When you place a wager on a sporting event, odds are you’re going to see a bunch of numbers and symbols in front of you. You might be seeing percentages, too, especially if you’re watching a game that’s spread over two or more states. For example, you might see 50% for the spread in the third quarter. This is most likely a percentage of the total bet that’s been placed on the game during that frame.
What exactly do those numbers and symbols mean? Let’s take a look.
Odds And Evens (1-to-5)
Most of us are familiar with odds. When you place a wager on a horse race, you’re most likely going to be presented with odds of winning or losing the race. These are simply sets of probabilities, meaning the likelihood of an event occurring.
Evens are a bit more complex when it comes to sports betting, but they can be applied in a similar fashion. Instead of talking about winning or losing, odds and evens are used to express the amount of money you’ll need to wager in order to win the bet. So, if you wager $100 on a horse race and the odds are 2-to-1, then you’ll need to wager $200 to win $100. This is known as taking evens.
For example, if you’ve got $100 to spend on a pool bet and you need to win $200 to make the same investment return, you might decide to take a chance on the underdog. You might also look at the favorites if the sports betting lines are clearly against you.
Odds And Odds (1-to-6)
If you’ve got enough money to wager on several sports events, you’ll very likely come across odds and odds. These are sets of probabilities that express how much you’ll need to wager in order to win. It’s akin to taking evens, but on a per-play basis. A six-to-one shot is offered at $100 to win $600. So, you’d need to wager $600 to win $100.
For example, if you’ve got $100 to wager on a NFL game and the odds are 6-to-1, you’ll need to wager $600 otherwise you won’t recoup your investment. This is why you should always check the betting lines before placing a wager. You can see a full breakdown of betting lines and their meaning here – it’s pretty self-explanatory.
There are a number of other odds that you’ll see when betting, but they don’t necessarily mean what you think they mean. One of the main reasons behind this is that bookmakers will frequently times apply restrictions and limitations on certain wagers, depending on the time of day and location of the event. You’ll need to look out for these if you wager overseas.
There are also times when a bookmaker might cut off certain odds, meaning you’ll never be able to get them. This is why it’s important to constantly check the betting lines when making a wager. If you see an odd that you want to place a wager on but it’s not available, it’s usually a good idea to wait until it is.
There are also times when certain groups of odds will change or become unavailable, simply because the sportsbook doesn’t want to take the risk of running out of money. In these situations, it’s vital to know when the odds you’re looking at are no longer current.
Straight Up And Against The Spread
If you’re new to sports betting, you might come across the terms straight up and against the spread. The odds offered for a particular game will either be ‘straight up’ or ‘against the spread’. If you’re looking for a simple explanation, think of it this way: if you’re betting straight up, you’re either taking the odds or putting down the spread. If you’re betting against the spread, you’re trying to win money by betting on the favorites rather than taking the odds. So, if you want to bet on the Lakers against the Celtics in the NBA Finals, you’ll likely find ‘against the spread’ odds of -160 (Celtics are -160 favorites to win) or +140 (Lakers are 140 favorites to win).
If you’ve got enough money to take a chance on several games, you might see something like this in front of you: