All you need to know about: Betting Lines

The betting line is the point that separates the favored team from the underdog in sports competitions. Bookies obtain odds on sports matches from a complex math model or computer algorithm. Based upon statistics, oddsmakers determine the probable victory margin between two teams, which is based on the strength of previous performances.

During the analysis, sportsbooks compare teams to determine which one is favored to win and by which margin. For example, bookies may predict that a favored team will win by 10 points. Therefore, the underdog team may receive a 10-point handicap for betting purposes.

All you need to know about: Betting Lines
All About Betting LinesHow do betting lines work?Moneyline betAll about parlay betsHow to read betting lines?
Emily Tremblay
Written byEmily TremblayWriter
Researched byMatteo BianchiResearcher
All About Betting Lines

All About Betting Lines

Gamblers bet on each team based on the odds that sportsbooks make available. The analysis also takes the performance of the players into account. The outcomes are accurate about 50 percent of the time. Betting odds are ever-evolving and are based on how teams perform.

Bettors check the odds to determine the up-to-date performance expectation for competing teams. Future odds are constantly changing and reflect team performance throughout the season.

Sportsbooks tend to trust consultants who offer information about probable odds based on industry experience. Upon reviewing computer-generated rankings, professional oddsmakers provide an estimate of odds on each sports competition's outcome based on overall team performances.

Professional oddsmakers adjust the betting line based upon pre-determined criteria, which may include injuries, home-field advantage, weather, and team travel schedules. Even a dominant passing offense may play a role in determining odds and the subsequent betting line.

If a team is playing back-to-back matches, this schedule may impact the sportsbook's analysis of the odds and betting line.

All About Betting Lines
How do betting lines work?

How do betting lines work?

After the odds are set, the online bookmaker makes the predictions available to the public as an 'opener' or the initial odds, which are predicted for each match. Bettors decide on which team to wager on based on the odds.

Oddsmakers set the betting limits at a low level initially to determine how the bettors are wagering before raising the betting limits.

When the market for wagering on a specific match grows, the sportsbook may adjust the odds or the betting line during the timeframe prior to the game based on how much gambling action the competing teams are attracting.

Top gambling countries include Australia, Singapore, Ireland, and Canada. In Europe, the UK, Italy, France, and Spain tend to have high gross gambling revenues. However, bookmakers across the globe use betting lines when offering odds to those who wager on sports competitions.

How do betting lines work?
Moneyline bet

Moneyline bet

According to sports betting guides, the Moneyline bet is a straightforward process that has two to three possible outcomes. With two teams or players in a Moneyline bet, gamblers choose which player will win.

For soccer or MMA fights, there is a third betting option, called a draw, wheN there isn't a winner or loser declared. Sportsbook applications often offer the draw as a Moneyline bet option. Others offer a draw with no bet option. In this case, the gambler chooses a winning team or competitor without the draw outcome.

If a bettor predicts the correct result of the competition, the sportsbook will payout on the odds. The Moneyline bet is different from the betting line in that there is only a win, lose, or draw option.


In the moneyline bet, the odds will predict the favorite team or player to win the match. A gambler may wager the amount listed in the odds to win. For example, on odds of -15, a person may wager $15 to win $10.

The payout is $25, which includes the stake amount of $15 plus the winning amount of $10. With the Moneyline bet, the team or player favored to win will always have odds with a minus sign.


Gamblers sometimes prefer to bet on the underdog at an online bookmaker, which is the competitor less likely to beat the opponent. Using $10 as the unit example, a bettor wagering on the underdog would have to bet $10 to win $15 and receive a $25 payout. In the Moneyline bet, the underdog's odds are shown with a plus sign, i.e., +15.


If the teams are so close in skill that the odds are even, a bettor may wager on even odds. In this case, bettors may receive a $20 payout on a $10 wager for Even +10 odds.

Moneyline bet
All about parlay bets

All about parlay bets

Parlay betting is a singular wager, which links additional single bets together and depends on all the bets winning for the bettor to win the wager. These types of bets offer high payoffs, which are significantly more than simply placing a singular bet.

The reason for the high profit is the odds of winning on three bets is more difficult than winning one wager. If the bettor loses just one wager in the linked bets, he loses money wagered on the entire parlay. If any of the individual wagers in the parlay bet tie, the wager reverts to reduced odds according to outcomes for all matches included in the parlay wager.

