What Does -4.5 Mean in Sports Betting?

What does -4.5 mean in sports betting? When sportsbooks offer odds in the thousands, it seems hard to believe that four and a half could possibly be a meaningful number! Believe it or not, though, -4.5 can be a crucial factor in determining your chances of winning or losing at sports betting. So let’s explore what -4.5 means in sports betting, and how you can use this knowledge to your advantage.

Odds Are In Your Favor

The first and most important thing you need to know about -4.5 is that it represents the favorite odds in sports betting. What does this mean? It means that the sportsbook believes you are more likely to win than to lose when betting on this particular game. To make matters worse, the sportsbook is probably right!

For instance, take a look at these two bets. The first one is a standard 50/50 wager where you place a $100 wager on the San Francisco 49ers to win the game. The second one is where you place a $100 wager on the New York Jets to win the game. The only difference between the two is that in the first one, the bookmaker thinks you have a 49% chance of winning and in the second one they think you have a 41% chance of winning. Ouch! That’s a pretty significant difference in betting odds!

The moral of the story here is that whenever you see odds in the thousands, you can be sure that the betting public has very little faith in your ability to win the bet. In other words, they want to bet on the opposite side!

A Four-to-One Favorite

Now that you know what -4.5 means in sports betting, you can see why it’s so important. It’s because whenever you see odds in the thousands, there’s a good chance they are presenting you with their four-to-one favorite. This simply means that they think there’s a 4 to 1 chance you will lose the bet.

For example, if a bookmaker offers odds on the Kansas City Chiefs to win the Super Bowl, they are most likely presenting you with their four-to-one favorite. In other words, there’s a 4 to 1 chance they will win the bet. Why? It’s because they believe the odds are in their favor. After all, the Chiefs are a popular team, and many bookies believe they have a good chance of making it to the big game.

If you ever wonder why you never seem to find long odds (like 7 to 1 or 8 to 1) on the money line, it’s because the sportsbooks have a built-in bias against giving you those kinds of odds. Why? Because they know you won’t bet on them! What kind of odds are you going to be more likely to take? Four to one or five to one, because at least those are fair odds. After all, you are equally likely to win or lose the bet.

So if you are being presented with four-to-one odds, that means there’s a 40% chance the Chiefs will win the bet. Knowing this can give you a good idea of how much you should be betting on them in the first place. After all, you’re getting into a no-win situation if you bet on the Chiefs. This doesn’t mean you should necessarily avoid betting on the Chiefs, it just means you should probably limit your wager to something more reasonable.

Betting on 4 to 1 odds is like placing a $400 wager on the New York Jets. It’s not a smart move, but at least you have a chance of winning. If you lost, you wouldn’t be that far in the hole. Of course, you also have a 40% chance of losing the bet, but at least there’s some value in that!

One Of The Most Predictable Outcomes

This brings us to the next point, which is that whenever you see odds in the thousands, there’s a good chance they are presenting you with one of the most predictable outcomes in sports betting. Let’s take a look at this in more depth.

On the surface, it would appear that the Jacksonville Jaguars’ upcoming game against the Tennessee Titans is a totally one-sided affair. The betting public seems to agree, with oddsmaker Danny Fishback projecting these odds on his Twitter page:

Jaguars -8.5

Titans +8.5

What does Fishback’s -8.5 mean? It means there’s a 82.5% chance the Titans will win the game. So if you see those kinds of odds, it’s probably safe to assume that the betting public has an idea of how the game’s going to turn out. In other words, there’s going to be one winner (the Titans) and one loser (the Jaguars).

This is a safe bet to make, because generally speaking, it’s pretty difficult to determine the outcome of an NFL game. The exception to this rule is when the Jaguars are playing the Titans. Let’s take a look at why…

These two teams play a semi-regularly scheduled game each year, and as a result, the betting public knows what to expect. The Jaguars are a fairly weak team, and the Titans are a good team, so naturally, the public tends to bet on the opposition. In the 2017 season alone, the Titans had a winning record (6-2 SU and 5-3 ATS), while the Jaguars were one of the worst teams in the NFL, winning only one game (against the Miami Dolphins). The point is that the public knows the Titans are going to win this game, and they simply want to cash in while they can!

If you want to maximize your winnings and minimize your losses when betting on sports, it would be wise to avoid games where the outcome is totally unpredictable. It’s never a good idea to bet on a game where you don’t have any idea of what’s going on. This type of bet can literally go either way, with no clear-cut favorite. It’s basically a 50/50 toss-up, and in the grand scheme of things, it’s an incredibly risky bet to make.

Small-Fields Favoritism

Small-fields favoritism is yet another potential pitfall in sports betting that you need to be aware of. This is where the betting public has a specific team or player it favors, and as a result, they will only place small wagers on that team or player. Let’s take a quick look at this with an example.

Let’s say you’re at a sportsbook and you see these types of odds:

Browns +3.5

Redskins -3.5

It would be wise to assume these are the two favorite teams of the betting public. Why? Because whenever you see these kinds of odds, it usually means that the opposing team is having a good season and the fans want to keep the good luck going.

As a result, you would only see small-stakes ($2 to $5) on the Browns and even smaller bets ($1 to $5) on the Redskins. This is small-fields favoritism in its purest form. The betting public is basically saying that even though the Browns are a good team, they don’t want to hurt their chances of winning by risking large sums of money on them. Why? Because they believe the Redskins are the better team, and therefore, they want to give them all the credit for any wins. This is also why you will generally only find small-fields odds (i.e., 3.5, -3.5) when the favorite team is in the middle of a win streak, and why you will frequently see large-fields odds (i.e., 7, 8, 8.5, 9) whenever a favorite is struggling.

More Confidence In The Bookmaker

This tip is probably the most important one because it directly pertains to your bottom line. When you place a wager on a game, you need to make sure that the bookmaker you are working with is a trustworthy one. More importantly, you need to make sure that they have the confidence of the public behind them. In fact, sometimes it’s not even the opposite – sometimes you need to bet on a bookmaker with a bad reputation because there’s no one else willing to take your wager!