Sports Betting Explained in our Betting 101 Course.

Sports Betting Explained

Sports Betting Explained- For beginning sports bettors, the odds that are listed at an online sportsbook can be confusing.

In reality, the basic concepts aren’t too difficult to understand and grasp. After a short duration of time, novice bettors can have no problem reading the various odds and lines at a sportsbook.

Our tutorial will help you to quickly ramp up to common sportsbook verbiage.

The Basics of Sports Odds

The odds for a typical football or basketball game will usually contain several common elements. Here is an example of how the odds for a football game might appear at an online sportsbook:

7 P.M. E.S.T.
301 Team A +4 (-110) +170
41 302 Team B -4 (-110) -200

For a standard day of action in either sport, the schedule will be listed in the order of the original start times of the contest.

Most sportsbooks will go by either Eastern or Pacific time zones when listing a lineup of games. If there has been a time change, this will usually be reflected.

Next to the start times, the two teams that are involved in a particular game will be listed. In the listing, the visiting team will be outlined above the home squad.

Next to each club, the bettor will notice that there is a number listed. These betting numbers are usually three-digit figures. At an online sportsbook, these betting numbers can be easily calculated and read by the bookmaker’s computer program.

To the right of each team, a point spread number will be listed. The favored team will have a minus figure while the underdog club will have a plus number.

To understand this process, the bettor must simply add or subtract the point spread number from the team that is wagered on. If the bettor places a wager on a team that is favored by four points, he must deduct four points from the amount that his choice scores in the contest.

After the four points are subtracted, the favored squad still must have more points than the other team for the bettor to cash in.

To be more direct, the favored team must win the contest by at least five points. When backing the underdog squad in this scenario, the same concepts are applied with points being added instead of subtracted.

Next to each point spread, the bettor will also notice another number. Most of the time, both of these figures will be listed as -110.

This particular number is the vigorish or juice that a bettor must lay when making a wager. If the standard ten percent vigorish is listed, the bettor must risk $110 to win $100.

For some football lines, the vigorish number might actually be listed a little higher than -110 for one of the particular sides.

Instead of moving the spread by a half or full point, the bookmaker will list a team that is drawing more action at -120.

When this occurs, the bettor must wager $120 to win $100. As one side is listed at -120, the opposing club will be shown at +100.

When the bettor sees this number, it is an even wager. At +100, the bettor can win $100 by wagering $100.

Money Line Odds

Sports Betting Explained

In addition to the point spread, the bettor will see another set of plus and minus numbers for each team. In the above example, there is a -200 for Team B and a +170 for Team A.

These two figures are the money line odds in the game. A money line or straight up wager involves no points. With this type of wager, the bettor is simply picking a team to win.

To determine the appropriate money line for each squad, there is a standard point spread conversion chart that bookmakers can reference.

In the example, the bettor would have to wager $200 on Team B to win $100. For a Team A wager, a $100 bet would yield $170.

Over / Under

Finally, there is the total or over/under figure for the game. In the above example, the number of 41 is the total.

The bettor can either place a wager that the two clubs involved in the game will combine to score 42 or more points (over) or that the contest will yield 40 or less combined points (under).

Like point spread bets, most total wagers have a vigorish of -110 for either the over or under option.

The above example contains the main elements that are associated with the odds for a football or basketball matchup. The third most popular betting sport has some listings that are a little unique.

Here is an example of how a typical baseball game might be listed at a sportsbook:

7 P.M. E.S.T.
401 Team C (Smith) +120 +1.5 (-200)
9 402 Team D (Jones) -140 -1.5 (+170)

For a baseball line, there is not a point spread. The main odds are money lines. Because of the importance of starting hurlers in baseball, each club’s pitcher will be listed in the odds.

Next to the money line odds, the bettor will notice that the number 1.5 is listed next to each team. This figure is known as the run line. With the run line, the bettor has another option to choose besides the money line.

For run line bets, the favored team will be listed at -1.5 runs while the underdog will be indicated at +1.5 runs.

In the above example, the +170 figure for Team D is the price attached to the run line.

For a Team D run line wager to be successful, the bettor will need the club to win the game by at least two runs. Once again, there is a standard conversion chart that is used to convert the money line odds into the appropriate run line prices.

Sports betting explained. Betting on sports is as old as organized sports and in this course, we will cover the following topics on sports betting.

What is Sports Betting?

Simply put, this is a way of placing a wager on the outcome of a sporting event.

How do sports bets work?

Using a bookmaker one can place any available bet on any sports event.

Is betting on sports legal?

The Overturning of PASPA in 2018 by the Supreme court was a game-changer for sports betting in the US making sports betting legal.

Is online sports betting legal?

The legalization of sports betting by PASPA allowed states to create legislation covering both legalizations of physical locations in Casinos as well as online portals.

How to place a bet online

Find a Legal online bookmaker, create an account, fund it and then start betting.

Where can I bet on sports online legally

Bookmakers have online portals which one can use to bet. Just remember to find those bookmakers that are legal in your state.

Sports betting odds

In Betting, odds are a numerical value given to a probability of an outcome of a sports event. In other words, it is simply a numerical value assigned by a bookmaker on the expected result of a match and other statistics.

Best online sports betting

The best online sports betting is one that allows you to win, as we stated in our earlier conversation, bookmakers create odds based on their own internal valuations and bottom lines so finding a bookmaker that has odds that match with your betting strategy is key.

Sports betting calculator

Try our Arbitrage Betting tool by clicking our Sure Betting Tool.

Sports gambling

Sports Gambling is the act of placing a wager on a sporting event for the benefit of winning the wager.

Sports betting sites

Most states in the US are at different levels of creating legislation to legalize sports betting in their states. Some like New Jersey and Nevada have already taken advantage and are reaping the rewards. Here is a list of a few Sports Betting sites that are working in a few states.

  1. DraftKings
  2. FanDuel
  3. BetStars
  4. Sugar House
  5. 888 Sport
  6. Caesars
  7. Golden Nugget
  8. PlayMGM Sports
  9. William Hill
  10. PointsBet
  11. Hard Rock
  12. Resorts
  13. BetAmerica 

Where can I bet on sports online

Try the above sports betting sites and remember to make sure they are legal in your state.

Sports Betting Explained

Types of sports bets

There is a ton of Sports bets available from bookmakers here are but a few

  • Three-way – as we’ve said earlier 3 way is the most common odds available. It means a home win, a draw, or an away win.
  • Double Chance – 1 or X means one has the chance of two outcomes. Home win or draw. Draw or away win and home or away win. if either or the either comes true then it’s a winning bet.
  • Over /Under – In this case Over Under is dependent on goals, If the outcome predicted is either over 2.5 goals or under that and etc
  • Both Teams to Score – Will both teams in a game score or not
  • Three-Way First Half – Same as three-way but for the first half only.
  • Correct Score – What is the correct score at the end of a match
  • Correct score – first half – Correct score first half
  • Half time/full time – What are the outcomes at both half time and full time


From the times when wealthy landowners started betting on horse racing in the 16th century to the recent legalization of sports betting in the US. It is engraved in our society.