertheless, there are a few differences, even between the money line bets depending on the type of sport and the league. For example, if you were to bet on football (the European kind), you would also have the option to choose to draw. But in most other sports, you have to choose one winner.
Moneyline brings with it a bit of its own terminology. Terms like “underdog” or the “favorites” are often used to represent the odds. You are also most likely to see – and + signs before the odds.
The bookmakers chose to represent one team as the favorites, which is characterized with – sign, while the underdogs with a + sign. Whatever number that comes after these mathematical symbols means the amount you stand to either win or lose if you were to bet $100.
For example, let us take that very presumed match between the Lakers and Bulls. You see, the odds are represented as Lakers (+110) vs. Bulls (-130). And you chose to bet on the Lakers. Then you will win $110 on a bet of $100 if the Lakers do actually win the match. This will leave you with $220.
However, if you bet on the Bulls, that effectively means you are putting away $130 to win $100. If they happen to win, you will gain $100, which brings you a total of $230 in winnings.
These bets are also known as the specials bet. This wagering type is probably the most fun among the types we have discussed so far. Since they allow you to make bets that no other type is able to. That is why props bets can usually be very entertaining and full of intense emotions and quite a bit of shock if you win. Let us explain why.
These bets usually are avoided by the newcomers to the gambling world. The reason is that winning a prop bet means usually implies knowing the ropes of the game and being aware of every detail of the team or the match you are betting on.
The reason is these bets require the bettor to predict a particular condition.
For example, you could gamble on the possible outcome of a specific player scoring first, or scoring multiples times, to a number of specific times that you will specify in your wager.
Suppose we take our favorite presumed match between Lakers and Bulls. You want to wager on the fact that Austin Reaves will score, say, 15 points throughout the duration of the play. If he indeed happens to score that many points, you win your wager.
Now props bets are calculated according to the numbers attached to the odds. You are most likely to see something like 2.10, 2.50, 1.83, or any other decimal number. What this means for you and your bet is that if you were to bet $100, then you would have $210, in the first case of 2.10. on the second, you are to have $250.
Remember, the numbers are shown in a way that assumes you are calculating your initial $100. Unlike with the money line odds, where you would – or + sign before the number to indicate how much you would win on top of the initial $100. With the prop bet, they include that in the odds.
Spread betting details
Spread betting, sometimes most commonly known as the “points spread,” is another one of the most popular types of bets. But we decided to give this its own section rather than box it into the previous one.
But what does it mean? And how to use this type in your own bets?
To explain this in a more transparent and precise way, let us take the ordinary description that states: “It is the margin of victory between two teams or opponents.” In short, to win your bet, you should wager on a team that will perform better than expected.
The lines are usually represented by points like 1,2,3,4 — the points spread.
However, once a bookmaker publishes the line with, say, a 3.5-point spread, it means you will wager on a betting margin over or under 3,5 points. If you see a line like Lakers (-3.5) vs. Bulls (+3.5), it means a sportsbook supposes Lakers are likely to win by 4 points or more.
These minuses and pluses before the points mean that the team with the minus is the favorite, and the team with the plus is the underdog.
As a gambler, you surely want to know how you win points spread bet. Let us assume you bet on the Lakers from our example. In order for your bet to win, the Lakers must win the Bulls by 4 points or more. If they win by fewer points or straight-up lose the match, you lose your bet too.
On the other hand, if you bet on the Bulls, they need to either win the match or lose by fewer points than 4 for your bet to be successful. However, if they lose the game by 4 points or more, then you lose the bet.
Now let us discuss some of the most common spreads, using the same example we have.
Most typical spread
Earlier in the previous chapter, we have quickly mentioned that sportsbooks sometimes predict that a team will win by one or more points. That was not 100% true.
You see, the reason is sportsbooks hate losing money. One team must win for one side of the bets to have payouts. Now you might think, how would they lose money?
It is true in our example of half points, but if they were to show odds with whole points like (-3) or (+3). This would create the possibility for a tie scenario.
Let us use the example of Lakers and Bulls, but change the line of odds to whole points like;
Lakers (-3) vs. Bulls (+3).
If the match ends with the Lakers winning margin of 3 (so it coincides with spread points), the gamble ends in a tie, in which case, your bet is returned to you.
As a bettor, you may not mind having your bet returned, but as a sportsbook, you probably hate to do this because it would leave you with no profits.
Thus, you are far more likely to see half points, 3.5, 4.5, 6.5, etc., which are the most typical spreads in betting.
How to read odds
Now that you are aware of the bet types and how they work. You might want to learn a bit about calculating the odds. Keep in mind that calculating the is a hot topic and is worth a separate article, so we’ll mention the basics here.
However, in this one, we will try our best to give you a little bit of understanding to take it with you and apply it to your future wagers.
For this example, we will be using the UK style of showing the odds, which were something like 1/1, 2/1, etc.
To calculate this, let us remember the school math a little and put all this into more straightforward symbols we can understand.
For example, assigning 1/1 to letters like x/y would do just that. So, to find the chance of a bet:
We would look for a chance which we can denote by the percentage symbol % and divide it by the addition of x+y so that the formula would look something like this:
With this formula, the 1/1 scenario would have 1/(1+1) = 0.5. If we put them into a percentage, there is a 50% 50% chance of that particular betting winning.
If you have a different kind of odds like 4/1 then;
4/(4+1) = 0.20 which in percentage terms means 20%
There you go, depending on what you see on the betting odds; you could do your calculator with our formula and get an overall understanding of how likely a particular bet will be won.
Pros and Cons spread bet
Larger odds for betting on underdogs
Additional insurance when betting on a favorite
Doesn't involve deep analysis
Isn't the best solution for all sports
It also gets easier when you start betting and perhaps lose once or twice. After all, trying not to lose money is as much of a motivation to win money. When it comes to the concepts from today, remember to pay attention to the signs before and after the numbers and read on about the team or game you are betting on. Don’t hesitate to turn back to this piece as many times as you wish to calculate your betting odds; you can also consider bookmarking this page.
Last updated on 19 Apr 2022 - 09:15