What Does the Betting Line Mean?

When people think of sports betting, images of long odds commonly come to mind. Those big, flashing betting lines that seem to go on forever, tempting you to place a bet on the favorite every time the odds change direction. You know the kind of betting lines I mean – the longer the odds, the more exciting the bet becomes, right?

More and more people are realizing the joys of smart sports betting. The odds may be longer than ever before, but that doesn’t mean they have to be overwhelming. In this article, you’ll learn all about the many types of betting lines you might encounter as a sports bettor, along with the important differences between them.

The Classic Odds

Most people think of odds when it comes to sports betting, but they’re actually referring to the price at which a bookmaker will sell you a particular wager. The classic odds are simply the odds that the bookmaker gives you, which is what you’ll find listed in almost all places where you’ll place a wager on a sporting event. For instance, a bookmaker might offer +1000 odds on the Boston Red Sox to win the World Series. That means you have to wage (put up) $10 to win $1000 from someone else’s money (your own bankroll).

As you might imagine, the longer the odds, the more you have to wager to feel comfortable. It’s all about the math, really. The longer the odds, the more the bookmaker can collect. If you’re playing on the house’s money, there’s no risk to them, so they can afford to be extremely generous with those kinds of odds. Unfortunately, that also makes it more difficult for you, the bettor, to win. If you’re used to playing on the kinds of odds common in traditional bookmaking, you might find it hard to adjust to the much shorter – but potentially much more lucrative – odds you’ll find online.

More Than Meets The Eye

Even if you’re a seasoned sports bettor, you’ll still be surprised by how quickly you learn new things about betting lines, and how much you don’t know. Just a few paragraphs into this article, and I’m already digressing from the original topic. Oops.

One of the most important things you need to know about betting lines is that there is more than one type of line out there. Some bookmakers will give you what’s known as an implied line, which is essentially the same as the classic odds – the price at which they’ll take your bet – except that it also takes into account any implied (or stated) odds the sport provides. For example, the New England Patriots may be a -3.5 favorite to win the upcoming NFL season, which means you have to wager $3.50 to win $500. So, in this case, the implied line is actually the same as the classic odds because the Patriots’ -3.5 odds are already taken into account. There’s also what’s known as a parlay line, which means you combine several different sports events to make a single wager. For example, if you think the Red Sox will beat the Atlanta Braves in the World Series this year, you could combine that with a wager on the Super Bowl to create a parlay line where you win $1000 if your teams win the big four sports (baseball, football, basketball, and hockey). There are also teaser lines, which are similar to parlay lines, except that they only apply to certain events, such as the Super Bowl or the Masters, so you have to wager quickly or else lose your money. Finally, there’s what’s known as a select bet, which is similar to a parlay line, but you have to choose the teams and the odds yourself, and you don’t get to combine different sports events into one wager. For example, you might be able to get +120 in the World Series and +140 in the NBA Finals, but you’d have to place separate bets for each.

As you might imagine, finding the right betting line for the right situation is essential to winning at sports betting. The longer the odds, the more you have to risk to feel like you’re winning. But just because the odds are long doesn’t mean you have to take on the entire bankroll. In most cases, you can’t help but lose money as a sports bettor, but if you keep things in perspective and take the right approach, you can still enjoy the game and make some money along the way.

When It Comes To Money Management

One of the greatest things about online betting is that it provides you with the opportunity to manage your money more effectively than ever before. Most sportsbooks allow you to set up automatic payments, so you don’t have to worry about running out of money if you win or lose. They also provide tools to help you track your spending and get a better idea of how you’re doing financially. Most importantly, though, is that you don’t have to worry about risking your own money. With online betting, the house – or the entity that owns the sportsbook – takes on all the risk, so you essentially have nothing to lose. As you might imagine, that makes it a whole lot easier to win. Plus, there’s always the opportunity to earn more money, since you can’t lose anything on the house.

Final Takeaway

Betting lines are complicated, but they’re not that complicated. As a first-time bettor, it’s easy to get confused by the seemingly endless amount of information available online, but with a little bit of research, you’ll easily find everything you need. Even then, it’s important to remember that the odds might be longer than you’re used to playing with, but that doesn’t mean they have to be overwhelming. Most importantly, though, is that you have to keep in mind that there’s more than one type of line, and in most cases, the longer the odds, the more you have to risk to feel like you’re winning – just like the classic odds, really.