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# Gambling/How does the Sports Betting Lines Work?

Question
Hi Richard, When I look at the Newspaper I really don't understand what the odds mean.  For example, when it comes to football What does todays O/U mean?  Next weeks game b/t the Packers and the Bears- The O/U says, 9 (41), with the favorite being the Packers.  What does the 41 in parenthasis mean?  I also see some numbers that have halves, like 1 1/2 (46 1/2).  What do the halves stand for?

OK, now to baseball. I've never understood the Line when it comes to baseball.  For example, The Cubs are favored over Pittsburgh and the line says  -175+165.  What do those numbers mean?
I also see the Marlins are favored over Montreal and the line says -300+250.  What is the difference between the two?

Can you please clarify for me how this works.
Thank You for your time, Dan.

O/U means over and under.  You can bet on the total points scored in an sporting event.  For example, a football game may be quoted as 43 O/U.  You can bet the combined scores of both teams are either over or under the 43 number set by the casino sports book.

The reason sports books use 1/2 points is to guarantee one side is a winner.  If you bet over on the illustration I used above and the total came to 43, neither side wins, so sports books use 1/2 points to make sure of a winner on each bet.

Baseball:
The line says in your example that if you would like to bet the Cubs you have to lay \$175 to get back \$100 profit.  However, if you bet the underdog, in this case, Pittsburgh, you can bet \$100 and get back \$165 profit if they win outright.  Line bets do not have points involved, they are for people who want to pick a winner outright and the house sets odds on both sides.

The reasons some lines are higher or lower is to match the probability of the outcome of the event.  If a superior team plays an inferior team, the line might be as much as -900+850, or more.  I have seen boxing events where the line was -2000+1800.  Remember, these numbers are all based of the bettor playing \$100 bets.  If you wish to play \$10, the odds are proprotionately the same.

Have a great day.

Respectfully,
Richard Reed
Insider Viewpoint of Las Vegas
http://www.insidervlv.com
vegas@insidervlv.com

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#### Richard Reed

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