Most people who enjoy sports betting will tell you that one of the most frustrating aspects of the game is dealing with the erratic behavior of the odds makers. They’ll either try to up-end your bankroll with fake lines or they’ll just plain beat you. The worst thing that can happen to a gambler is for the odds to remain the same as the line moves. That’s when you know the odds makers are doing their job, because it means the line is moving in your favor. When that happens you can feel pretty confident about placing another wager.
As a sports fan you’ll often find yourself in situations where you’re forced to choose between betting on the favourite or the underdog. The smart money tends to gravitate towards the latter, but if you want to bet on the former you’re often faced with a dilemma. When that happens it’s best to walk away, but you won’t do that if you want to keep winning. That’s why it’s important to have knowledge of what “final minus” means on betting number boards.
What Is “Final Minus” On A Betting Number Board?
It means the odds have been adjusted to make the total amount of wagers on the game more balanced. The theory behind the number is that if you divide the amount wagered on the underdog by the total number of bets then you’ll have an accurate reading of the true state of affairs in the betting ring.
You might also hear it referred to as “the juice”. The reason for that is because that’s how the odds makers describe it. But, for the purposes of this article, we’ll use the phrase “final minus” to mean what is “final minus” on a betting number board.
Why Are The Odds Marked Down For The Favorite?
The favorite is the team or the player that you think is going to win the game. You’ve probably seen the favorite marked with a red “+” or a green “-” in the middle of the board, and maybe even seen it listed first on a Toto betting odds board.
It should come as no great surprise that the favorite’s odds are generally marked down. After all, it’s been shown over and over again that the public is suckers for the favorite in any kind of betting scenario. We’re a betting nation and fans will always prefer to bet on the team they know is going to win – even if that team is supposed to be an underdog. It simply comes down to public opinion and wanting to keep the money in-house. So, the odds makers are trying to even the odds and make money off the bettors who’ve already made a wager. They don’t want to risk losing money by giving the favorite too much of an advantage.
What Is The Underdog’s Appeal?
An underdog is the team or the player that you think is the least likely to win the game. You’ll often see the underdog marked with a yellow “+” or a blue “-” in the middle of the board, and maybe even seen it listed first on a Toto betting odds board.
The appeal of the underdog is that it is supposed to be an “unfair” win. After all, the favorite has all the advantage. There’s no team sheet, so the official scorekeeper hasn’t had the chance to make it fair by adjusting the points for each team. That’s why the odds are usually marked down for the underdog. The theory behind the number is that if you divide the amount wagered on the underdog by the total number of bets then you’ll have an accurate reading of the true state of affairs in the betting ring.
When Do The Odds Start Changing?
The line changes when there’s a significant movement in the amount of wagers towards one team or one side of the bet. For example, let’s say you’re playing the Superbowl and the point spreads have been set to 3. You’ll notice that the total amount of wagers is split about evenly between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks. There hasn’t been a whole lot of movement in the betting, so the line hasn’t changed a lot, but the oddsmakers know that the betting is about to pick up and they want to adjust the lines to reflect that. When that happens you’ll see the numbers “trend” or “move”, depending on which direction they’re headed – this is called “line movement”.
How Does This Work In Practice?
Let’s use the 2004 Superbowl as an example. The total amount of wagers was about equal between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks, and the betting lines were set at −110 and +110, respectively. At the halfway point in the fourth quarter, the total amount of wagers was 64,400, and the betting lines had “trended” towards the Patriots. The final score was New England Patriots 24, Seattle Seahawks 16. The result was a definite beat down for the underdogs – and a nice bonus for the bettors who’d seen the Patriots and Seahawks fight tooth and nail to a draw in the first half.
It’s important to note that when the line moves in the opposite direction it doesn’t always mean the bettors will win. It just means the odds have been adjusted to keep the betting in balance. For example, the Chicago Cubs were favored to win the World Series by 7.5 points and received a line of +125. After the Atlanta Braves won the Series, the Cubs had to pay off +175 to get their money back. This is why it’s important to track the movements of the line, rather than always focus on whether the underdog is going to win or lose the game.
The Bottom Line
It’s important to keep in mind that the line doesn’t always have to move in the same direction as the odds. After all, sometimes underdogs win and sometimes favorites win. The key is in keeping track of the overall trend, rather than getting too focused on whether the team you support is going to win or lose the game. That’s the difference between “hard” and “soft” lines, and which one you should use depends on what kind of betting scenario you find yourself in.