Odds Man Out: The Mechanics of Sports Books and How it Works

Betting goes a long way back, but we’re not here to focus on that. In reality, betting can be done on a number of different subjects—sports, the odds that you would get that girl, or the odds that you’d get that job. If you’re a chronic gambler, almost anything can become a subject to gamble on for you.

The Art of Gambling

You can also gamble on the odds that you’re going to read something like this. Betting is simple; you bet on the chances of your favorite team. Do remember, however, that the favorite doesn’t always win. There are a lot of statistics to consider if you want to succeed.

However, that’s a topic for another time.

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Money Line

Sports books always gives you odds on who’s winning and that makes that team the favorite. The underdog statistically always gets the better numbers, but is almost guaranteed to lose, barring whose team or player is luckier. Technically, you’d look at the money line if you want to get better winnings, but if you want an almost guaranteed win (yet lower winnings), you’d bet on the favorites.

Space between Points

Another common betting factor, sports books always have space for bettors to wager on how many points separate teams at the final buzzer. This is true in sports like basketball and football. Like in the recently done Celtics vs. Cavs game or the SuperBowl LII results, bettors will wager that 20 points of a touchdown separates the teams. The prize may be divided among those who guess exactly the correct amount or an approximate amount.

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A Half-Point Margin

Football and basketball results are a fickle thing; they may chance at a quarter of or even half a second. Therefore, some sports books offer odds on the half-margin, or half a point toward their bet, at a higher cost. However, this kind of betting isn’t commonplace; some sports books allow it while others that offer similar odds don’t offer it.

The Future

Most sports books open this wager during the start of a season or at the start of the playoffs. When there are still teams fighting for the position to reach the Finals of either basketball or football, betting houses open wagers on who would win the championship. There’s an edge you bet against; it also varies from sports book to sports book, so you should be wary on how much you wager and which against.

The Big Idea

How your bet will end up and the final result of the game is factors you should consider when betting. There are other things, of course, that you should factor in; a player on either team may suddenly have a freak star performance, the fancied team may have an off-night, or your many selections may suddenly make you take a hit. You should let your better judgment—your instincts on safety—control your decisions.

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