What Is The Spread In Sports Betting?

To calculate Alvarez’s probability of winning the match, we do the same thing. Let’s say, hypothetically, odds are 11/8, meaning if the fight happened 19 times (11 + 8), Alvarez would lose 11 times and win 8 times. Therefore, if you wager $40 on Ottawa, you will win $44.00, and your total payout would be $84.00.

But, at the same time, be careful with high spreads in the NBA. They are assigned a point spread with a minus symbol (-) in front of the number, such as Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.5). If you were to bet on the Steelers to cover the spread in this instance, Pittsburgh would need to win by seven or more points for you to win your bet. When it comes to NFL betting, the favorite is assigned a spread for the projected winning margin. They need to win by more than the spread for you to win your bet.

This is where run lines stray from the point spreads we see in basketball and football. To account for the difference in the quality of baseball teams, the potential risk and payout are what varies, rather than the line itself. This is different from betting the moneyline, which is the easiest form of wagering to understand. It only requires you to choose which side will win a given game.

In our example, if the score ended up being something like 34-32, then the combined score would be 66, exactly the predicted total. In these cases, no one wins the bet, and you would simply get your money back. To avoid these situations, sportsbooks will often set the total at a half number, like 66.5. This way, if the final combined score was 66, it would be an under, and a 67 would be an over. A minus sign at the beginning of odds means the team is favored to win.

In our earlier NFL example, if you wanted to buy points with the Ravens -5.5 (-120), you would pay -120 to buy them down to -5. Only to be considered when a line moves more than a few points, middling can be used to both maximize your profits on a particular bet or hedge against a loss. Sports betting is legal in North Carolina, but it’s only available at two casinos, which weren’t open as of early 2021.

Something similar exists with money line bets in live betting. Depending on the odds, this could mean you stand to make a profit regardless of the result. If there is way more action on one side of the bet, the sportsbook risks losing money when that side of the bet ends up winning. The way that the sportsbook can encourage an even amount of money being bet on both sides is by making the less popular side more attractive. This is done by changing the payout odds or shifting the point spread or total. These lines can change drastically between the time they are initially set by the sportsbook up until when the game actually begins.