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How To Read Sports Odds

Step one to being a successful sports gambler is knowing how to read sports odds. For beginning sports gamblers it can often be intimidating looking at the giant betting board filled with numbers representing all the sports gambling odds. Understanding prices, odds and what they mean for your potential bet is key to being a successful sports gambler.

What Are American Sports Odds?
If you’re betting in the United States your odds will be displayed in American fashion meaning most likely a three digit number with a plus or minus in front of it. Example +165, -170. This is the simplest form of sports gambling where you’re simply betting on one team or the other to win. +165, -170 prices like these are referred often times as the moneyline.

What Does The Plus And Minus Mean In Sports Gambling?
It’s pretty simple if the price is listed as +165 that means if you bet $100 you would then win $165. If you were at a sportsbook and you gave them $100 you would then get back $265, your original $100 bet and an additional $165 for your win. A bet with plus odds is considered an underdog in sports gambling.

A bet with negative odds, a minus in front of the number is considered the favorite. If you see a bet you like listed as -170, for example that means a bet of $170 you would win $100. In this example you would give the sportsbook $170 and if the favorite won the game you would get $270 back, your $170 original bet and $100 for the win.

What Is Spread Betting?
Moneyline betting you’re simply betting on which team will win, with spread betting you’re betting on how much the team will win or lose by. In the sports odds listed above you’ll often see a plus or minus number next to a team, that is the spread. For instance the Philadelphia Eagles have a (-6) next to them and the Dallas Cowboys have a (+6).

That means if you bet on the Eagles they would have to win by more than six points for you to cash your bet. If you take the Eagles (-6), often referred to as laying six, and the Eagles win 24-10 you win your bet. However if the Eagles win 24-21, then you would lose your bet because they only won by three points. If the Cowboys somehow won the game outright then you would also lose your bet. If the Eagles won by exactly six points, for instance 26-20, then that bet would be graded as a push. A push means you don’t win or lose money, if you gave a sportsbook $100 for your ticket you would get $100 returned.

What Is The Price On A Spread Bet
The price on a spread bet is usually (-110), so in the above example if you bet $100 on the Eagles (-6) at (-110) and they won 42-7 you would win your bet. The $100 ticket would cash for $190, you get your $100 original bet back and you get the $90 you won on the Eagles. It’s $90 because it’s priced a $100 bet priced at (-110). (-110) is the default for most spread bets and that -10 is how the sportsbooks earn a profit, hoping to get equal action on both sides so they can collect their 10%.