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How Sports Betting Works

Online sports betting is available throughout the internet. Sports bettors can bet on all kinds of markets such as the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, English Premier League, AFL, NCAA, and the Olympics, among others. With online sports betting, bettors can bet on several games at once. However, with numerous online sports betting sites, odds are displayed in different ways. US-based sportsbooks, for example, use American odds (eg +110), while European sites display the odds in the form of decimals/fractions (eg 1.50 & 11/5). This discussion will help you understand how sports betting works.

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What are Betting Odds?
Most bettors only place bets based on the team that is likely to win. These kinds of bets are called betting odds. They may be referred by other terms like American odds or money line odds. American odds are the most popular with sportsbooks in the United States and work differently for the underdogs and favorites. They are mainly divided into two, positive and negative moneyline odds.

  1. Positive Moneyline Odds
    Bettors placing bets on positive money lines win more money than what they used to bet. As such, if you place a bet worth $100, you earn more than the one hundred dollars in profits. Positive betting odds express the amount of gain you are likely to make on a $100 stake. They are expressed in the form of a positive sign (eg +450). The usual practice is to move the decimal two places, so the betting odd is 4.5. To calculate the amount of profits you are likely to win, multiply the 4.5 times what you want to bet.
  2. Negative Betting Odds
    The odds here display the amount you need to bet to win $100. Unlike positive money line odds, negative betting odds pay less cash than what the gamer wagered. For instance, odds -160 means you have to risk $160 to win $100. For negative money line odds, you calculate the payout by dividing your stake by the betting odds. For example, if you bet $150 on odds -160 you are likely to win $93.75.
  3. Fractional Odds
    Also referred to as traditional odds, British odds, or UK odds, these kinds are popular in the United Kingdom and used in horse racing. Fractional odds display the net total the bettor should payout in the event he wins relative to his stake. For example, a fractional odd of 5/1 between for Barcelona vs. Manchester United means that the bettor’s stake will be multiplied by five if he supports Barcelona and it wins.
  4. Decimal Odds
    They are the most popular in Canada, Europe, and Australia. In fact, most online sportsbooks prefer displaying their odds in this format. In the UK, they are commonly referred to as European odds. Decimal odds show the amount to be returned in case of a win. For instance, odds of 1.56 if you place a bet worth $100 mean you will get back $100 x 1.56 = $156 where $56 is the profit and the $100 the stake placed.

Sports betting Using an Odds Calculator
The calculator comes in handy if you are betting on several games at once. Accumulators, perms, and parlays allow sports bettors to mix and match several games and the results are displayed on one betting slip. An odds calculator ensures you get the right price for all the Doubles, Four-Folds, Trebles, and Five-Folds.

Betting Payback Calculator
Calculate the payback theoretical percentage for the selected number of outcomes
Number of odds

Types of Sports Bets
The biggest challenge with betting on a team most likely to win is that most bettors won’t wager large sums of cash to make small wins. It explains the introduction of wagering propositions close to 50/50 using different types of bets:

  • Point Spreads
    They are the most popular type of bet in football and basketball games and are created to make the two teams equal favorites from the bettor’s perspective. The concept here is not to place a bet on the participant likely to win the game but the team that will cover the spread. Note that the size of the spread shows how many points are deducted for the favorites and awarded to the underdogs. As such, bettors gambling a favorite on a point spread are backing them to win by a difference greater than the size of the spread. Bettors gambling on the underdogs, on the other hand, are backing them to win or lose by a difference less than the point spread.
  • Total Bets
    The idea here is that the bookmaker sets the number of goals, points, and runs to be scored in a game. Bettors bet on whether the total will be higher or lower than the set amount. Betting on higher points is referred to as backing the over while wagering on lower is supporting the under. The goal here is to create a 50/50 wagering proposition from the bettor’s perspective. In the event of a tie, point spreads and totals may use half points. For instance, if the total is 45.5 or a point spread is -5.5, there is no way to tie; however if the spread and total was 5 and 45 respectively, then it is possible to tie. In most cases where there is a tie, bets are refunded, i.e., if the bettors bet on a total or a point spread.
  • Three-way Markets
    It is a popular form of betting in the world of football. It allows bettors to place three bets: a win, a draw, or a loss. For example, if Chelsea plays against Manchester United: 1, X, 2. 3-Way bets often refer to the result at the end of the match. However, this kind of bet is used during regulation time only; penalty shots are not considered for this kind of sports betting.

Placing Bets
The most popular way to place bets is through a local bookie. However, bettors may explore other betting avenues like offshore sports betting companies. Bettors should be cautious when placing bets using a local bookie as most of them operate illegally.