What Do Negative Odds in Betting Mean?

One of the more interesting sub-sections of betting are the odds. You will find a wealth of information online regarding sports betting odds, but you might be a little bit puzzled at some of the terminology used. It is important to note that the odds change depending on a variety of factors, but one of the more important factors is the money line. The general rule of thumb is that the odds will be more favorable for the home team, and if you are unable to determine the favorites beforehand, you can probably assume that the odds will be in your favor. However, there are instances where the oddsmakers have made a mistake, and in some cases, this has led to significant gains or losses for the bettors. This article will discuss some of the more interesting nuances of oddsmaker lingo so that you can become more familiar with how these odds work.

Money Line

One of the more interesting aspects of sports betting is the money line. This is the category where you will find the outcome of the game, and it is based on how much money you are wagering on the outcome. For example, if you are wagering $1.00, the payoff would be $1.00. However, if you are wagering $100.00, the payout would be $110.00 ($110.00 + $1.00). Essentially, the money line represents the total amount of money you are risking, and in the case of a tie, it is usually considered a push. When you bet $100.00 on a game in which the total payout is $120.00, you are risking $100.00 and you have a 50% chance of winning $120.00. In some instances, if your team scores at the end of the third quarter, the clock will stop temporarily and the result will be revealed. In the event of a tie or if the game ends in a tie, the bettor wins regardless of whether their team wins or loses the game. Since money lines are based on the amount of money you are risking rather than the percentage of chances that your team has of winning, the potential for heavy losses exists. Additionally, money lines are usually considered “no-brainers” since they rarely change regardless of the game, weather conditions, or time of day. This makes them excellent for hedging bets or parlaying results into fast cash.


Another very interesting aspect of sports betting is the over/under. This category works the same way as the money line, but the determining factor is the total number of points that will be scored by both teams. For example, if the game is between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys, and you believe that the under will be scored, you can make a wager of either $1.00 or $0.50 on that specific game, resulting in the payout of $1.00 or $0.50, respectively. An over/under wager results in the payout odds being less than those of a money line wager, regardless of what team you are backing. For example, if you back the Dallas Cowboys and they score 25 points, your winnings will be $25.00 on an over wager, but you will only receive $15.00 on a money line wager.

Straight Up

Another interesting aspect of sports betting is the straight up wager. This is similar to the over/under wager, but instead of betting on the total number of points that will be scored, you are simply wagering on the outcome of the game. For example, if you are playing football against your friends and you bet $5.00 on the outcome, your winnings would be $5.00 if your friends score, but if they do not score, you will still win $5.00. Since there are no limits on how much you can wager on a straight up wager, you can make larger wagers than on the other two types of wagers detailed above and still have odds that will pay out.


Since there are a variety of ways to wager on a game, the odds makers have created multiple combinations. These are simply different ways of betting on the same event. For example, you can combine the money line and over/under wager on a single ticket, creating what is called a quincunx bet. This is simply placing two different types of wagers on one ticket, with the resulting odds derived from the average of the two wagers. In general, combining different types of wagers results in more favorable odds. For example, if you combine the money line and under wager on a single ticket, the resulting odds will be based on the money line odds and the under odds, resulting in a $2.00 rebate.


Finally, if you are determined to use a bookmaker, it is important to remember that not all of them will offer the same advantages as those discussed above. For example, some of the more popular ones do not allow you to combine different types of wagers or offer the same rebate. If you are determined to use a bookmaker, you should look for one that offers these benefits to ensure you are getting the best possible deal.