# What Does -1.5 Mean in Betting?

A common question amongst bettors is “what does -1.5 mean in betting”? To put it simply, the -1.5 stands for “margined”, meaning that the bookmaker has taken out a small amount of money from your winnings to cover the cost of the bet. This is most often seen with bets placed at the +1.5 level of betting, that is, bets where you win 1.5 times the amount of the bet. The 1.5 makes up for the fact that the bookmaker has to pay out slightly higher than normal to keep their books balanced. The -1.5 is sometimes also referred to as a “vig” or “vig amount”.

## Most Commonly Seen Margined Amounts

Bettors are frequently surprised to learn that there is more than one meaning to the -1.5 mark. One of the most common situations where this occurs is when a bettor wins on a point-spread bet. In a point-spread bet, you are taking on the point-spread in order to win, so if you win you will win by the amount of the spread, plus the amount you risked. For instance, if the favorite bettor is +1 and the underdog is -1.5, the bettor wins (1x+1.5x=-1.5x) and gains \$1.50 in winnings. However, the bookmaker also makes a profit of \$1.50 on this bet, as they took out a \$1.50 “vig” in order to meet the agreed-upon line. Another common scenario where this occurs is in the case of a three-team bet in which two of the teams are 1 point apart. For example, if Team A is -1 and Team B is +1, the bookmaker will be on the wrong end of a \$1.67 “vig” in this case.

## What Is The Difference Between The Marginated Amount And Vig?

As mentioned above, the -1.5 in betting is sometimes also referred to as a “vig”. In fact, the two are often used interchangeably by bettors. But, there is a key difference between the two. A “vig” in gambling is typically used to cover the cost of a variety of bets placed by a single person. A bookmaker may take out a \$1.50 vig on a basketball bet, a \$25 vig on a baseball game, and a \$5 vig on a horse race, all by the same person. The term “vig” is also used in the context of poker, where a player is colloquially known as a “vig maker” because of the constant raise of the \$1.50 that has to be done at the +1.5 level of play.

However, when referring to the amount taken out of a bet for purposes of covering the cost of the bet, the -1.5 is almost always used. For example, if a basketball bet costs \$5 to make, but the bookmaker takes out a \$1.50 vig, the cost of the bet is only \$4. The \$1.50 is referred to as the “marginated amount” of the bet.

## When Do You Play Against The Bookmaker’s Vig?

When a bettor wins, they normally have a “vacation” from the bookmaker’s vig where they can withdraw their earnings and place another bet. However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, a bettor will choose to keep the vig despite winning, since this is the only real way to make sure they get their money back if they do happen to lose. This is why it’s always a good idea to check with the sportsbook before placing a bet, just to make sure the bookmaker hasn’t raised the vig for the day or week.

## What Is A Push?

When you place a bet in which you are “pushing” or “running” the line, you are doing so because the odds are against you. In the case of a football push, you might be placing a \$100 bet on the Giants to cover the point-spread (NYG -2), or the Patriots to win the Super Bowl (NE +4.5). In a push, you are essentially taking on more than you can afford to lose, and the bookmaker makes money off you because of this risk-taking behavior. When betting pushes, you will almost always see the -1.5 or 1.5 on the winning side of the bet, as the bookmaker has to take out a small amount of money in order to keep up with the agreed-upon line.

## When Do You Play On The Favorite Side?

When you are betting on the favorite side of an event, you are essentially trusting that the team you have chosen will win. If you bet on the New York Yankees in the World Series and they lose, you would lose \$100. In these cases, you would also lose your \$100 bet on the Red Sox because they are the “underdog” in the matchup. In the world of sports betting, the favorite team almost always wins, so this is a safe side for betting.

## Why Bet On The Underdog?

This is generally the opposite case from the above, but the important thing to keep in mind is that you are betting on the “underdog” because they are considered to be “chessy” or “mean”. This is typically done in the NFL and NBA, where if the spread is in the neighborhood of ten points, the underdog is almost always the team you should support in order to win. This is because if the spread is closer, the team you support will almost certainly win, but if it’s far enough out, the underdog will “predictably” win because they are usually the better team.

## What Is An Overlay?

An overlay is when a bookmaker takes a small percentage of the total amount wagered by people betting on a specific game, event, or sporting activity. This is most often done in the form of a commission or fee charged by the bookmaker if you make a bet and your team loses. In the case of an NFL football overlay, the bookmaker may charge a 5% commission on all tickets between \$2.50 and \$7. Depending on the sportsbook, there may be additional fees such as hotel and airline accommodations, or a release fee if you decide to withdraw your winnings after the game.

## What Is A Parlay?

A parlay is when you combine two or more bets into one bet. For example, if you have NFL football tickets totaling \$80, and you also have a \$20 parlay for the Giants and Patriots, you would be betting on the outcome of both games in one bet. The parlay is essentially two or more bets combined into one, and this is why you will see so many two-team and three-team parlays in sports betting. If both teams in a parlay win, the bettor will earn a total of \$100, but if either team loses, the bettor loses his entire wager. Combining multiple bets into one is a risky strategy, but when done right, it can be lucrative. The key to a successful parlay is making sure that the lineups for all of the games are compatible; that is, you can’t combine, say, the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots into one bet because the two teams don’t play each other.

## How Is A Margine Different From A Vig?

While there is a lot of overlap in the definition of the -1.5 mark in betting, it is important to understand that they are not the same thing. A “vig” is a betting term used when a bookmaker has to take out a small amount of money from a large wager in order to stay in business. A bookmaker takes out a \$1.50 vig on a \$100 basketball bet, a \$25 vig on a \$100 baseball bet, and a \$5 vig on a \$100 horse race, all by the same person. A “margined amount” is the amount which a bookmaker takes out of a wager for purposes of covering the cost of that wager. In the above examples, the \$1.50 and \$25 are the margined amounts, not the vigs.