How Does Sports Betting Work? Doc’s Sports Provides the Answers
Sports betting has become a phenomenon across the world. People all around the world will put wagers on a sporting event to create more excitement around a game for themselves. Let’s face it, you wouldn’t watch a 1-10 team play a 2-9 team without placing a wager. But once the wager is in, you’re absolutely tuning in and watching every second.
Betting lines are used for sportsbooks to put a price on a certain wager. If you’re looking at a team with -150 odds to win, they’re a favorite. If it pays out, you will receive less than you put in. However, if you bet on the opposite side and take a chance with a +150 underdog, you would make more profit if the team won. Read more about Moneyline betting here.
Who creates the betting lines that are used by sportsbooks?
Most sportsbooks have in-house oddsmakers that are in charge of creating betting lines in the weeks before games, especially when it comes to Opening Day or the NFL. In baseball, the oddsmakers are required to make the lines daily as games never seem to stop in the summer with the MLB.
Years ago, the oddsmakers didn't have that much information to look at when trying to make betting lines. Now there are analytics everywhere to come up with all of the lines much more accurately.
Back then, oddsmakers would really only have box scores to look at. Now oddsmakers can look up anything and everything which gives them an advantage over the average bettor. Of course, records and things like the weather are important, but deeper stats mean so much more to oddsmakers. They’re able to develop systems to figure out exactly how much a team will score and such. You know the saying, “Vegas is always right.” Unless you follow Doc’s Sports picks. Then it’s different.
How Lines Move
When a game starts out at -3 for a team and the line changes to -2 before the game begins, that means that there’s action on the game or an injury to a key player. There are "sharp'' bettors that place a large bet on one team that forces oddsmakers to raise an eyebrow and switch the lines. An oddsmaker is always watching action to see if a change is necessary on the lines.
Popular Ways to Bet
A point spread is a handicap where you essentially give or receive points on top of the actual outcome of the game. The spread basically looks at how a sportsbook or oddsmaker thinks about what the outcome might be. For example, in an NFL game, if the Kansas City Chiefs are -3 on the spread, the oddsmakers believe that the Chiefs will win their game by three points. If your data and analysis say otherwise, you would be on the opposite slide and gain three points from their opponent. So, if you bet on the Chiefs with the spread, you would have needed them to win by more than 3 points to cash your ticket. If the score was 27-21, Chiefs, you would win your bet. But if it was 23-21, Chiefs, you would lose because the other side gained three points and won 24-23 theoretically. Betting on spreads allows you to pick a team to win with better odds. If you were to just pick the Chiefs to win that game, you would have to lay a lot of money on the Chiefs. Picking them against the spread gives you a chance to make money near an even line.
Moneyline bets take some stress away. With a moneyline bet, you only need your team to win the game and don’t need to worry about how much they do it by. We’ve all been there where we’ve taken a team to win by 7.5 and then a team wins by just seven. Those are the worst bad breaks and losing bets possible and not fun to endure. After the game, you’ll then wish you had been on the moneyline instead. Those absolutely sting.
The problem with money lines is that you will have to lay a lot more money on the team to win. On heavy favorites, you’re looking at putting down $300 just to win $100 on teams that are -300 American odds. If the San Francisco 49ers were -300 against the Minnesota Vikings, all you would need is for the 49ers to win the game. However, if they are upset, you’d lose $300 trying to win just $100. Heavy money lines are very scary if your team doesn’t perform like they should be or how they were projected to.
Point total bets
With totals, or over/under betting, you don’t need to worry about who wins the game. You’re worried about how many points are scored in the game. For example, if you bet over 52 points on the New York Giants against the Philadelphia Eagles, you’d want the combined score between the two teams to be more than 52 points. Therefore, if the score was 35-28, you would have 63 points and score over 52 points. If the score was 17-14, you would have a total of 31 points and the total would go under. Therefore, you would lose the wager and the bet.
You don’t only have to bet on the total for the game, but you can also bet on the team total for a certain team. If you’re not sure about one side but you love the other side, you can isolate a team and bet their team total.
Many people make their money on proposition bets. Prop bets are available for most sporting events, and you can bet anything from a team’s total to how many yards a player will rush for to how many touchdowns a player will score. Prop bets are like playing fantasy sports but with odds.
Prop bets are extremely popular during the Super Bowl, where people go as far as betting on how long the National Anthem will be. There are some ridiculous props like what color Gatorade will be poured on the winning head coach. Unless you have insight on those bets, it’s hard to have concrete analysis for that. You’re basically just trying to hit the lottery.
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