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October 22, 2014
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The point spread - also called "the line" or "the spread" - is used as a
margin to handicap the favorite team. For betting purposes, the oddsmaker
predicts that the favored team will win by a certain number of points. This
number of points is the point spread. The favorite is always indicated by a
minus sign (e.g. -5.5) and the underdog by a plus sign (e.g.+5.5). If you bet
on the favorite, you win your bet if the favorite wins AND their margin of
victory is greater than the point spread. If you bet on the underdog, you win
if the underdog wins, ties, or if the favored team wins but fails to exceed the
point spread. It is standard for point spread bets in most sports that you
wager $110 to win $100.
The point spread given in the table above is for the home team only. To see the
odds for both teams, click on the matchup.
A money line, used in baseball and hockey, takes the place of a point
spread. Money line betting is simply wagering on the contest based on a given
price rather than a point spread. The team wagered on has to win the game
outright, regardless of the score. The minus sign (e.g.-130) always indicates
the favorite and the amount you must bet to win $100. The plus sign (e.g.+120)
always indicates the underdog and the amount you win for every $100 bet. Using
this example, therefore, you would bet $130 to win $100 on the favorite, while
for the underdog you would bet $100 to win $120.
The over/under is the number of points oddsmakers expect will be the
total score for the contest (both teams combined, overtime included). You bet
on whether the total points scored will be more or less than this number. As
with point spread bets, you must generally wager $110 to win $100.
Betting on a point spread or money line is sometimes called betting "sides" -
that is, betting that one side or the other will be the winner - while betting
the over/under is referred to as betting "totals".
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