Reading the Board in Sports Betting

The board reading in a large sports book can be disorienting – after all, it contains a vast amount of information representing every sports event you and other betting compatriots will place bets on. You should quickly get accustomed to retrieving the information you want. The following are two examples of how a gambler might see games listed on a sports book board – one for baseball and one for football.

Point-spread listing in football betting

As shown in the example below, away team is always listed first in the board (Jaguars) and followed by the home team (Seahawks). The line or point spread is seven points, with the Seahawks being the favorite. The number -7 means that you are giving up, or laying, seven points when you bet on the Seahawks. Conversely, you are taking, or getting, seven points if you bet on the Jaguars. The simplest way to understand the line or point spread is by totaling the points on the final score. For example, when the final score is Seahawks 22, Jaguars 16, the adjusted scores are Seahawks 22, Jaguars 23 (after you add 7 points to the Jaguars).

Time

Bet

Playing Team

Line

Total

5:30 PM301Jaguars39
Fox302Seahawks– 7



The other number, 39, is the total. The combined score is bet for both teams, it is either under or over that number. For instance, if you bet under with a 22-16 score, the score total is 38, which is less than 39, so you win the bet. But if, the final score is Seahawks 23, Jaguars 18, it means the over bet wins. At the totals betting, the point spread doesn’t factor in. An odds maker takes into account plenty of factors when setting a total, so never assume you will get an edge with betting the under anytime two defensive teams clash. The house already incorporates these stats into the line. A push happens every time there is a tie (you don’t lose, and you don’t win), and each bet is returned, which is why most lines use half-points (-4.5). They ensure that in all total bets there is always a winner.

Money-line in Baseball Betting

Time

Bet

Playing Team

Pitchers

Money Line

Total

4:30 PM803Red SoxBeckett+ 1509
ESPN804YankeesBurnett– 160



The betting in baseball is slightly different than the football betting. (See table) The first column shows the game time and where the game is televised. Generally, betting is crowded on TV games because bettors like to bet on a game they can watch live on TV. The next column is for the bet number that must be recorded by the ticket writer for proper bet placement. The two baseball teams playing are listed in the ‘Playing Team’ column. The fourth column is unique to baseball because pitchers have a very dominant role in the outcome of a game. Many baseball bets are nullified if the scheduled starting pitcher does not get on the mound. Money line shows the actual odds of your bet. The plus sign is routinely used to indicate the underdog team, while the minus number is used to designate a favorite team. A bettor, who wants to bet on the Yankees, must wager $160 to win $100. (The casino returns a total of $260 to a gambler with a winning bet). But if you take the Fenway Park boys, you need to bet $100 to win $150. (The casino returns a total of $250 for a winning a bet) Occasionally, you may hear the baseball money line odds known as the dime line that refers to the $10 absolute difference between the two bets (underdog and favorite). Even so, most lines on totals in every sport have a $20 difference between both bets that is known as a twenty-cent line. The ‘Total’ column on the baseball board lists the total runs scored by both teams in the game. When the number is nine, it means you can bet on if the total number of runs is under or over nine. To ensure a valid bet, both listed pitchers must start and the game needs to go the distance.

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