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The best way to read activities playing likelihood

Betting 101

In these types of wagers, a sportsbook establishes a number as its estimate of the total number of points two teams will score in a match. This estimate, rather than the entire bet itself, is the actual over/under. Next to the line for each type of bet (ATS, OVER/UNDER), you will see the odds.

A bet on over 158.5 (-109) means you must risk $10.90 for every $10 in profit, $54.50 for every $50, or $109 for every $100. On the other side, a wager on under 158.5 (-110) means risking $110 for $100 in profit. Keep in mind that these prices are relative to the number 100, and you can easily do the math from there, depending on what you choose to risk. That’s called a push, a result where you get your original wager back but no profit. These numbers are approximate, but they give you a good idea of what 35 total points would look like if they follow the spread. If you think Chicago will score less but Minnesota will score about the same number of points, then you may want to go with the under.

A bet on two or more teams where the line on each team is adjusted in the favor of the bettor. A parlay bet is a bet with two or more teams where all the teams must win for the bettor to be successful. Parlays are viewed by sharp gamblers as a sucker bet because the house edge is large. Winning straight-up means simply winning on the scoreboard without any regard to the point spread.

Sportsbooks will release benchmark numbers for each game on the daily slate. Over bettors in this scenario are looking for 45 or more points to be scored. They want to see 44 points or fewer, so works great, but would mean a losing ticket.

Given that, parlays are an ill-advised option for most bettors. On the other hand, that same applicability of models makes them tough to beat for the average bettor in big-market sports like NBA and NFL. Over/unders can be excellent options for some bettors, but they may not be for everyone. Over the long haul, line shopping turns some losses into pushes and pushes into wins. Add it up over hundreds or thousands of bets, and line shopping can have a large impact.

Let’s break it down by sport and give you the lowdown on how betting odds work for all the different major sports. The NHL is probably one of the lower-scoring sports out there. It’s very common for NHL games to have totals of 5.5, to eliminate the possibility a game ends 3-2 or 4-1, etc. You will frequently see this total on the oddsboard because it’s a safe option for sportsbooks. You would have to wait until the regular season is over to claim winnings on these. Fractional odds require the most work to determine how much you’d win on a wager, as you need to do a calculation to get your answer.

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