Last Updated on 09/09/2022
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa
If you are looking for sportsbook betting lines and trying to understand its basics, you are at the right place. We have got you covered in this sportsbook line guide, from the basics to expert-recommended tips.
Of course, the key to betting always lies with strategies, and our betting experts will provide you with that coveted betting edge. By the time you complete reading this sportsbook lines guide, we will have turned you from an amateur to an expert punter. So buckle up and enjoy the exciting world of sports betting with us.
If you’re just glancing at the article, here are some key points to help you get the gist of this sportsbook guide.
There are a plethora of sports gambling rules and strategies that you must know thoroughly to enhance your betting experience. Ask any veteran sportsbook players, and they won’t agree on any less. With this guidebook, we will discuss everything you need to know, ranging from sportsbook lines and betting odds to choosing the best bookmaker. Let’s begin!
If you are confused about sportsbook lines, this guide is here to help you out. A gambling operator uses a sportsbook betting line to showcase the favorite team and the underdog in a match. Most operators also display how much money you can win via Moneyline bets. In addition, some even indicate the implied probability of your selection.
Undoubtedly, two possible outcomes in the sportsbook are either your team/player wins or loses. One team will always be deemed to win, which is called crowd favorite. On the other hand, the losing other team is the underdog in the matchup.
Therefore, the odds are always shorter for the favorite team, and there is less value backing them. In contrast, the odds are longer for the underdog as the operator will always want to limit their losses since the favorite team most often wins.
We can take the example of an NBA match between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets, and the Warriors are the overwhelming favorites to win. The lines for the game will be something like this:
It’s a classic example of Moneyline bets displayed in American odds format. The negative sign (-) will prefix the odds for the favorite team, while a positive sign (+) will indicate the underdog. Also, it doesn’t necessarily have to be shown in the American odds format. For example, you may even find the odds displayed in fractional or decimal form. In any case, keep in mind that whatever format is shown, it effectively means the same.
Moneyline Bets are the first thing to review when understanding sports betting. It is the most basic format of sportsbooks, which simply indicates the crowd’s favorite and the underdog along with their odds. When you are betting, you are backing the outcome of one team to win without any additional complications. If there is a possibility of a draw or tie, the odds for that will be displayed as well.
Let’s take the example of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Cleveland Browns. Consider the following Moneyline (only regulation time).
In the case of negative odds, it means that if you bet $400 on the Bucs to win and they do so, you win $100 from the bet (you get your stake of $400 as well).
Whereas for positive odds, if you bet $100 on the Browns and they win, then you win $250 from the bet along with your stake. The same goes for the tie outcome as well, where you stand to win $400 for a bet of $100 if the match ends in a tie after regular time.
However, as you have noted, the major issue of Moneyline bets is the winning amount. As the favorite wins most of the time, they have lesser odds and your returns are limited. So unless you’re wagering on the underdogs or even a tie (which is rare in football and basketball), your payout will be on the lower side. Therefore, in cases where there is a considerable gap between the qualities of teams, other markets like spread or over/under betting are the way to go. Although, in cases where the teams are more evenly matched, you can find much better odds for either selection.
Learning odds format is always essential for novice players. Here we will have an in-depth understanding of three different odds formats used in sports betting.
As the name suggests, this odds format is commonly used in the American betting market. As you can see in the above-given examples, there are positive and negative numbers. In positive odds, you see the amount you will win with a stake of $100. It means that if you see odds of +200, you stand to get a return of $300 (stake + winnings). Do note that the underdog team will always have a positive number odd.
The situation is the opposite in the case of negative odds, as odds of -200 would require a stake of $200 to get a return of $300 (stake + winnings). The favorite team always has negative odds.
Decimal odds are mostly used in mainland Europe and Australia. The outcome is displayed in a decimal ratio, and the higher number is assigned to the underdog.
Clearly, Bucs are the favorite; therefore, the payout will be lower if you back them. For example, you bet $100 on them, and they win, then you’ll get a return of $100 x 1.3 = $130.
Although the fractional odds are not common, they are still relevant in Ireland and UK. The complex numbers can be tricky here, especially if you are an amateur. The crowd favorite will have a smaller fraction like 3/5, and the underdog will have a higher fraction like 5/2. So to calculate your winnings, you have to multiply your stake by the top number and then divide it with the lower number. For example, in the above case, if you are betting $100 on the underdog, it will yield a total return of $350: $100 x (5/2) + $100 (stake).
Before starting your betting journey, a crucial piece of advice is that you need to manage your money correctly. It means that you should never bet in a market or a sportsbook more than you can afford. It does not matter whether you are an amateur or a professional. Greed for profit will take you nowhere. So, if you’re planning on gambling, then don’t neglect the below-given fundamentals of bankroll management.
Setting a budget is the simplest advice anyone around you will offer. You can set a budget according to your daily, weekly, or monthly expenses so that you do not lose more than you can afford. Remember, responsible gambling is always a wise decision in this market.
Many operators try to attract customers by providing huge bonuses or promo offers. But, usually, there are hidden clauses and terms so that, in reality, you spend more without gaining anything. Hence, it is advisable always to read the fine print and never chase after such bonus offers as you won’t be able to match their high wagering requirements.
It is easy to lose your way with betting, especially when you are on a winning streak. However, you need to set a limit. Know when to walk away even when you are winning. It ensures that you do not bet until you lose all your winnings.
If you are new to the world of gambling, remember these three tips to zero in on a trustworthy sports betting site.
Comprehensive research about an online bookie can give you an edge, so you don’t risk your money at scam sites. It would be best to find an operator with all the necessary licenses and fast and easy deposit/withdrawal processes. Besides, don’t simply rely on the welcome offers or pretty colors on the home page. So, before registering to any sports betting site, know if a gambling authority regulates it. Also, take note of the legal gambling age in your state as it can vary from state to state.
If you are an amateur, we recommend you start with low bets to get the hang of the market. You won’t lose money this way, and you will also gain valuable experience. You can also use promotions and bonus offers available on sportsbooks to learn about different betting markets without risking your real money.
Moneyline market is among the simplest and the most popular betting markets in the US. We hope this detailed guide helped you understand how the Moneyline market works and how to calculate the payout. Also, keep in mind to always follow the strategies mentioned in the article, whether it be for bankroll management or choosing your ideal sportsbook.
There are a lot of factors that go into setting the lines by a sportsbook, and the bookmakers do not easily reveal them. Check out our complete Sportsbook lines guidebook to know more about Moneylines and how to bet using them.
It depends on the game you are betting on and the strategies you choose. Check out the comprehensive betting strategy guides curated by our experts at TheGruelingTruth.com to find out what’s the best strategy for you.
Your potential winnings depend on the type of game, your bet, and set odds. Please go through our betting odds explained guidebook for more details on calculating your possible winnings from a bet.
There are plenty of sportsbooks in the US, and the odds they offer for various markets may vary. Hence, before choosing a sportsbook to place your bet on, it’s vital to compare the odds offered by different operators. You can easily do this with our odds comparison tool at TheGruelingTruth.com.