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Sports Odds Explained 


Every bettor we’ve met in the history of all sports books was a fan of the game first. For most men today their circle of friends either has someone who gambles on sports often or plays daily fantasy sports. If it’s from placing an NBA Finals Game 7 bet to partaking in the beloved March Madness office bracket pool, sports fans look to use their knowledge of the game to make some extra dinero. Everybody has a favorite team or athlete and sports betting allows the opportunity to have real skin in the game with something more than your golf clap at the bar!

A novice bettor would be inclined to believe that sports betting odds come down to just picking one team or another. I wish this was the case, but gambling comes down to pure mathematics. Understanding the math within the game is how you can give yourself an added edge. Allowing yourself to fully understand sports odds gives you an advantage purely by being able to easily dismiss inflated or horrendous lines. The experience to understand late game scenarios from anticipating additional points, minutes played per game, percentages and coaching styles, can prove wise when placing your sports bet.

Percentage of Winning Needed To Really Win


Before diving into all of the factors that can influence you to choose to bet a single way, we need to cover the basics of sports betting math. What is the basic sports betting math to ensure I stay in the green and beat the oddsmaker? Obvious answer you would think would be 50.1%, right? Unfortunately, the bookies need to make their money no matter if you win or lose on a nightly basis, which is why you will hardly ever see a 50-50 on a sports bet. We will discuss later why bookies always make money and you will get what they call, “juiced” on each bet.  To merely break even in the sports betting world you win need to win 52.4% of the time. 


Introduction To Sports Betting and Odds


So You’ve arrived at the big board on your computer or in person at the sports book! Its time to place your bet on the big NBA Finals Game 7. You walk up to the stock market/wagering board and you see the following for the game:

300 Cleveland Cavs   +225   206.5

 301  GS   Warriors          -5      -205

At first glance you think this is simplistic to read, but we want to cover all of the sports betting odds. Golden State Warriors are a 5 point favorite meaning they would have to win by 6 points or more for you to win the bet. On the flip side, that would automatically mean Cleveland can lose by 5 (creates a push) or less to take home that cold hard cash! Now either way you choose will have a line of -105, -110, or -115. So in order to win 100 dollars you need to place $105, $110, or $115. These extra amounts over 100 are considered the “juice” that the sports book takes for allowing you to place your sports bet.

The next two numbers you see are what is referred to as the money line. The money line is purely picking one winner or the other. Now you will only find odds that are 50-50 if their is no line in points meaning it is a pure pick ’em or a Straight Up bet. You don’t always see lines from games like this, but they do pop up from time to time. In this example, you would need to spend 205 dollars to win $100 for Golden State to just merely win the game. While if you bet 100 on Cleveland to win outright you would be rewarded with $225.

The last number you will locate on the wagering board is 206.5 which is referred to as the over/under. This type of sports bet is an accumulation of total points from each team. Will they score Over 206.5 points combined or will they score under 206.5 points combined?

Actually Placing Your Sports Bet


So, for example, if you think a certain team or player plays better at home, someone is suspended, there is an injury or you believe in whatever you heard on TV, now you must approach the betting cage. When it’s your turn to bet, you will want to know exactly how to properly approach and communicate your bet to avoid looking like an amateur. First, you will need to establish the type of bet you want (spread, moneyline, over/under) and the number associated next to the team you are betting as well as your wager amount. Having this information ready when you are executing the bet will make it as easy as possible for the ticket boss to correctly process your bet. Always double check and make sure it is right before it is printed! As soon as it prints, its a done deal.


How Sports Books Always Win


Earlier we discussed getting “juiced” but wanted to further discuss this matter. Essentially you are being charged a rate of interest on your loan or what they call vigorish or “the vig”. For simplicity, bookies are a person or company that holds on to the bettors money and only pays them upon winning or ends up keeping the cash.  So if we refer to the example above again and two people place wagers on the spread +5 and -5 for opposite teams each bettor is risking 110 to win 100. In this case no matter who wins, the bookie walks away with a clean 20 or what is called the vig. This is the exact reason why you need to win 52.4% of your sports bets to at least remain even!

At the end of the day the goal of the sports book is to balance their books to ensure guaranteed profits. To achieve this they will adjust the lines and odds to influence you to choose the other side if people are heavily betting one team. Sports Books or bookies will run the risk of losing too much money in one game which could put them out of commission far sooner than expected. Generally speaking everyone loves to bet the favorite and why wouldn’t they? They’re expected to win! But now you know why Vegas loves the underdogs!

You won’t have to worry about any of this nonsense though as it has absolutely squat to do with your betting. It’s unheard of for any individual person to bury or run a sports book out of the industry. You may see your limits adjusted and how fitting they do this after you lose they increase it, and when you win too much they shrink it. So nice of sports books to do this for you! In reality we just want you to realize you do not impact the sports book directly yourself, you are merely another number in their line of guaranteed profits!


Sports Betting Professionally


So now you have a pretty good idea of how sports odds play out. Its tough. Consistently picking over 53% of your bets to become even slightly profitable is truly an uphill battle. Especially now that you see how much mathematics dictate the end results. If you come across a bettor who doesn’t keep track of their bet history or haphazardly plays, you will automatically know they suck. No easy way to say it, but they aren’t a professional sports bettor. So just know you can see why its imperative to find true sports handicappers if you want to have a legitimate chance of making this a solid investment.

At the end of the day, achieving above 55% profit margin would put you in the world class betting category. Professional sports bettors have to take into account variance which other gamblers don’t even worry about. When it comes to sports betting you absolutely can not have the same strategy night in and night out. Las Vegas is too smart for that. Everything is evolving in the sports betting world and you can’t stay stagnant! Finding the very small advantages that are handed to you by either line shopping or opportunities where the sports book are slightly vulnerable is the only way to jump start your endeavor into the world of sports betting. It is also vital to understand that all betting must be considered as a long-term investment. If you’re looking to make quick and amazing percentage over the course of a small sample size, buckle up because it may be a rollercoaster.  Jumping in and out of being a regular and consistent bettor may be one of the worst strategies possible. Need a better sports betting strategy?

Does it make a little more sense now as to why successful sports bettors are such good mathematicians and statistical freaks? Maybe this is why professional sports bettors love baseball? Baseball is the most statistical sport amongst all professional sports with over 162 games a year including additional playoff games. The numbers don’t lie folks. Edges can be found and taken advantage of, even if it’s just for a short time. As we like to always state, as long as you cover the spread


What Percentage Makes You a Pro Handicapper?


In reality, the answer has been stated multiple times throughout this page. Anything above 52.4% means you’re walking away with more money then when you walked into the casino! We often find it humorous when people see a bet history page with a record of 550-450 and deem them not worthy of their time! That means that sports handicapper achieved a 55% win rate! I’ll take him under my wing in a minute. But it doesn’t come down to just percentages because anyone can get lucky for a relatively short time. statistical analysis is needed with updated trend findings, and most important an effective system. These are the key ingredients to becoming a professional sports handicapper!

We hope you enjoyed reading this article and we hope you have a better understanding on how sports betting odds work and how to properly bet. Check our our article on how to maximize your sports betting odds Please take a second and share our article or like us on facebook!