How to Read Odds at Sportsbooks

When you walk into a sportsbook, the first thing you will see is a massive array of sporting events from around the world. You will also notice that there is a section at the top of the screen where the odds of various events are listed. While this may seem like a bit of an oddball section, this is where you will find value, and we will teach you how to read odds at sportsbooks.

Pay Close Attention To The Odds From Top To Bottom

When you first come to a sportsbook, it can be a bit overwhelming simply because there are so many events to choose from. To make things a little easier, you will want to look for events that are deemed “even” by the sportsbook. If an event is declared as an “odd” event, this means that the sportsbook believes that it will likely end in a tie or that it is a very close call. In these types of cases, the betting public is usually right and the bookmaker is usually wrong about who will win an event. In the case of a tie, the betting public might believe that one team is slightly superior to the other team and will back this team, effectively creating a market for a tie.

The Top Of The Screen Is Pretty Self-Explanatory

What happens at the top of the screen? Essentially, this is where the odds of an event are listed. You will notice that these odds are generally set in favor of the betting public. For example, consider the Michigan vs. Ohio State game. The betting public probably sees this as a very boring game and won’t put any value on it. However, most sportsbooks will list the game at 5Dimes as an “odd” game, meaning that it is likely to end in a tie or be a very close game. In these types of situations, the sportsbook hopes that they can tempt at least a few people into placing a bet on the game, as they believe that it will be a very competitive game and there is lots of value to be had. In general, the top of the screen is where you will likely find the value, as long as you know how to read it correctly.

The More You Know, The More You’ll Enjoy Football

When it comes to reading odds at a sportsbook, you will want to do the following:

  • Look for events that are declared as “odds-on” or “against” the popular team
  • Pay careful attention to the running line, as this is probably the most important number to look at
  • Know the meaning of all the symbols, such as the colors for various teams and the number of points that are on the line
  • Look for value, as this is what will make you money in the long run
  • Beware of books that make outrageous promises – they might be trying to cheat you

With the right information, you will be able to enjoy football much more than you did before. You will have to make sure to memorize the following nuggets of information:

  • Home teams (usually symbolized by a “+” sign)
  • Away teams (usually symbolized by a “-” sign)
  • Odds (these are set in favor of the betting public)
  • The running line (this is where most of the action is at – be careful not to place too much faith in it, as this is a number that is often manipulated by sportsbooks)
  • Value bets (these are the types of bets that you will be interested in – if you can get value, you will be able to pocket some nice profits)
  • Bets (these are the types of wagers you will place – if you place a bet on a team, you are telling the bookie that you believe they will win the game)
  • Half-time (this is the amount of time that the first half of the game is going to last – if you want to place a bet at the half-time point, make sure to do so before the third quarter starts)
  • Underdogs (these are the teams that you believe are “underdogs” compared to the favorite team)
  • The spread (this is the amount of points that you believe the favorite will win by – be careful not to place too much faith in this number, as it is often times gamed by sports books)
  • Over/Under (this is whether the game is going to end up being over or under the current line – again, pay attention to the running line)

With this information in mind, you will be able to enjoy your time at the casino much more than you did before. Knowing how to read odds at a sporting event will put a different spin on things. You will be able to look at games from a different perspective and may very well end up finding value in some of the games that you looked at before with suspicion.

Underlying Reasons For Odds

While it is always a good idea to pay attention to the odds at a sportsbook, it is not always the most beneficial thing. Sometimes, there are situations where the odds may be manipulated for fraudulent purposes. In these situations, you will want to be on the lookout for the following:

  • An obvious fake score – in the case of online betting, this can be easily spotted by looking at the odds before and after the game (if these odds change dramatically, it is usually a sign of manipulation)
  • Unfair odds (this can happen if a bookie is manipulating the odds in their favor or against a particular team, either to get even more money or because they are a spiteful person and don’t like the favorite team or college)
  • Game results that don’t add up (if you notice that a certain game’s final score doesn’t reflect the actual score of the game, this is usually a sign of fraud)
  • If you see a pattern of odd results, it is usually a sign that something fishy is going on (for example, if a certain game’s results always seem to favor a team that you believe is guilty of foul play, it might be a good idea to avoid that game altogether)

With these considerations in mind, you will be able to enjoy your time at the casino without any worries. You will want to make sure to memorize the guidelines above and learn how to read odds at a sportsbook, as this will put a different spin on things. Sometimes, all it takes for you to have a good time is for somebody to have a bad time, and in the world of sports, this usually means that the favorite team loses. In these situations, you will want to be certain that you are backing the right horse and making the right selection – be careful not to pick the favorite team too often, as you will end up hurting your wallet in the long run.