Betting on sporting events is a favorite pastime of hundreds of thousands every day of the year. If you're new to sports betting, let this be your introduction to a new, exciting gambling experience.
In sport betting you have to risk your money in an 11 to 10 ratio. You risk $11 to win $10 - that extra $1 is called the vigorish, or "vig". You pay this vig because in sports betting the house has no statistical advantage.
This is how the house makes it's profits: Imagine that one group of bettors risked $11,000 to win $10,000 on Team A, and another group risked $11,000 to win $10,000 on Team B. To the house it doesn't matter who wins, it will use the losers $10,000 to pay off the winners and pocket the vig. Ideally, the sports book would like to always have an equal amount of money bet on each team, that is why "point spreads" are offered.
When betting on footbal or basketball, you'll have to decide between team A, favored by 10 points over Team B for instance. You can bet on Team A winning by more than 10, or Team B losing by less than 10 The point spread is not a prediction on the outcome of the game, it's only a number that will help split the money evenly to reduce the sports book's risk.
With a point spread, winning the bet is not determined by which team actually wins the game, but rather by the final score of the game. This is how it works: The score of the team favored to win is subtracted from the number of points posted on the board (the "point spread"). For betting purposes, you have win if you picked the team with the most points after this subtraction.
For example, if the top NFL team were to play against a minor league junior team, the NFL team would obviously be the favorite to win. The odds maker would then post odds that might look something like this:
NFL Team = 1 to 9 (1/9)
Junior Team = 7 to 1 (7/1)
To win $1 on the NHL Team, you'd have to wager $9. But if you wanted to bet on the Junior team, you'd only have to wager $1 for a chance to win $7.
Now that you have an idea how and why the odds line or spread is determined, you should realize the importance of shopping around. Because there are so many sportsbooks (online and in live casinos), some books may offer more favorable odds than others. It is in your interest to shop for the best betting opportunity. Over the long haul, getting an extra 1/2-point here, and a point there can add up to substantially greater profits.
How do you know which way to bet? In sports betting the losers are those who rely solely on luck. You will win more consistently if you learn to become a good handicapper. Gather all information available, the latest statistics, trends, weather, home field and team histories. As a sports bettor you have information available in daily newspapers, sports web sites, and radio or television. Your goal should be to gather as much information as you can. The more effort you put into this task, the more successful your handicapping will be, and the more often you will win.