If you are very new to online sports books, or to sports betting in general, there are a few things that you should know. The basic kind of bet that we all make with friends is not quite as specific as the kind of betting that you’ll find in a professional sports book.
- You’ve heard the terms “underdog” and “favorite“. If not, or if you’ve wondered what exactly they mean, it’s simple: the favorite is expected to win, and the underdog is expected to lose. Nothing is certain, but many things are predictable.
For example, sometimes a team is an underdog because they really have no chance of winning, and sometimes they’re just less likely to win. That’s where “odds” come in. A team who is obviously a bunch of proven losers doesn’t get good odds to beat anyone, but they have even worse odds against the team that looks good enough to go all the way this season.
Oh, by the way: plenty of sports books use “the odds” and “the line” interchangeably. They mean the same thing, so don’t get confused when you go to check the odds and all you can see is the line.
- Typically, there will be two kinds of bets on a game of basketball; the point spread and the money line.
The Moneyline tells you how much you need to bet to win a certain amount, usually $100. The moneyline shows up as a plus or minus number (the minus for the favorite and the plus for the underdog). So when you see a moneyline bet, it will generally look something like this: Lobos Grises UAD -180, Fuerza Regia +140. This means that you need to bet $180 on Lobos Grises just to win $100, but a $100 bet on Fuerza Regia will get you $140 because they are less likely to win.
Note that the winnings are added to the amount you bet (so in the above examples, a total of $280 if you bet on Lobos Grises and $240 if you bet on Fuerza Regia…in both cases, if you lose, you get nothing, but you probably knew that already!)
(if you’re already overwhelmed, take some time off and plays some free no download slots to unwind. This will all be here until you get back!)
The Point Spread is just slightly trickier; it tells you how much the team needs to win by for you to collect. So the number itself will always be the same, but the favorite will still be negative and the underdog positive. There will also be odds like the moneyline, so a point spread bet will look like Lobos Grises UAD -3 1/2 -125, Fuerza Regia +3 1/2 -115. This tells you that Lobos Grises has to win by 4 or more points for a $125 bet on them to win you $100. If they win by less, or Fuerza Regia wins, then a $115 bet will get you $100. The half point is just there to make sure there is no chance of a tie.
By the way: odds can also be even (you’ll usually see EV instead of the number) which of course means that you stand to win exactly the amount that you bet.
- There are a few other possible wagers for basketball: