The main objective of sports betting is very simple. The person placing the bet or wager (the bettor) tries to beat the people who compile the odds (Sports book or bookmaker) in order to win money.
Whether you are betting on football, basketball, baseball or hockey, there are many different ways to place wagers in each sport. Each different area within a sport that you can bet money on is called a market.
The one market that is common to all sports is the moneyline. Take this example of how a sports book will list their odds for all four of the major sports as an explanation of the moneyline:
The number indicated beside each team is the moneyline. In each case, the team on the top is the favorite, as indicated by the minus sign. The underdog will have a plus sign beside their odds, read here more bookmakers rating.
So, to win $100 on the Colts, the bettor would have to place $140 on them…and obviously the Colts would have to win the game! On the flip side, the Bears are better value, since a $100 wager on the Bears will earn you $120 if the Bears win. The drawback, of course, is that the Bears are more likely to lose.
Similarly, in their basketball game,the Knicks are even hotter favorites to beat the Pistons. A bettor would have to wager $220 to recover $100 if the Knicks win. A $100 bet on the Pistons would win you $180 if the Pistons win.
The same follows for the examples of the baseball and hockey games. Incidentally, you don’t have to wager hundreds of dollars as we have shown you from these examples! A $14 bet on the Yankees will yield you $10 if the Yankees win or a $5 bet on the Mets will earn you $6 and so on…
The drawback of moneyline betting is that bets on the moneyline seldom offer good value if you are backing the favorite.
There is value for backing the underdog, but the underdog is the underdog for a reason…they’re more likely to lose!
To make the betting more balanced and to ensure that people have a good reason to bet on BOTH teams, Sports books offer handicapping systems on each sport. These system differ from sport to sport since the scoring regime in each sport differs wildly. In Foot ball and Basketball, sports books will offer Spread Betting, which means that the favorite will give points to the underdog to balance the amount of money being wagered on both teams.