When you want to follow sports betting, whether you’re planning on taking the action yourself or just want to know more about the various outcomes, odds are one of the most important things you’ll encounter. As a new or occasional sports bettor, it can be hard to know how to interpret odds and what they mean. This article will discuss how to read betting odds in sports so you can get the most out of any game or event you might be following or interested in.
What Are Odds?
To understand betting odds, first you need to understand what exactly they mean. Odds are the ratio of the amount you bet (called the “first bet”) to the amount you’re wagering (called the “second bet”). For example, if you wager $1 and the odds are 3-to-1, then you’re betting $1 and the bookmaker is assuming you’ll wager $3 on the next game. The odds can either be displayed on a sign in front of the sports book or they can be found on the website of the sports book or casino where the bet was placed.
Types Of Odds
There are three types of odds that you need to be aware of. First is the “line”, which is the most common type of odds and refers to the amount of money you’ll win or lose, as determined by the bookmaker. Second are the “spread”, which are the odds that reflect the amount of money the bookmaker is assuming you’ll wager on the opposing team. For example, the spread on a football game might be 3-to-2 or 3-to-1, meaning that there’s a $3 spread on whether the Lions or the Bears will win. Third are the “over/under”, which is the amount of money you need to wager (called the “unit”) in order to win or lose, as opposed to the spread, where the line determines the amount you need to wager to win.
With all these different types of odds floating around, how do you know which one to choose? One thing you can do is look at the line and try to figure out how much you’re going to win or lose. For example, if the line is 3-to-1 in favor of the Seahawks, you’re going to lose $3 for each $1 you bet (if you wager $1 on the game). On the other hand, if the line is -3-to-1 in favor of the Bills, then you’re going to win $3 for each $1 you spend (if you wager $1 on the game). Of course, there’s also the possibility that the game will end in a tie, which means you’ll neither win nor lose. In that case, you simply get your money back (plus a little bit more, depending on the bookmaker).
Odds & Probabilities
As a sports bettor, one of the first things you’ll encounter when you log on to a website or enter a sportsbook is the odds, as they’ll be prominently displayed on the page or in the window that pops up when you log in.
Just like with the example above, where the Lions were 3-to-1 underdogs, this is the type of odds you’ll see in most sportsbooks – the opposite teams are usually the favorites. For example, the Steelers are 13-to-1 underdogs in the upcoming Sunday’s Super Bowl matchup with the Patriots. This essentially means that you have a one-in-13 chance of winning $100 for every $1 you bet, if you wager $1 on the game. If the game ends in a tie, then you get your $100 back (plus a little bit more, depending on the bookmaker).
While it might be tempting to just click on the odds and move on, it’s important to realize that these are just numbers. The odds might tell you that the Packers are 10-to-1 underdogs in the upcoming Thursday Night Football game, but that doesn’t mean much if you don’t know how to interpret them. In the example above, the spread on the Lions-Bears game is 3-to-2, so each team is favored by 1 goal line. This essentially means that if you’re on the opposite side of the spread, then you have a better than a coin-flip shot at winning. For example, if you wager $1 on the Lions and they win, you’ll win $2, but if they lose, you’ll lose your $1.
How To Bet On Sports
Now that you’re equipped with the basics of reading odds in sports, let’s discuss how to bet on them. Because sports are such a popular topic, there are plenty of online gambling websites that feature odds on a variety of sports. For the most part, these are easy sites to use because they want to make sure that you have an easy time placing your bets. The key is to find a sports book that offers the odds and games you’re interested in following.
An example of a really good website that offers football, basketball, and baseball odds is sports betting pioneer 555FAST.com. They have a really clean interface and make it easy to navigate on your mobile phone. You can log on to the site with your email address and password, and immediately be presented with a sportsbook where you can make wagers on various sporting events, all from the convenience of your mobile phone.
Odds & Futures
Some sportsbooks will also give you the option of placing a bet on the future results of a game, just like they have odds for the current matchup. For example, if you’re a Braves fan and want to bet on their upcoming game against the Cubs, you could do so on the Braves website, where you’ll find plenty of information on their current roster as well as their upcoming schedule, including the odds for the game. Alternatively, you could go to the online gambling site of your choice and make a wager on whether the Cubs will win the game or the line will change before the start of the game.
This is a really convenient feature if you’re planning on placing a lot of wagers over the course of a season, because you don’t always have to look up the lines on every single game. It’s easy to remember what the line was before the game since it’s always the same, and it makes comparing the current line to the one from the previous game or matchup a lot easier.
With all these different types of odds and ways to place bets, it can be a little overwhelming to know where to start. Luckily for you, we’re here to help! In the next section, we’ll discuss how to read football betting odds so that you can get the most out of your fantasy football league.