What Does ‘Minimum Odds of -110’ Mean in Sports Betting?

When you place a wager on a baseball game, your initial instinct might be to check the spreads or lines, or maybe even the over/under scores, but there’s a chance you’re going to lose money if you do. The odds makers at the sportsbooks know this and use it to their advantage, setting minimum odds that suckers like you won’t be able to resist.

Why Are They Doing This?

It’s all about management bias, or the perception of bias, when it comes to sports betting. The public thinks that sportsbooks are picking favorites, so they’ll either lay down the points or odds, knowing that they’ll probably come back and cover the spread or the over/under. For instance, the Texas Rangers are 3.5-point underdogs at home against the Baltimore Orioles in the first game of a doubleheader on July 11th. The Rangers’ odds to win are 8/11, and the over/under is 3. So if you were to bet \$11 on the Rangers, you’d lose \$9 since the over/under is less than your wager. In this case, you’d only make \$2 since the spread is 3 points.

How Do I Play It Safe?

The key to making money when betting on sports is to keep your wagers small. A common mistake is trying to time the market when there’s a lot of action, thinking that you can make a lot of money if you guess right. Timing the market isn’t important, as much as calculating the odds and knowing when to get out is. Small bets yield high profits because there’s less of a chance that the bookmakers will cancel your bet due to large fluctuations in the market. It also means that your money is more likely to stay in the game since there’s less of a chance that it will be washed out due to a large wager.

More On The Math

Let’s assume that your doubleheader wager is \$11 and the over/under is 3. If the O/U does not hit, you win \$2. However, if it does hit, you win \$18 since the spread is 3 points. Since there are two possible outcomes (win or lose), the winnings from the O/U are dividable by two if you bet \$11 on two teams, or \$22 if you bet \$22 on the two teams. You lose \$9 on a doubleheader wager if the O/U does not hit, so you’re down \$17 for the day. On the other hand, if it does hit, you’re still ahead since you started with a \$11 wager and ended up with a \$22 win.