Sports Betting FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
There is no worse feeling than when you are trying to watch a movie and the person you are with or the people around you (in the theatre) ask a million questions about the movie while it's still on going. For starters, you are seeing it for the first time -- so you don't know any of the answers -- and secondly, I'm sure the questions can wait until the after the movie is done.
The same feeling can be felt when you are watching a game with a person who is new to sports betting and perhaps just sports in general. I understand that they might be curious as to what your bet slip means or what the hell is even going on, but the time to ask questions is limited to before the game, during commercials, and after the game. Not during the actual game itself.
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If you are reading this and fall into the category of newbie, I hope this article helps you avoid becoming that annoying person always asking his buddy what things mean. And if in fact you do decide to venture off and start placing your own wagers, you'll know exactly what you are doing.
Let's start off with the simple questions like
What is The Point Spread?
The point spread is a type of bet that sportsbook allow you to make on certain sports. The point spread is an indication of how much one team is favorite to win over the other team. Oftentimes, the point spread is put in place by the bookmakers to ensure equal action on both sides of the game. When looking at the point spread, the favorite team (better team) is always given a negative number (i.e. -2.5), while the underdog is given a positive number (i.e. +2.5).
This means that in order for you to win a bet that involves the point spread of -2.5, your team (the favorite) would need to win the game by three or more points in order for them to "cover" the -2.5 spread. The easiest way to figure out a spread is to add or subtract the points to the final score to see who won the bet.
Which Sports Use the Point Spread?
Not every sport uses a point spread in order to bet on the games. The NFL, NBA, College football and basketball all utilize the point spread, and the spread is the most popular way to bet on them. Sports like hockey and soccer offer up a variation of the point spread, but it is called a puck line or handicap, respectively. In situations like boxing, mixed martial arts, or even baseball, a moneyline bet is the most common option for betting on an event. Moneylines are a wager that is only concerned with who won the actual event, and no margins of victory are involved.
What happens during a tie?
Oddsmakers will frequently use half-point lines like 3.5 in order to avoid ties, but if you wager on a four-point favorite and the team wins by exactly four points, what happens? All reputable sportsbooks will treat ties as a "push" and wagers will be refunded. During a tie the bet is essentially cancelled. If you are dealing with a sportsbook that treats ties as losses, you are losing value and should move to a more favorable situation like the Doc's Sports affiliated online sportsbooks.
What is Juice or Vigorish?
Juice or vigorish is the commission that sportsbooks charge for taking bets. A vig will look something like -110 to place a wager on a team, which means that in order to win $100 on a wager that you will need to pay $110. Vigs vary based on the team and the situation, but in general shopping around and searching for the lowest possible price is in your best interest. Many online sportsbooks like 5Dimes offer reduced juice at a -105 price.
What do ATS and SU mean?
ATS is short for against the spread, which is an indication of how a team does betting-wise. Just because a team has a very good regular-season record does not mean that they are covering spreads. SU is short for straight up and deals with how a team did without taking the spread into account. Remember that a team can win the game but not cover the spread.
What is a Parlay?
Parlays are combination wagers that have a higher-than-normal payout. Typically, a parlay will include anywhere between two and 14 different teams or events. In order for you to win a parlay bet, every selection must win. Large parlays can have an astronomical payout, but at that point they are closer to a lottery ticket than to a well-researched bet. Here is a quick look at a typical parlay payout structure:
Standard payout odds:
Two-team: 2.6 to 1
Three-team: 6 to 1
Four-team: 10 to 1
Five-team: 20 to 1
Six-team: 40 to 1
Seven-team: 75 to 1
Eight-team: 100 to 1
What happens if there is a tie on my parlay?
If you are wagering on a large parlay, there is bound to be a tie or two. Typically, if an event on a parlay ties and the rest of ticket wins, the wager will pay out at the previous parlay payout rate. So if you wager on a six-team parlay and five events win and one ties, then the ticket will turn into a five-team parlay and payout at 20-1 instead of 40-1. But, remember, all events must win, so if even one game loses the entire card becomes worthless.
Where and How Do I Make A Bets?
Well, if you live in Las Vegas, you can go down to any Casino and place a wager at the window. You'll need to hand over the exact amount of money you want to spend and you will get a betting ticket back with your selection. If your selection wins, you must bring that ticket back to the window and you will be cashed out for your winnings. One thing to note is the process in which you must approach the betting window. Do not approach the window until you are absolutely certain who you want to bet on. On busy sporting days, the lines are long and nobody wants to wait for you to decide who to bet on. So, make up your mind and then find the rotation number on the big board. The rotation number is a number that helps the teller identify which team or sport you are betting on. A game like Milwaukee vs Toronto in NBA will look like this: 957 Milwaukee +4.5, 958 Toronto -4.5. If you like Toronto, walk up to the betting window and say $100 #958. That's it.
If you don't live in Las Vegas or anywhere near one of the few states that do have legalized betting, your best bet would be to check out Doc's affiliated online sportsbooks and make an account with them. From there you will be able to deposit money into your account a handful of different ways, and then you will be on your way to making bets in no time.
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