What Does the Negative Mean in Sports Betting?

For those who are new to sports betting, the term “negative” can appear to be positive when dealing with winning streaks or team performances. However, when viewing sports betting from a financial perspective, the term “negative” usually represents an economic loss.

Depending on the sport and the circumstances, a “negative” outcome can mean one of three things:

The Score Was Higher Than Expected

When betting on the NBA, one should always expect the score to be high. After all, fans tune in to see their favorite teams play and the games are usually close. The same rule applies to baseball, where exciting games draw large crowds and the scores usually stay high. Other sports, such as football and hockey, usually end in blowouts, with much higher scores than anticipated. So, if there is no other way to put it, the score usually indicates how the betting public expected the game to play out and, in most instances, the outcome was worse than anticipated.

One notable exception is when a team with a losing record faces off against a team with a losing record. In these types of situations, the betting public often expects the game to be close and, therefore, scores are usually low. However, due to the opposite-of-usual circumstances, the scores may end up being higher than expected due to home court advantage and/or momentum.

The Team You Bet On Wasn’t As Good As Pre-Betting Trends Indicated

Some sports bettors look at betting lines and try to apply the over-under formulas to the spreads used by bookmakers. They try to determine how good a given team is by looking at the spread and whether or not it makes sense to “back’ the team they are betting on. In many instances, this method can lead to misjudgment and, sometimes, losing money. This is mainly due to the fact that pre-game betting trends can be unreliable indicators of how well a given team will perform on the field or how far they will advance in the playoffs or the World Series.

For instance, say you are watching the New England Patriots and you decide to back them because the betting public is favoring them. If they go on a winning streak and make it to the Super Bowl and beat the Atlanta Falcons, your initial investment of $100 might be worth $200 or even $300. However, if the Falcons beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl, your investment might only be worth $100. In this case, you would have lost money by backing the Patriots.

To avoid this type of risk, some people stay away from following pre-game trends and instead focus on how a team has performed in the past. However, due to the high degree of uncertainty that comes with predicting future performance, many bettors prefer to follow the trends. This often results in them over-valuing a given team and, in many cases, leading to losing money.

The Team You Bet On Suffered A Setback That Placed It On The “Negative” Side Of The Balance Sheet

A “setback” in sports can be defined as something that causes a team to take a turn for the worse. The same goes for a “setback” in business. For example, Amazon.com had a rough year in 2017 and its stock price fell by nearly 50 percent. However, since many people think that Amazon is a “genius at predicting the future,” the stock price has mostly bounced back. This is mostly due to the “setback” that the company experienced in the fourth quarter of 2017. In this case, the market failed to recognize that Amazon is not as infallible as they seem and their stock price reflected this fact. In other words, it is never a good idea to bet against a team that has recently had a setback.

When a team gets stuck on the “negative” side of the balance sheet, it typically means that their revenue is lower than what they spent, their expenses are higher than what they took in, and/or their investors are wondering where all the money went.

What Should You Do Instead?

The general rule is to always prefer odd teams and, in many cases, this can translate into making money. After all, if you are investing your hard-earned money in sports betting, you might want to try to minimize the risk as much as possible. When that happens, it usually means that the odd team you picked is performing either much better or much worse than expected. In most of these cases, it is usually preferable to stay away from betting on the underdogs because they have much higher odds of winning than expected. Furthermore, since the odds are usually in your favor, this often translates into bigger payoffs. In some instances, the risk is worth it. For example, say you see that the Atlanta Falcons are playing the New England Patriots. In this case, if you are looking for a quick $100, it might be a good idea to “hedge your bets”, so to speak, and bet on the Patriots. Due to all the uncertainty that comes with backing the underdog, this might not be the wisest of moves. However, if the market is saying that the Patriots are a sure thing to win and they go on an impressive winning streak, your investment in Atlanta might be worth more than the $100 you originally put down. This is why it is usually a good idea to avoid the underdogs and go with the favorites. However, in some cases, this might not be the wisest of moves either. In these instances, you might want to take a quick look at the betting lines and pre-game trends before making a decision. Due to the fact that there is so much uncertainty involved with sports betting, many people try to put money down on “win”, “losses’, and “draws”, with the expectation that they will be able to find value in one of these categories. In most cases, this will lead to them ending up winning money. However, in some cases, it might just be a good idea to walk away.