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How to Read Odds

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Sportsbooks will present odds in different ways depending on the sport you are betting on and the type of bet you are making. Understanding how to read odds is critical if you want to place sports bets and know what the right bets are to make. There are three main ways that odds are presented in leading casino and online sportsbooks:

Point Spreads: Sports such as football use point spreads to balance the difference between underdogs and favorites for bettors. The team that is favored has to “give” points to the underdog – this difference is considered the spread of the game. In order to win the bet, the favorite has to win by more than the spread while the underdog can’t lose by more than the spread. Spreads are indicated on a line by a plus or minus sign after the spread. A team that is -3 is a three-point favorite while the underdog would be listed as +3.

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Moneylines – The moneyline is often used in sports like baseball and hockey along with as an alternative bet in sports like football. Many moneyline bets reward the outright winner regardless of a point spread, with different payouts for betting on the favorite or underdog. Moneyline favorites are reflected by how many dollars you need to wager to earn $100 profit. A team listed at -150 means that you have to risk $150 to win $100. If a team is -300 it means that you must risk $300 to win $100. Moneyline underdogs are shown by how much of a profit you receive on a $100 wager. A team that is +135 means that you will win $135 for a $100 wager, while a team that is +250 means you stand to win $250 for every $100 bet on them.

Straight Odds: Bets such as futures are usually presented as straight odds. Odds of 6-to-1 means that you win $6 for every $1 that you wager. This can be written in several different ways, as 6:1 is the same as 6/1.  Many sportsbooks list futures bets in terms of moneyline prices, so a 6-to-1 shot will be listed as +600.