When you place a wager with a bookie or sportsbook, you are essentially placing a bet on the outcome of a sporting event or contest. When it comes down to the books calculating your wager, they will assess the odds presented by the bookmakers for events like cricket, football, or horse racing, and then apply those odds to the side you have chosen to back, whether it be a team, player, or horse.
In general, you are going to be giving the bookmaker money on one side of the bet, and betting that they will pay you back some of that money on the other, based on the odds applied to that side.
Sometimes, you might want to bet on both sides of an event. For example, let’s say you love the New York Yankees and you want to back them in the 2018 MLB playoffs against the Boston Red Sox. You can place a wager on both teams to back either one in four ways:
- The Red Sox don’t cover the spread in their favor.
- The Red Sox win the divisional round.
- The Red Sox beat the Yankees in the ALCS.
- The Red Sox win the World Series.
Which of these options you choose would depend on how confident you are that the Red Sox will cover the spread and what the odds are in your favor. You might also want to consider the opposite bet: the Red Sox don’t cover the spread, so you make a profit if they lose the series or don’t go all the way to the final game.
In this scenario, you are effectively betting on an underdog, and the meaning of that term will depend on whether you are talking about a sports team or individual athlete. If you are talking about a sports team, then the underdog is simply another sports team that you are backing to win the game. When applied to an individual sportsman or woman, such as a professional golfer or tennisplayer, the term begins to have a different connotation. In that case, you would be backing a winner who is already established in his or her sport to win an upcoming event. In most situations, this is not the case: most underdogs will go down in flames in the first round of the tournament or series.
What Is The Spread?
If you are unfamiliar, the spread in sports betting is basically the amount of money that the sportsbook is offering as the spread on the game. For example, if the total amount of the wager is $100, and the sportsbook is offering $105 as the spread, then your effective wager is $100 on a winning team and $5 on the other.
In the United States, the spread is typically smaller than it is elsewhere in the world. In some states, like Nevada, the spread can be as low as 1/2 or even 1%. In others, it can be as high as 10%. This is a function of the jurisdiction and how much competition there is in that state or jurisdiction. If you are looking to place a bet on the NFL or other American sports leagues, then you will see much wider spreads because there is so much competition and the sportsbooks can’t afford to offer such great odds. Once the sportsbook sees that you are placing numerous bets and that you are a regular customer, they will move to take advantage of you by offering better odds or a reduced spread. In some cases, this can mean that they might only offer up to two or three sports on a given day. This is why it is important to monitor the spread frequently when betting on sports, especially if you are a new customer who just opened an account.
Why Do Bookmakers Offer Greater Odds On One Side Of The Bet?
Let’s say that you are a massive Atlanta Braves fan and you want to back them in the 2018 MLB Playoffs against the San Francisco Giants. You make a wager with a sportsbook, and they give you odds of 2/1 that the Braves will cover the spread in the series. This means that you are effectively getting twice as much money back on your wager as you are risking. As a result, it doesn’t come as a great surprise that the majority of wagers on sportsbooks are laid on one side of the bet, and this is where the greater odds come in. In most cases, this means that you will be getting back most of your wager on the chosen side, but in some cases, you might lose some of it. For example, if the Braves don’t cover the spread and you take them to win the series, then you will lose $100 on your wager because you are backing the underdogs. In other words, the house edge in this particular situation is high, and it is certainly possible for a newcomer to lose hundreds of dollars on a given bet if they aren’t careful. This is why it is important to familiarize yourself with the spreads and odds on offer before placing a bet.
In general, you should research the betting lines before placing a wager on anything remotely related to sports. In many cases, you will find that the spreads are very close to even money (at least within the given margin of error), and this can lead to some very boring wagering if you aren’t careful. In these situations, it is better to go all the way up to a certain point and then back down, than it is to lay down a flat wager. When you are down 50% of your initial investment, you know that the game or event is a loser and you shouldn’t have backed it in the first place.
The Mechanics Of A Spread Bet
When it comes down to applying these odds, it is important to remember that they are only probabilities and can change frequently. In general, you are going to be wanting to get the best possible odds on your chosen side, and if that means taking advantage of a smaller spread, then so be it. In most cases, the best odds are going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of even money or slightly less than that, and this is where you want to lay your wager. Remember: you are getting paid to take a chance, and in most cases, this is a pretty safe wager to make.
The bottom line is this: before you make that next bet, or if you get stopped by the bookies while betting on sports, it is important to do some research into the spreads and odds on offer. In many cases, you are going to be getting what you are paying for, and this is generally a good thing, as long as you keep things in perspective. When sports betting, it is all about accepting the fact that you are basically gambling and doing your best to minimize the risk. In most cases, this means simply backing your chosen team or individual to win and then enjoying the fruits of your labor.