What Does “plus” And “minus” Mean In Sports Betting?

Even the smallest NFL stadium holds more fans than the largest baseball, hockey or basketball houses. Football’s yearly television revenue is worth billions more than all other major American sports combined. The number of fans who bet on NFL games is similarly outsized. NFL point spread betting was invented specifically for the sport in the 1940s, and is easily America’s favorite betting pastime.

In this space, we’ll cover what the point spread is, how it works and other minutiae surrounding the most popular form of sports betting. One thing that you’ll see is a discrepancy between the amount of the payout and the total amount of money that you can expect to receive on a winning bet. The amount that the moneyline is publicizing is the profit that you can expect to make, but you can also count on receiving the original value of your bet back. It’s important to understand that these numbers are ratios, not hard numbers. You don’t have to bet in $100 increments to participate in moneyline betting.

There are pros to cons to each wager, which is an article in itself. Regardless, you should be looking for value when choosing a bet, no matter the type. If you are betting the Bills then the term is referred to as getting the points. A bet on the Steelers is referred to as giving the points or more commonly laying the points. In our example there wouldn’t be a tie, but sometimes the line will be four and not 4.5.

If, over the course of the season, though, a team is showing that they’ve got a good chance of winning, the odds for them improve, the risk goes down, and the payoff gets smaller. Choosing exactly when to make this sort of bet is important. A minus sign at the beginning of odds means the team is favored to win. The number indicates how much someone would need to wager in order to win $100. So if someone were to place a $150 bet in favor of Team A, and Team A won the game, that person would win $100. If that person were to bet $300 instead, and Team A still won, they would win $200.

The Bills are favored over the Titans by 5.5 points at most sportsbooks. The Bills need to win by 6 or more points to cover the spread. That means the Titans would need to win the game outright or not lose the contest by 6 points or more. If the line moved to Bills -5 and the Bills won by exactly 5 points, the betting result is a “push” and bettors for both sides get their wager refunded. Both ways of calculating odds are similar with neither being better than the other.

Although each team may roster the same number of players, play by the same rules, or even run some of the same plays, the two sides are almost never equal in skill. To account for that inequality between the two teams, a point spread is used to handicap the two sides of a matchup. Similarly, the +3.50 odds tell you that for each bet you place on the Suns, you stand to win $1 + $2.50 profit.

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