What You Need to Know About Betting Markets

People who jump into sports betting without understanding betting markets are setting themselves up for failure. It’s imperative to understand betting markets before placing a sports bet. This knowledge will give you a much better chance to win big on sports.

A betting market is where you go to find odds for events that you want to wager. The market is where sportsbooks list their odds on their individual websites.

Here are the things that you need to know about betting markets.


Betting Markets – The Key Terms

Betting market terminology varies by sport. For example, the soccer betting market is much different than the American football market. However, it’s important to know some betting market terminology to understand how sportsbooks operate.

There are three traditional bets for most sports. These bets are the moneyline, point spread, and total.

A moneyline bet is choosing a team straight up to win a contest. A point spread is a bet on the margin of victory in a game.

If a team has a (–) number, they’re a favorite. If a team is a (+), they’re an underdog.

If a team is -6.5, they must win by seven for a bet to hit. If a team is +6.5, they must be within six points of their opponents for you to win.

The total is the number of points that are expected to be scored in a game. The main total bet is the combined over/under for both teams.

If a total is 50 points and you bet the over, 51 points must be scored for you to win.

Must Read > Smart Bettors Use Multiple Sportsbooks

Understanding Odds

You must understand how odds work to place a successful bet. Let’s take a look at some odds examples. 

If a team is +100, they’re a slight underdog. The higher the number goes, the less likely it is that that team will prosper. Although, if you place a high-risk bet, the reward will be much greater.

A $100 bet at +100 will yield a $200 payout. ($100 risk + $100 win)

A $100 bet at +500 will yield a $600 payout. ($100 risk + $500 win)

The moneyline, point spread, and total will all have odds associated with the bets to determine your payout. 

Not All Betting Markets are Equal

The most important thing to understand about betting markets is that not all odds are identical. A lot of sportsbooks are run by Pay Per Head (PPH) services. 

PPH services do everything for a sportsbook besides collect payments. PPH are subcontractors, and they all calculate odds with slightly different formulas.

This gives bettors a tremendous opportunity to shop betting lines on different sportsbooks. Line shopping heightens your chances to win, and it’s necessary for consistent betting success.

Here’s an example on an over/under total:

The over/under for a contest on Sportsbook A is 49.5 points. The total on Sportsbook B is 52.5 points. Depending on if you like the over or under, your sportsbook choice would be different. 

If you liked the over, you would bet on Sportsbook A. The game total could be three points lower on Sportsbook A for your bet to hit. 

You wouldn’t be able to find these advantages without line shopping. If you study betting markets, you will amplify your chances of winning on sports.