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US Gambling Sites / Betting Guide / Betting Lines Explained: How do Betting Lines Work?

Betting Lines Explained: How do Betting Lines Work?

Publish Date: 30/05/2021
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Betting lines are different wagering options at a sportsbook with different odds. Each sportsbook has its own collection of betting lines, which are offered in many different varieties.

In this article, we will take you through becoming more familiar with your wagering options and what you can expect while playing at a sportsbook. You’ll need to take the time to learn about the money line options and look through our betting lines explained below to learn how to pick wagering options that will work for you best.

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What are Betting Lines?

Betting lines are the many different types of wagering options available for sports bettors to bet on. The lines are split up into different types, but each one presents a betting condition for you to decide for or against.

Here's a quick and clear explanation:

  • Betting lines are similar to price tags on items in a store. They tell you the odds, or the likelihood, of a particular event happening in a game.
  • Betting lines are typically displayed as numbers, but they hold a deeper meaning. These numbers represent the implied probability of an outcome set by oddsmakers who analyze sports and predict potential results.
  • Betting lines usually come in pairs, reflecting the opposing outcomes of an event. For example, in a football game, there might be a line for Team A to win and a separate line for Team B to win.

The Different Types of Betting Lines

Betting lines come in various forms, each with its characteristics. Understanding these types can help you make informed betting decisions.

Moneyline:

This type of betting line involves wagering on who will win a game outright. For example, in a basketball match between Team A and Team B, a money line bet might look like this:

Team A: +150

Team B: -200

Here, Team B is the favourite, indicated by the negative value, meaning you'd need to bet $200 to win $100. Team A, the underdog, has a positive value, indicating that a $100 bet would yield a $150 profit if they win.

Point Spread:

Point spread betting involves handicapping the favourite by a certain number of points to level the playing field. For instance, if Team A is favoured to win by 5 points, the betting line might look like this:

Team A: -5 (-110)

Team B: +5 (-110)

In this scenario, if you bet on Team A, they need to win by more than 5 points for your bet to succeed. Conversely, if you bet on Team B, they can either win the game or lose by fewer than 5 points for your bet to win.

Over/Under (Total):

This type of betting line focuses on the total number of points, goals, or runs scored in a game. For example, in a soccer match, the over/under line might be set at 2.5 goals:

Over 2.5 (-110)

Under 2.5 (-110)

Here, if you bet on the over, you're wagering that the total number of goals scored will be more than 2.5. If you bet on the under, you're predicting that the total will be less than 2.5.

 

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Why Do Betting Lines Change?

Betting lines aren’t static and instead are always changing up until the end of a game. The betting lines are trying to predict the outcome of a game, or a specific set of conditions for a game as accurately as possible. The goal of betting lines is to get the same number of players to wager on both sides of a bet decision. As weather conditions change, players get injured, the score changes and other things happen, the betting line values are adjusted up or down. One team can go from being a strong favorite, to an underdog throughout the course of a game or even during the days leading up to a game if enough conditions change. It’s the oddsmakers jobs to try and adjust the odds to make wager options as fair as possible for everyone involved.

Do All Sportsbooks have the Same Betting Lines?

While many sportsbooks have the exact same online sports betting lines, there are different options at many of the leading sportsbooks as well. As a sports betting enthusiast, it makes sense to look at multiple sites to decide which one is offering the most favorable lines at the time that you place your wager amount. Different sportsbooks rely on different oddsmakers and that means that more favorable odds will be available at some sites instead of others. Spending the time to find the most favorable odds is a good way to make sure you’re winning as much as possible when placing different sports wagers.

How Sportsbooks Make Money from Betting Lines

Sportsbooks don’t just pocket all the money that’s wagered on a losing bet, instead they only take a small portion of that money and use the rest to pay off a winning player. This small amount is known as the vig. The vig is a small added fee that’s put on top of a wager amount in order to ensure that the sportsbook is profitable over time. Over many different bets this small fee will add up to massive profits for a sportsbook, giving the company a very good reason to continue offering wagering opportunities to different players.

Understanding Different Betting Strategies

Now that you have understood the basics of betting lines, let us walk you through the different strategies for betting that you can employ. It is important to remember the strategies but also to have at heart that knowing them does not guarantee any wins

Here are some of the betting strategies that you should know;

Moneyline Betting: Focuses on wagering on the winner of the game outright.

Point Spread Betting: Aims to predict the winning team and the margin of victory.

Totals Betting: Attempts to predict whether the combined score of both teams will be over or under a set number.

Parlay Betting: Combines multiple bets into a single wager, offering potentially high payouts but with a significant risk of losing the entire bet if even one leg loses.

Hedging: Involves placing multiple bets to minimize risk, potentially guaranteeing a profit regardless of the outcome (but typically with lower returns).

To learn about different betting strategies that can be used to take advantage of these online sports betting lines, see our guide about staking strategies here. The guide touches on different staking styles and looks at variable staking and fixed staking strategies.

Learning a good bankroll strategy will also help you manage your betting in the long run. Read our guide to learn the answer to the question - "What is a bankroll?" and discover some valuable tips for learning betting basics to implement the best bankroll strategy.

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The excitement of the NFL season is upon us, and with it comes the thrill of strategic sports betting. After getting familiar with the different money lines and how they work, you should ask yourself, "Where can I bet on sports now?" It’s time to start looking at real-life money lines at current sportsbook platforms, but only if you are of the correct betting age to do so. While numerous sportsbooks offer wagering on upcoming games, DraftKings stands out as an exceptional platform to hone your skills and explore various betting lines.

DraftKings boasts a vast selection of betting lines across all NFL matchups. From classic money lines and point spreads to exciting props and innovative specials, you'll find a wagering opportunity that piques your interest.

As a new bettor, it's crucial to experiment and learn the ropes. DraftKings allows you to try out different betting lines with a user-friendly interface and helpful resources. DraftKings is renowned for offering competitive odds on various NFL wagers. This means you get a better return on your potential winnings.

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Conclusion: Betting Lines are Simpler than they Seem

Betting lines might appear complex at first glance, but understanding their core principles opens a world of strategic possibilities. Money lines, in their simplest form, present odds on which team will win the game outright. A negative number (-) indicates the favourite (more likely to win), while a positive number (+) signifies the underdog.

Don't just follow the crowd. Analyze team statistics, player performance, and potential upsets to identify situations where the money line might not accurately reflect the true probability of a win.

However, the key to an increase in money lines, and betting lines in general, is knowledge. Research team trends, player injuries, and historical data to make informed decisions.

Remember that responsible betting practices are essential. Set a budget, stick to it, and prioritize enjoyment over chasing unrealistic wins. By understanding the intricacies of betting lines, you can transform them from confusing numbers into valuable tools for a more strategic and potentially rewarding sports betting experience.

Betting Lines FAQs

🗝What are the key differences between the types of betting lines?

Each type, like point spread and moneyline, offers unique wagering conditions. Understanding these variances helps bettors choose the best-suited option for their preferences and risk tolerance.

🤔How do sportsbooks adjust their betting lines, and why do they change?

Sportsbooks adapt lines based on game developments, player status, and betting trends to ensure balanced wagering. Dynamic adjustments aim to reflect the most accurate predictions.

🏈Do all sportsbooks offer the same betting lines?

While many offer similar lines, odds can differ. Bettors should compare multiple platforms to find the most favorable odds, enhancing their potential returns and betting experience.

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