What Does “Negative” Mean in Vegas Betting?

When you place a bet on sports in Las Vegas, there are a few words you probably hear a lot: win, lose, pick, bet, favorite, underdog. But there is one other word that you should know about: negative.

What does negative mean in Vegas and should you ever consider it as a possibility when making a wager? Let’s examine the concept of betting odds and how they work, and why you might want to consider placing a wager in the opposite direction to what is widely accepted.

The Basics Of Betting

To place a bet in Las Vegas, you will usually need to have money in the first place. You can usually bet with credit cards, but you will have to check out with a cashier before the end of the day. In most casinos, you will also need to make a separate deposit for each bet you place, often requiring multiple bank accounts. When playing with house money, as in Texas Hold’em, you must understand the concept of risk. In sports betting, especially in Nevada, you need to be aware of the negative consequences of your actions.

Before placing your first wager, you should learn how betting works and the basic odds involved. In the simplest terms, when you bet on a team or an event, you are agreeing to take on some degree of risk in order to achieve a potential payout. When another bettor wins, you have gained either money or credit, depending on whether you wagered on the winning team or individual. When you lose, you have lost what you risked, although in some cases you might win money back from your bets in accordance with the rules of the game. When you lose a lot of money in the long term, you can become insolvent, and in some cases even go to jail. This is why you should avoid severe risks when playing with money you cannot afford to lose.

Odds Basics 

When you walk into a Las Vegas casino, the most prominent sign you will likely see is the odds board, which lists the current odds for numerous sporting events.

The board will usually have rows of numbers representing the betting lines for sports teams and even individual athletes. A few examples:

  • New York Yankees vs Cleveland Indians
  • Philadelphia Eagles vs Atlanta Falcons
  • San Francisco 49ers vs Green Bay Packers
  • Dallas Cowboys vs Washington Redskins
  • Denver Broncos vs Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Chicago Bears vs Detroit Lions
  • Baltimore Ravens vs Cleveland Browns
  • Miami Dolphins vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Minnesota Vikings vs Los Angeles Rams
  • Kansas City Chiefs vs Indianapolis Colts

As a rule of thumb, you can usually assume that the longer the event has not yet begun, the longer the betting lines will be postponed. Once a game has started, the lines will start shifting rapidly to favor either team or individual. The reason: spectators are more likely to back their teams or favorites during the game, meaning the lines will move with more urgency to reflect that fact. You can also expect lines to move in the opposite direction from the final score—the more the game is close, the more the lines will move in that direction. For example, if the 49ers win by a score of 17-16, the odds will shift in favor of the 49ers due to the large number of people who backed them in the first place.

Why You Might Want To Place A Reverse Bet

The concept of betting odds is straightforward, but there are times when you might want to consider placing a wager in the opposite direction to what is widely accepted. In certain situations, you can make money by doing this, provided you are aware of certain factors.

For example, if you follow the NFL closely and have tickets to many of the games, you might want to consider making a wager on the underdog. Why? A large number of people will put their money on the underdog, which means the sportsbooks will have to offer those bets at a greater degree of discount when compared to the usual way forward bets. You will have an opportunity to make money if the public is underestimating your chosen team. Another example would be to bet on a team that is highly favored to win. If you do this often enough, the bookmakers may eventually start taking you seriously and give you better odds on your other wagers. This is largely because your success will make them believe that you know what you are doing, and thus they will have to adjust their algorithms to accommodate you. Always remember: in the long term, statistics and analysis will always win over emotional decisions. If you can prove that a particular team or individual is better than expected based on the rules of the game, you may be able to profit from the situation. There are examples of this all over the place in the news nowadays, so keep your eyes open.

What does negative mean in Vegas betting? Be sure to keep reading so you don’t get scammed. The longer you play, the more you will learn.