Betting Odds

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In a moneyline bet, the final outcome is all that matters. When you take a look at the NBA odds, the Warriors are favored to win, and the moneyline is set at The numbers we used in this case are completely arbitrary.

The odds will be different for each matchup. A point spread bet is slightly more complicated and is generally meant for those who know the game a little better. In a point spread, you are betting on the winning margin of victory—not only who wins, but by how much. In any given matchup, your online sportsbook will set a number for each team. Meanwhile, the Celtics would have to either lose by less than six points or even win.

What if the Warriors were to win by exactly six points? This is called a push or a tie, in which case, no one wins and you get your money back. Often, to avoid this situation, betting sites will set the point spread on a decimal, such as Because there is no way for either team to win by exactly 6. There is usually a moneyline attached to the spread, for example, Just like in a simple moneyline bet, this indicates the amount of the potential payout.

So, if the Warriors had their odds set at In a total bet, the NBA odds will be set at a number that predicts the combined scores of the two teams. As a bettor, you would then predict whether the final point total will be over or under that amount and place your bet. Just like in a point spread bet, if the final total falls directly on that number, it is called a push, and you will simply get your money back.

Keep an eye on the expected matchups to determine how high you expect the total to go. In a matchup between teams with a lot of offensive firepower, you would expect the point total to be high.

In a game that is likely to contain a lot of back and forth with defensive struggles, the point total will likely be lower. Finally, many people bet on futures , which is a very broad category.

With futures, you are betting on the likelihood that something will happen—you guessed it—at some point in the future. So, the moneyline, point spread, and total are all short-term bets referring to nightly action and specific matchups. These odds are refreshed and updated throughout the entire year. Because of this fact, they can potentially earn a higher payout if they win. The number in the odds means something slightly different depending on whether it has a positive or negative sign in front of it.

A minus sign at the beginning of odds means the team is favored to win. The difference is that in addition to predicting who will win the game, the point spread includes a margin of victory. In certain cases—such as in college basketball and college football—there is a huge discrepancy in talent between the two teams playing. In those cases, betting the moneyline is too obvious, because it is clear that one team will beat the other. For example, imagine that two teams, Team A and Team B, are facing each other.

In this case, Team B is favored to win. Just like in the moneyline bet, the negative sign before the number indicates who is expected to win. The number represents the expected margin of victory. That means they need to win the game by 23 points or more. If you bet on Team A, that means they can lose by 22 points or less, or win the game, and you still win your bet.

If, during the actual game, the margin of victory lands exactly on the spread, it is called a push or a tie, and no one wins the bet. In this event, you would simply get your money back. In order to avoid these sorts of ties, betting sites such as BetOnline or Bookmaker , only to mention a couple of sportsbooks will often set the spread at half numbers, such as This way, there will always be a winner in the bet. Point spreads will also have moneyline odds attached.

Just like in a moneyline bet, this number indicates what the payout will be in the case of a win. For example, the spread and odds for Team B might be This means that Team B is favored to win by more than That means that you are looking at whether the combined score of both sides will go over or under a set number. For example, the sportsbook might set the total at 66 for a college football game.

This means that they predict that the two teams will score a combined total of 66 points. You will then place a wager on whether the actual combined score will be over or under that amount. If you think that one or both teams has a particularly strong offense and it will be a high-scoring affair, you would bet over. If you think it will be a defensive struggle, ending in very low scores on both or either side, then you would bet under. If the final score is something like , then the combined score would be 84, meaning the game is an over.

If the final score is something like , making the combined score 65, then it is an under. Sometimes, the combined scores will land right on the total. In our example, if the score ended up being something like , then the combined score would be 66, exactly the predicted total. This situation is called a push or a tie.