Usually, correlated parlays are restricted. Correlated parlay wagers include two or more bets on the same match, which rely on a similar outcome. Wagers on similar results may lead to high payouts, which is why bookies often restrict correlated parlay bets to avoid significant losses in the event multiple bettors win.


Another parlay bet is a wager on two or more competitors to win in the same competition. Bookies multiply the payout for the games in which the bettor chooses the correct winners. If the bettor chooses three teams and all three teams win, the bookmaker pays out at the higher odds, which are more than a single bet.

Parlays may range from two to ten teams in a wager. Although bettors have mixed thoughts about the benefits of betting parlay, it is still a popular way to wager online.

Profitability depends on a bettor's ability to win more than 50 percent of the parlay wagers placed. In the end, parlays pay out more money even though it's tougher to win. However, experienced professionals may gamble on a parlay based upon in-depth research on competing teams and an individual gambler's historical ability to win parlay bets.

All about parlay bets
How to read betting lines?

How to read betting lines?

Sports enthusiasts who wager on competitions will know that there are many similarities, which include wagering specifically on who will win a match, point spreads, over & under bets, and a variety of options related to betting on the favorite or underdog. Here are examples of how to read betting lines on different sports and wagers.

Football betting lines

In football, the minus sign indicates the team favored to win, and the plus sign indicates the team expected to lose. The + sign is always an indication of which team is the underdog in the competition.

If a number is listed after a (-) minus sign, the favored team is expected to win by that specific number in points. The Moneyline is simply the odds of competitors in a match winning or losing.

Whether 2 to 1 or 5 to 1, odds express the numerical outcome of mathematical analysis of a team's predicted win or loss in a competition. The betting line is the point between the expected points won or lost, i.e., -15 or +15. However, in football, a bettor may simply wager on whichever team he thinks may win and not have to worry about point spreads or odds at all.

Basketball betting lines

Dallas Mavericks Sportsbooks offer a variety of different betting options for professional basketball games. In NBA betting, one way to bet is Moneyline wagering, where a bettor picks the winner of the game. It is a widely accepted method of wagering in sports betting. Money lines are also an aspect of point-spreads. For example, -55 odds means that a player wins for every correct wager against the -55 odds.

Bettors may also wager by betting on the total score by wagering over or under the projected amount posted by the bookie. If the total score of both teams goes over the sportsbook's predicted amount to the exact score the bettor chose and wagered on, the bettor wins.

Baseball betting lines

Baseball betting is like other Moneyline wagers. Bettors choose the favorite team investing $115 on -115 odds to win $100 if correct. The payout includes $215, which is a combination of the amount the bettor staked of $115 plus the win amount of $100.

The winnings scale represents the exact amount that the bettor gambles on the favored team or the underdog. However, the odds always represent the baseline of a $100 win. Sportsbook commissions occur when a favorite competitor loses.

If the favorite loses, the bookie pays out to the underdog, making a profit on the higher favorite spread. If the favorite wins, the sportsbook makes no profit. If the favorite has an optimal chance of winning, it's unlikely that the sportsbook will make a profit. However, sport bookie provide odds on thousands of matches every month. The wins and losses even out, allowing the sportsbook to win overall.

Horse racing betting lines

In horse racing, the odds are simple to understand. The more money that bettors wager, the shorter the odds. Odds indicate the expected profit against the amount invested. At 10-1 odds, the gambler may expect to win $10 for every dollar wagered. Even money gives a bettor $2 for each $2 wagered for an overall $4 return.

It may take some time for new bettors to understand how to wager on sports. Even though some sports offer similar odds for wagering, such as betting on the straight-up winner, over and under total points, or the point spread, there are other sports with more simplified or challenging betting options. For the gambler, understanding the odds and researching the competitors will help in choosing the winner.

How to read betting lines?
About the author
Emily Tremblay
Emily Tremblay

Emily, a dynamic blend of tech-savvy and casino enthusiast, hails from the snowy landscapes of Canada. With her innate grasp of cultural nuances, she ensures online casino guides resonate deeply with Canadians. Emily's spirited and engaging nature makes her a favourite among peers.

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