Player's Edge | Sports Betting

SPORTS BETTING

In sports betting, a favorite is the team expected to win, while the underdog is expected to lose.

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Sports betting involves more than just picking the winner, because sportsbooks’ odds are set to deliver fair bets on either side of an event.

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You often see -110 next to the point spread for a game. These numbers are the payoff odds. They mean you need to wager $110 to be paid $100 for a win.

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Quite simply, the sportsbook pays off winning bets at less than 1 to 1.

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Odds makers set the odds for bookmaking firms. The odds they set must reflect how likely any particular outcome is as accurately as possible.

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Moneyline betting is wagering on a contest based on a proposed price rather than on a point spread. You are betting on who wins the game outright, at an adjusted cost—the moneyline odds.

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Over/Under betting is trying to predict if the combined score of both teams playing will either be OVER or UNDER the number set by the odds makers.

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Sports betting is legal now in more than two dozen states, and more are likely coming. Some require in-person betting, while others allow online bets if the bet is placed from somewhere inside the state.

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If you’re in a sportsbook, look at the odds board. There you will find all the information you’ll need to make your decision. Factor in either the point spread or the moneyline odds to calculate your wager. Once you’ve done your research and made your decision, go to the counter and place your bet with the teller. The process online is very similar—except electronic.

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A parlay bet is a single wager that combines bets on two or more events or elements of a game. Parlays can include bets on point spreads, moneyline bets, over/under and more. Offering a larger payout than a single bet picking one team to win, each segment of the parlay bet must win for that payout to happen.

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Line movement occurs when the odds or the point spread for a bet change leading up to the game. Line moves usually happen when more money is being bet on one side than the other.

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Line movement can help you decide which side you want to bet on. Look at the odds offered by different sportsbooks, and select your bet based on the one offering the best odds to win for the side of the bet you have chosen.

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Sometimes, line movements can create situations that favor an astute bettor. For example, if you are able to bet both sides in an outcome with two distinct wagers based on separate odds for each, you have a chance to win on either side, plus a chance to win on both sides should the game outcome fall within the point spread range the line movement created.

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Follow the sports you love closely, evaluate the odds being offered by the sportsbook, shop for the best line odds you can find, and keep good records so you can see in black and white how you are really doing. But most important of all, realize that sports betting is just another form of entertainment, win or lose.

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