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How should we interpret the odds regarding sports betting?

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Sports betting will likely become more popular as more countries legalize sports betting. It may be difficult to comprehend the odds board at a sportsbook and the mobile app’s home page if you are new to betting on sports.

We will explain all terms that you need to be familiar with within this article. These terms will also be used to show you how to read the odds board and apply it to your betting.

Example of a game on an odds board

Here’s an example of an NFL match where the Dallas Cowboys or the Kansas City Chiefs appeared on an odds board at a sportsbook. The following terms will be obvious: point spread, rotation numbers, over/under, money line, and point spread. Let’s take a look at each term separately.

Rotation numbers

In live sportsbooks, rotation numbers are often used. These numbers allow bettors to quickly refer to their bets when they approach the cashier.

Let’s suppose a bettor wishes to place a wager on the spread Cowboys. The bettor would approach the cashier, and tell her, “I’ll take 403, Cowboys-8, [regardless] of the amount bet].” The cashier will display the odds and the suggested bet on the screen. The bet is concluded when the bettor has paid the cashier.

interpret the odds regarding sports betting

The cashier does not have to know the exact number of spins. You could say, “I’ll take Cowboys 8” and the cashier will likely understand that the customer is referring to the NFL spread. It is impossible to assume that every sport is known by the cashier, so it will be helpful for them to tell the cashier the number.

Point spreads

The most popular type of betting on sports is spread betting. Spreads are a handicap that evens out the odds between two teams. The number of the favorite will always have a minus sign, while that of the underdog will have a plus sign. The point spread in this example does not include a plus sign. It can be concluded that the Chiefs are underdogs because the Cowboys have favored 8 points to the Cowboys’ 8. Therefore, ‘get +8.

The “Cowboys 8” bet was placed by bettors who believed that the Cowboys would win more than 8 points. The “Chiefs +8” bettors believe that the Chiefs will lose the game by less than eight points, or win it. Spread bettors can get their money back if the Cowboys win by 8 points.


In sports betting, the over/under is also called the “total”. Over/under isn’t a way to bet on the outcome of a team’s win or loss. The over/under bet is on the number of points that will be scored.

People who bet “over 42.5,” think the Cowboys or Chiefs will score more than 42.5 points. Bettors who are betting under 42.5″ think the teams will score less than 42.5 points. This line cannot be pushed as half-points can not be scored.


Moneyline favorites can be identified in the same way as to point spreads. The minus sign next to the number is the plus sign. Moneyline betting is about betting on the winner of the game regardless of the margin.

Cowboys have a money line of -400. This introduces a new term in sports, the ‘vig’. To make $100, a person betting on the Cowboys Moneyline would have to place a $400 bet. This applies to all amounts of bets, so a $100 wager on the Cowboys Moneyline would result in a $25 profit.

A $100 bet on the Chiefs Moneyline would yield a $300 profit. They are 8-point underdogs, which is why the odds are so high. They are therefore unlikely to win it all. Spreads and Moneyline odds usually go hand-in-hand. Spreads and Moneyline odds are usually related. The more points a team scores, the higher their Moneyline.

There are many places to place bets

Every bet comes with a ‘bet’. It can be a money line or spread. The spread and over/under risks are not shown on the odds board in this example. These bets are referred to as the standard bet. To make $100, a bettor who bets on the Cowboys 8 or Chiefs +8 will need to place $110 to win. Both sides of the over/under are eligible for the same wagers.

If you find it difficult to calculate the -110 bet, the rule of thumb states that the sportsbooks will take 10% of each bet’s winnings. To be a successful gambler in sports, you don’t have to be a math expert. Before you place your bet, remember that the sportsbook cashier will always tell you how much you could win.

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