Oddsmakers offer sports betting, which is a type of wagering where one bets on the outcome of sporting events, usually considered to be games of chance, using betting odds provided either by a bookmaker or a betting exchange, such as BetOnline or MyBookie.

The sports betting odds are determined by a few factors, which include the line (or spread) given by the bookmaker, the number of points scored in the game (or contest), and the identity of the teams involved. Additionally, one must consider the pointspread and make a determination about which team is the favorite. These factors, along with some betting strategy, will greatly affect the eventual payout from an odds bet.

## The Spread

The spread is the difference between the’moneyline’ odds (also known as the ‘point spread’ or ‘favourite team’) and the odds of the chosen team winning.

In American football, for instance, the spread is the difference between ‘the points scored’ and ‘the total number of points scored’ (between 0 and 17). Simply put, if one is picking a team that is predicted to score between 7 and 10 points, one may wager on the spread to see if the chosen team will win by more or less than the pre-set number of points.

## Over Under

An over under (or ‘over-under’) is a type of wagering where one bets on whether a chosen team will score more or less than a particular number of points. One usually places an over under on odds more favorable to the bettor.

For example, one may wager on the Buffalo Bills [NFL] over the New England Patriots [ENG] that the Patriots will score at least 17 points or the Bills will score at least 10 points. If one is considering wagering on the Buffalo Bills, one may use an over under because the odds are more favorable to the bettor for a Bills win (when compared to betting on the spread). In this case, an over under would pay out at least 3 times as much as a spread bet. This is because one would win (or lose) 3 points instead of 2 points for an Over Under win (or loss).

## Total Number Of Points Scored

The total number of points scored (or ‘Total Points’) is, in most cases, used to determine the final outcome of a game. The Total Points can be thought of as the summation of all the scores of the game (think of the final score of a football game as an example). Once the Total Points are calculated, one may find the favorite team and determine whether that team will win or lose the game, based on a number of factors, including the bookmaker’s line and the spread. For instance, if the favorite team is ahead by 14 points with less than five minutes left in the 4th quarter and the ‘points scored’ are 47-28, the team will most likely lose the game.

## The Pointspread

The pointspread is the difference between the’moneyline’ odds (or ‘favourite team’) and the odds of the chosen team winning.

As the name implies, the pointspread is used to determine the score of a game. One calculates the pointspread by taking the total number of points scored by both teams and subtracting the total number of points that the underdog, or ‘underdog team’, has scored so far, from the total number of points scored by the ‘favorite’ team. One then multiplies this number by 2, to determine the number of points that the bettor will win or lose.

## Making A Profit

It is crucial to remember that while one may wager on sports using either betting lines, or spreads, or over under bets, one is still trying to make a profit off one’s wager. Simply put, one does not want to lay down more money than what one has to win. The ideal scenario is for a bettor to win while using the right strategy and understanding the odds and the various forms of betting available.

## The Favorite

A favorite is the team that the bookmaker thinks will win a particular game. The favorite is based on a combination of factors, including the spread, the total number of points scored, and the pointspread.

The bookmaker will adjust the odds of the favorite in response to changes in the line or the pointspread, and may also adjust the odds of the favorite after the completion of a game. For instance, if one bets on the New England Patriots this year, one may notice that their odds have dropped from 3.0 to 2.5, which is due, in part, to them underperforming and losing their first game, against the Miami Dolphins, by 6 points.

## The Underdog

An underdog is the team that the bookmaker thinks will lose a particular game. The underdog is based on a combination of factors, including the spread, the total number of points scored, and the pointspread.

The bookmaker will adjust the odds of the underdog in response to changes in the line or the pointspread, and may also adjust the odds of the underdog after the completion of a game. For instance, if one bets on the Buffalo Bills this year, one may notice that their odds have jumped from 2.5 to 3.5, which is due, in part, to them overperforming against the New England Patriots in Week 1, and winning their next 4 games by a combined total of 38 points.

## The Reverse Polaroid

The reverse polaroid is a special wagering option that one can use to bet on the underdogs. To use this option, one first calculates the total number of points scored by the favorite and then calculates the difference between those totals. In the example above, the reverse polaroid would calculate 47-28-14 for a Total Points score of 77, which would make the underdogs 4.3 to 1 against the favorites.

## The Double-Up

One can also wager on whether the chosen team will win by more or less than the spread, but in a different direction, i.e., either above or below the line. This type of wagering is known as the ‘double-up’ and allows one to win both ways, based on the outcome of a game.

For instance, if one bets on the San Francisco 49ers over the Arizona Cardinals that they will cover the spread (i.e., the 49ers will win by more than the spread), one would win if the Cardinals score more than 17 points and lose if they score 16 or less points. One would also win if the Cardinals cover the spread and lose if they underperform, as in the case when one bets that they will lose the game.