One of the most interesting – and at the same time, frustrating – aspects of sports betting is learning to interpret betting numbers. Just like with any other kind of sports activity, there is a broad spectrum of results, ranging from very predictable to completely unpredictable. Of course, when it comes to placing a wager on the outcome of a sporting event, there is an ulterior motive – to win money! – but that doesn’t mean you need to be fully aware of the betting algorithm in order to make intelligent wagers. In this article, we will cover some of the basics of how betting numbers work so you can get a better feel for what is going on when the numbers come up in your favor and what to make of them when they come up in the other direction.
What Do They Represent?
While it is tempting to view betting numbers as simply the way the bookmaker has set the line, this is far from the case. When you bet on a sporting event, what you are actually doing is gambling on the outcome of the game. In most cases, this is done by placing a wager on one of the two teams – either you think will win the game or you don’t. The team you bet on will then begin racing to score more goals, rack up more points, or do whatever it is that soccer players do in order to win.
As the game progresses and the teams tally up their wins and losses, the odds of one team coming out on top will change and it is up to you, the sports gambler, to keep up with the latest odds and make the right wager at the right time.
What Do They Mean?
The odds of a team winning or losing are extremely important information for gamblers, but they can be difficult to interpret. In most cases, you either get a winning streak from one team or the other, with little in between. Looking at the odds will clearly indicate whether or not you made the right wager, but it can also be quite the needle-mooonie when the results don’t seem to favor your side of the betting action.
When one team is significantly favored over another, the numbers will reflect this and you can rest assured that the odds will never, EVER favor the underdogs in any circumstance.
How Have They Affected My Bottom Line?
This brings us to an important point: when you bet on a game, the numbers will always have an effect on your bottom line. In some cases, this may be very small – in others, it can be significant. To give you an idea of how betting numbers work, let’s take a look at a simplified parlay, which is where you get several wagers on the same game (more on these bets later).
For simplicity, we will assume that you are wagering on the outcome of the Superbowl this year. You could be playing the game at the first of February, with the final whistle blowing in the early hours of the following morning. If you are playing the game at a live casino, there will be additional fees – for example, for using a credit card at a sportsbook – but for the sake of this example, let’s pretend that the bookie is offering all-inclusive betting at the casino where you are staying and you aren’t charged extra for using a credit card.
If you are playing the game as it ends, the results will be in and you will win if the New England Patriots win the game. The next morning, you wake up to find out that New England defeated the Atlanta Falcons, 40-37. Let’s assume that you wagered $100 on the Patriots, expecting them to beat the Falcons.
With the game over and the results in, you check your account to see how much you won. You will see that you have actually won $240 because you had four wins with a total wager of $100. In this case, the numbers were in your favor and you made money on the bet.
However, if you are playing the game as it continues beyond the point when you placed your wager, the numbers can work against you – significantly. Let’s say that the Patriots lose the game in overtime – the Falcons win, 41-38. In this case, you would have lost $100 on a bet you placed the night before the game started. It is always essential to check the odds before placing a wager on a sporting event, especially if you are doing so at a sportsbook. Sometimes, the numbers can be difficult to figure out and this is where having a general idea of how betting works can be quite helpful. For instance, if you know that the Patriots are a strong team, you can assume that they will win the game and it would be a wise move to back them.
Will Their Performance In Past Games Influence The Outcome Of This One?
Betting on the outcome of a game is fascinating because it is always based on “intangibles” – things that cannot be easily explained, such as team chemistry, player spirit, or the weather in a given area. In many cases, these factors will greatly influence the outcome of a game and, as a result, your ability to win or lose on a given bet. In the example above, you probably wouldn’t have had a positive experience if you had wagered on the Patriots, knowing that they had just come off a heartbreaking loss against the Seattle Seahawks, where they blew a fourth-quarter lead and lost in overtime – 41-56. In general, if a team goes winless in a row or loses a lot of games in a row, this usually means that there is a great change for the worse and you shouldn’t expect them to turn things around very soon. On the other hand, if a team is going through a streak of winning games, this usually indicates that there is a great change for the better and this could be the start of something very, very special.
In cases like these, it is always important to wait for the odds to change before making a wager. For instance, if the Patriots suddenly start losing a lot of games or if they go on a run and start beating the spread, it would be a good idea to backtrack and see if this is really the case or if there is something going on that you aren’t aware of.
Additional Tips For Gamble-Wise
Betting on sporting events is fun and it is quite the contrary for it to be frustrating. To make sure that this is a positive experience, it is important to follow a few golden rules: