# What Does ‘Betting Odds’ Mean? -6.5

## Understanding The Basics

‘Odds’ can be used in many different ways in sports betting. You may encounter them when making a wager on the Super Bowl, but they can also be used in the middle of the season to predict the winners of upcoming games. There are generally accepted odds for major sporting events like the Super Bowl and the World Cup. These odds can change from event to event, so be sure to check the latest betting odds before placing a wager.

## The Basics Of Odds

Many books and articles on sports betting have been written over the years, and odds are one of the subjects that they have covered. It would be best to briefly outline the basics of odds in order to have a clear understanding of how they work. A lot of confusion can arise from not knowing how odds are determined, so let’s begin by explaining how exactly they’re calculated. ODDs are based on the following equation:

W = The sum of money wagered on a particular team in a particular event

D = The sum of money wagered on the opposite team in a particular event

L = The amount of money wagered on the team listed first in the betting slip

O = The amount of money wagered on the opposite team listed first in the betting slip

So, based on the above, we have:

W + D = Total wager

W – D = Net wager

L + O = Home team profit

L – O = Away team profit

What this means is that when a sportsbook opens, they will have 2 sides (home and away) of 20 win / 20 loss bets that they need to cover. For example, if a bettor wagers \$100 on the Patriots and the Broncos and the Patriots win the bet, the sportsbook will have to pay the bettor \$100 (plus commission). The sportsbook will also have to pay the bookmaker \$100 (plus commission) since they are the ones that the bettor wagered with. This is why the total amount of money wagered (W) always has to be a multiple of four, as there are 4 ways that money can change hands:

## Odds Are In Favor Of The Bookmaker

If you bet on sports regularly, you will notice that the odds are always stacked in favor of the bookmaker (or casino). This is because the bookmaker has an edge over the individual bettor. If you are losing consistently at the casino, it’s probably time for you to head for the comfort of your home. There are ways that you can even things up a little bit by using the leverage that the internet provides, but in the end, the advantage will always be with the house.

## Why Are The Odds Stacked In Favor Of The Bookmaker?

Here’s where things get a little bit complicated, so bear with me. When a sportsbook opens, they will have 20 win / 20 loss bets that they need to cover. To meet this margin requirement, the bookmaker will generally have to make large wagers on NBA and NCAA games since the odds of winning in these sports are very low. If they don’t make these wagers, they will be at a disadvantage compared to the individual bettor, who will win more often than not. Another important factor is that the sportsbook offers lines on every game, so the more games that they wager on, the more likely it is that they will be able to meet their margin requirements. As we discussed above, the advantage is with the house, so if you’re looking to get even, placing big bets is probably a bad idea since you’ll have to win big in order to make it worth your while. In the grand scheme of things, the bookmaker probably sees individual sports betting as a bit of a cash cow, and they aren’t afraid to exploit it.

## How Do Bookmakers Make Money?

There are a variety of ways that bookmakers make their money, but the most common one is via credit card fees. When a bettor uses their credit card to make a wager, they are hit with several fees, including a fee from the credit card company and a fee from the bookmaker. These fees can add up quickly, especially if you’re hitting them every week, so if you’re looking to reduce your financial stress, it might be a good idea to avoid using your credit cards for sports betting. There are other ways that the bookmaker can make money as well, such as taking a cut of wagers placed on their site, or taking a commission on each bet they lay off (this is called the juice), but these are much more complicated topics that you might want to research on your own initiative. For the purposes of this article, we will assume that you are aware of the risks associated with sports betting and are willing to accept them, since the point is to have an understanding of what odds mean and how they work, and as we’ve established above, odds favor the bookmaker.

## What Does ‘Handicapped’ Mean In Sports Betting?

If an event has ‘handicapped’ enabled, then gamblers with disabilities can place wagers on that game. Some handicapped sportsbooks will actually give you an edge by compensating you for any disabilities that you might have. There are also some states, like Nevada, that have special laws that allow people with disabilities to participate in sports betting, so if you’re in Nevada and you qualify as handicapped, you’ll be able to place some winning wagers. The important thing to keep in mind is that if you’re looking to place a wager on a game with ‘handicapped’ enabled, then you might want to make sure that the sportsbook you are placing your bet with is actually a signatory to the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) Accessibility Code of Ethics and Safer Internet Policy.

## Odds Mean One Thing

While odds can mean many different things to many different people, they usually carry with them a specific connotation that is associated with sports betting. When someone says that they have a ‘plus-on-plus’ (or ‘plus-on-minus’) bet with a bookmaker, for example, they are usually referring to a wager in which they have placed a bet on one team and the bookmaker has matched or overturned the wager. In the world of sports betting, these types of bets are considered neither odd nor even, but they can be used to predict the outcome of a game if both teams are of equal strength. Be sure to check the rules of any given game before placing a wager, as this can vary from sport to sport. For instance, in American Football, it is against the rules to bet on your own team. This is different from most other sports, where it is generally acceptable to do so. If you want to learn more, many books and articles on this subject are available online, and none of them will teach you more than you need to know to have a good time.