# What Does -3.5 Mean in Sports Betting?

There is no exact science in sports betting, but there are several rules of thumb that can be followed to make intelligent wagers. While most books will tell you to avoid betting on games with high over/unders, there are several games that fit this description but have huge fan followings and are worth a try. One of the most popular games with this description is the Oakland Athletics and Kansas City Royals in the American League and the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals in the National League. These are low scoring games with fairly even odds, so unless you are getting very lucky, there is no reason to avoid them.

## Betting On Close Games

The biggest mistake that inexperienced sports bettors make is going all in on teams that are down by a large amount. If you want to succeed at betting, you need to learn to be careful with your money. This is where a lot of people get burned because they think that since the game is close, they can afford to take a bigger chance. The truth is that even though the game might be close, there is no guarantee that the other team will not score some more runs. This is why it is best to stay away from games that are within a small margin of victory or defeat.

## The Over/Under

Odds are usually calculated as over/under, which makes them very easy for sportsbooks to understand and calculate. Simply put, the over/under represents the total number of points that the betting organization thinks the final score will be. For example, if a baseball game is at a score of 3.5 to 3 when the play starts and ends up being 7 to 7.5, the over/under will be 10.5. In this case, the betting organization thinks that if the game goes over 10.5, the score will be 7 or more. It is also possible that the 7.5 score will happen, in which case the over/under wins by 2.5.

This is also called the moneyline because the payout when the total is reached is usually determined by how much you wagered. For example, if you wagered \$100 and it hits, you win \$200. Many people choose to lay off of this win because they feel that it is not a very good payout when the over/under is this close to the actual score. Still, others find this the more appealing option because it feels like there is more potential for a higher payout.

## The Power Rank

The power rank is a tool used by sportsbooks to determine the favorite in each game. It is important to note that the power rank changes based on the current line movements and, therefore, it can be somewhat unpredictable. A simplified explanation for this tool is that the bookmakers compare the odds of each team winning a game and then rank them in order from most to least likely to win. When a game is over between two teams, the one with the higher power rank wins.

For example, if the line is currently 49ers -3.5 vs Patriots +3.5, then the 49ers have a higher power rank because the odds are lower than those of the Patriots. This means that, based on current odds, the Patriots are the underdog in this game. Nevertheless, if you look at all the odds for all the teams, you will notice that the Patriots have a much longer way to go before they can be considered a favorite in this game. In other words, even though they are currently the underdog, they are not a true favorite in the eyes of the sportsbooks. It is advisable for bettors to stay away from games with a high power rank because no matter what happens, the favorite is always going to win.

## Expecting A Run

Another mistake that people make is to expect a long ball game, especially in basketball or hockey. These are games that typically go for a long time and, for this reason, there is a lot of scoring. In reality, however, there is no guarantee that the other team will not get some hits just as you are starting to settle into the game. If you are getting a bad vibe from the betting odds, it is best to walk away because there is no use wasting your time on games that are unlikely to end before the beginning of the next quarter.

If you are new to sports betting or just want an easy way to make a few bucks, then you can get some help from a proficient sportsbook. By following the above guidelines, you are sure to have some good luck and maybe even make some money from time to time. Just make sure not to go overboard and bet too much money on one game. Most importantly, have fun!