Wagering on the action is the ideal way to enhance the excitement you experience when watching a sporting event unfold. However, the world of betting can be confusing for newcomers. You must learn how to read the odds, appreciate the different type of sports wagers available and understand the jargon used in the sports betting industry. You also need to identify the best sportsbooks, so we have highlighted a few excellent sportsbooks before explaining the key wagers available to you.
There are hundreds of sports wagering sites vying for your business and it can be difficult to identify the secure, reliable ones. SBR has done your homework for you and grouped together the best sportsbooks in the business, including BetOnline and Bovada. Make sure you stick with the trustworthy books and avoid sites with poor reviews. Then familiarize yourself with the types of betting we explain below and take the plunge.
This is a simple wager on which team will win
a particular game. Odds compilers will weigh up the relative strengths and weaknesses of each team, factoring in head-to-head records, injuries, fatigue, motivation levels, home advantage and so on. They will then assign a set of sports betting odds to each team. There is typically a favorite and an underdog.
Let’s say the Eagles are having a strong season and the Jets are struggling. You might see the Eagles priced at -770 to win the game at Lincoln Financial Field, with the Jets as +540 underdogs in the moneyline odds. If you see a minus sign before a set of odds
, it tells you how much you need to stake in order to earn a $100 profit. In this instance, you would have to bet $770 on the Eagles just to earn a $100 profit, indicating that Philadelphia is the heavy favorite.
If you see a plus sign before a set of odds
, it tells you how much profit you will earn by placing a $100. A $100 bet on the Jets at +540 would net you $540 if they pulled off an upset, indicating that they are the clear underdogs. You will sometimes see +540 rendered as 6.40 (decimal odds), but you can use a betting odds calculator
to turn it into American odds.
Spread gambling is the most popular form of wagering on football, basketball and many other sports. The sportsbooks
will give the supposedly stronger team a handicap in order to even out the playing field
. Sticking with the example above, you might expect to see the NFL point spreads set at 13.5, with odds of -110 on the Eagles -13.5, and odds of -110 on the Jets +13.5. Some other betting sites
might offer reduced juice, meaning you would find odds of -107 or -105 on either outcome.
If you bet on the Eagles -13.5, Philadelphia would need to win by 14 or more points in order for your football spread bet to pay off. That makes it harder, but you will earn a much greater profit. If you back the Jets, they could either win the game or lose by up to 13 points and your betting spread selection would pay out. The early NFL betting lines
are often set by industry leading sportsbooks, while many wait for the Vegas lines to be published and follow suit. These NFL odds
can change. If the vast majority of bettors placed their spread betting wagers on the Jets +13.5, you might see the line drop to 11.5 points.
Betting the spread is popular on sports that have high scoring games
, like the ones in the NBA
. It is not so common in lower scoring sports, such as soccer and hockey, but Point spreads can prove popular in those sports when one team is a heavy favorite. Many bettors like to wager on point spreads with credit earned when they take advantage of sportsbook welcome bonuses
This involves betting on the total number of points or goals in a game
. You are not required to specify which team will win the game. The sportsbooks will set a line and you can bet on either over
. For example, you might see a total points line of 215.5 when the Golden State Warriors take on the Houston Rockets. You can then bet on either over 215.5 points, or under 215.5 points. If it finishes 110-107, over 215.5 will pay out.
You can also bet on the total goals in a soccer match, the total games in a tennis match, the total rounds in a fight and so on. The odds on either outcome are generally -110. This means you must lay down $110 in order to generate a $100 profit. It allows the sportsbook to make a margin on either selection, but some take a smaller margin by offering -105 sports betting lines.
You might see -110 rendered as 1.91 (decimal odds) or 10/11 (fractional odds). Decimal odds are popular in Europe, while fractional odds are common in the UK and in the horse racing sector. You can easily turn a price into American odds by using a betting odds calculator
, which also takes free odds into account.
This is a wager on a future event
and it is not necessarily related to the outcome of one specific game
. Examples include wagering on which team will win the NBA Championship
or who will win the Heisman Trophy. Every year, football future betting fans analyze the Las Vegas Superbowl odds
in great detail. Sportsbooks will assess the strengths and weaknesses of each team and determine a favorite in the odds to win Super Bowl glory. The betting odds will grow progressively longer until you reach the rank outsider.
Proposition bets relate to a specific event within a game
, but these betting odds do not necessarily pertain to the outcome of a game
. Some prop bets can be really lucrative, whereas others are just for fun. An exciting prop bet might be on Russell Westbrook managing more than 45.5 points, rebounds and assists against the Timberwolves, or Lionel Messi scoring a free-kick against Real Madrid. A more lighthearted example would be the color Gatorade dumped on the winning coach after the Super Bowl
, or the length of time it takes the singer to complete the National Anthem. You can also find plenty of prop wagers when it comes to betting on politics
. Examples range from betting on the identity of the vice-presidential candidate to predicting whether the president will open up Area 51 to the public.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to read betting lines?
A minus symbol in betting odds tells you that you need to wager that much in order to win a $100 profit. A $100 bet at -110 would earn you a $91, while a $10 bet at -110 would earn you $9.10. If you see a plus sign at the start of a set of betting odds, it informs you of the profit you will earn if you place a successful $100 wager.
What is betting on the line?
This refers to the handicap line set by the sportsbooks
in order to make the game equal. In NFL point spread betting odds, you might see one team priced at -110 to win by more than 9.5 points and the opposing team priced at -110 to get within 9.5 points.
How do odds work in betting?
Sports betting sites create betting odds by performing risk assessment and calculating the probability of each outcome. The betting odds then change in the build-up to the game as various people place sports bets. Bookmakers need to balance their risk, so if one team proves popular among, you can expect the odds on it to shrink.
Where can I bet on NFL games?
The NFL is one of the world’s most popular sports leagues and every single sportsbook offers betting odds on it. The best sites include 5Dimes
What are the best odds in Las Vegas?
It really depends on which sport you are interested in. Odds in Las Vegas will vary at rival books. You might find attractive Vegas sports odds on baseball
at one book and better hockey odds
at another. William Hill is the market leader in Vegas, but it is a competitive state and it pays to shop around for your odds. SBR allows you to compare the best sports betting odds using our free betting sites reviews
What does +150 mean in betting?
It tells you that you would earn a $150 profit from a $100 wager if your prediction proves to be correct.
What are Vegas odds?
Vegas odds are set by the famous sportsbooks in Las Vegas, Nevada. They include Vegas odds NFL Super Bowl and lines on various games each day. Some of the best sportsbooks
around the world take their cue from these lines before releasing their own odds.
What are the current odds on the Super Bowl?
The Kansas City Chiefs are the +600 favorites in the Super Bowl odds, followed by the Ravens, 49ers and Saints. The Cincinnati Bengals are the biggest underdogs.
How do you read betting odds?
A minus symbol tells you how much you need to wager to win $100. A plus symbol indicates how much profit you will make by laying down $100.
What are 9 to 2 odds?
We have chosen to mainly focus on US style lines for this “betting odds explained” page. 9 to 2 odds are fractional. It tells you that for every $2 you stake, you would earn a $9 profit. A $100 bet at 9/2 would therefore net you $450, so it would be rendered as +450 in American format.
What do negative betting odds mean?
These odds start with a minus symbol. It tells you that your potential profit will be lower than 100% of your stake. If you see a minus sign, it indicates the amount you need to wager in order to win $100. If the odds are -105, you must lay down $105 in order to win $100. Your stake is always returned on winning bets, so your return in this instance would be $205.