Sports Betting 101 - Reading the Spread
Point spreads (or lines) were created by sportsbooks to enable a bettor to bet close to even money on one team that is a favorite or an underdog. Most of these wagers cost $11 to win $10, so if you were going to bet one side and you risked $11, in the event of a win you receive $21 back. With a loss, you would get back nothing.
The lines generally look like this:
Chicago -5 -110
Detroit +5 -110
Simply put if you bet Chicago, you would need them to win be 5 in order to win. You would also have to bet $11 in order to win $10 (or $55 to win $50, $880 to win $800, etc.). If you bet Detroit, you would need them to lose by no less than 5 to win, and you would need to bet $11 to win $10. If Chicago wins by exactly 5 points, the bet is pushed and all players get their original bet back.
Depending on the amount of money bet on a game, sportsbooks may move the lines to get more bets on a certain side. They may also move the fee.
New York -8 -115
Cleveland +8 -105
In this example, you would need to risk $115 to win $100 on New York, but you would only need to risk $105 to win $100 on Cleveland.
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