What Are Sports Betting Odds?

In the world of sports betting, money is often on the line, and quite literally, the bookies (or the ‘bodys’ as they are often known) make sure that you are aware of this fact.

If you are a fan of sports and wager a little bit of money on your favorite team’s performance each week, you may be wondering what are the betting odds for the upcoming games? How do I calculate my winning percentage when I place a bet? Is it even worth putting money on a team if the odds are against you?

All of these questions, and more, can be quite overwhelming if you are new to the exciting world of sports betting. Before you plunk down any money, it is important to understand what the betting odds are and how they affect your chance of winning. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about the betting odds in sports, including:

The Meaning Of Odds.

In the world of sports, the odds are the chances of one team winning or the other. Think of it this way: if you think your favorite team has a 70% chance of winning the game, the odds will be 30/40 on the Tigers – Yankees game. This means that there is a 30% chance that the Tigers will win and a 40% chance that the Yankees will win. Keep in mind that this is only an example and the actual chances of either team winning may vary by game.

In general, betting odds represent the current perception of how likely it is that a team will win the game. The perception can change over time as more people bet on the teams or if there is significant news concerning a game (e.g., injuries, scandals). However, the odds will never change with regard to actual game results. This is critical if you want to be able to calculate your winning percentage accurately.

Types Of Sports Betting.

Depending on how much you want to wager, you will need to decide which type of sports you want to bet on. There are five main types of sports betting:

  • Under/Over/Money Line
  • No Line Bet (NLB)
  • Futures Bet
  • Point Spread
  • Total Points

Let’s take a quick look at each type of betting and how you can use it to your advantage.

Under/Over/Money Line Bet

This type of bet is simply a wager on the outcome of a sport with monetary implications. For example, you might bet on whether a UFC fight will go the distance or whether a particular tennis match will be won by the server or the returner. The possibilities for this type of bet are endless, but it can also get quite complicated. For instance, you might wonder whether it’s better to bet on the over or under for a given team. Alternatively, you could wager on which team will score more points or will win the match. All of these types of bets can be quite hard to win, depending on the size of the pot and the chances of the opposing team.

Your decision-making process for this type of bet will depend on how much you want to wager. If you want to bet just a little bit, you should consider entering a stacked line (more than two teams). This will give you the best chance of winning since there will be more combinations of outcomes to choose from. For example, if you have an over/under bet on a UFC fight, you may want to consider also placing a money line bet, as well as the over/under and money line bets on the stacked fights.

No Line Bet (NLB)

This type of bet is similar to a guess in that you are placing a wager assuming that you do not know the outcome of a particular game. In other words, you are assuming that the bookie knows something you don’t know. For example, in Week 6 of the 2018 NFL season, the Kansas City Chiefs had a chance to upset the New England Patriots. Normally, the spread for this game is large (in this case, it was close to three points), so people assumed that the Patriots would win. However, the Chiefs’ rookie quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, threw for over 400 yards and four touchdowns, leading the Chiefs to a 56-41 victory.

To capitalize on this unexpected victory, some bettors placed bets on the game anticipating the spread — or the point difference — to close, and they hit a home run. Naturally, this caused the odds to shift in their favor. If you are interested in taking a shot at hitting one of these big winners, consider placing a no line (or guess) bet on an NFL game.

Futures Bet

This type of bet is often confused with a lay bet, but it is different in that you are not committing yourself to win or lose money. For example, say you made a fortune on the stock market and want to indulge in a little bit of risk-taking with your money. Rather than placing a lay bet on a horse or a dog race, in which you would risk your money on one team, you could place a futures bet on a sporting event, in which you make a risk-free wager that a team will perform a certain way in the future. If that team ends up losing all the games with the spread, you would have lost your money, but you wouldn’t have gained anything (i.e., you would not have been able to satisfy your curiosity about whether or not that team would have won).

The advantage of this type of bet is that you cannot loose anything and it does not require knowledge of what will happen in the future. This makes it an ideal way to take a flyer on a team you are not familiar with or don’t have a lot of confidence in. For example, let’s say you are a fan of the Los Angeles Rams and want to make a risk-free wager that the Rams will beat the New York Jets in Week 9. You can’t go wrong with the Rams, but you may want to consider also getting an expert’s opinion on whether or not they will be able to cover the point spread. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

Point Spread

This type of bet represents the chance that one team will win or lose a given game. For example, the Chicago Bears have a 40% chance to win when they play the Green Bay Packers, as the spread is +3. This means that there is a 40% chance that the Bears will beat the Packers and a 60% chance that they will lose.

Deciding which type of point spread to use depends on the size of the anticipated wager. If you are placing a smaller wager, then you may not want to go over 3 points, as this may cause you to lose money, even if your team wins. For example, if you have a 40/60 bet on the Packers, you might choose to settle on a three-point spread to ensure you win your money back (if the spread goes over three points).

The advantage of this type of bet is that you have a clear chance of winning or losing money based on the spread chosen. This is quite different from an under/over/money line bet, in which you are essentially risking money based on what you think the odds will be (and they could change at any moment). You also have the flexibility to choose how you want to bet based on how you value the teams (i.e., an under/over/money line bet requires that you choose either the under or the over).

Total Points

This type of bet is simply a wager on which team will score more points. If you are looking to make an easy way to win money, consider betting on the total points scored in the game. Naturally, this can be quite volatile, depending on how close the game is and whose turn it is at the end of the game. Nevertheless, if you have a slight edge in point-scoring, this can be quite a lucrative wager. Just make sure you are aware of the implications of this type of bet and choose your poison wisely.

Your decision-making process for this type of bet will depend on how much you want to wager. For smaller wagers, you may want to go with the over or under according to the spread. For example, if it is a close game and your team had the chance to score more points, you might want to bet on the under since there is a smaller chance of your team scoring more points than the other team.