Atlantic City Sports Betting How Sportsbooks and Bookies Profit
Reading the Spread
Money Line Bets
Over/Under Bets
Proposition Bets
Future Bets
Parlay Bets
Teaser Bets
If Bets
Reverse Bets
Round Robin Bets
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How Bookies Profit
Creating the Spread
Line Movement
Parlay Odds
Teasers Odds
Sports Betting Terms
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How to Profit
Money Management
Keeping a Record
Betting Baseball
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Fantasy Sports
Home Field Advantage
The Super Bowl
March Madness
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Sports Betting 102 - How Sportsbooks and Bookies Profit

Sportsbooks generally profit though taking equal action on both sides of a game. This means that they look to get the same amount of money bet on one team as the other team. The fee in taking the bets, either the difference in the money line or the vig in the spread (-110), is where they make their profits.

For example, Baltimore is a 5 point favorite over Miami. The Spread would be Baltimore -5 or Miami +5. In order to bet either side, a player must be willing to risk $11 to win $10. By taking an equal amount of bets on each side, the sportsbook is in effect charging the players betting the losing side an extra dollar. When the game is over, and lets say Miami wins, a player who bet $10 on Miami gets bet $21 (the $11 risked and the $10 won) while the player who bet on Baltimore loses $11. The sportsbook then makes $1 on this transaction, the $11 lost by the Baltimore backer less the $10 won the Miami bettor.

Most people think that this is how bookies profit too, but in reality bookies often use several different methods to increase their profits above and beyond the $1.

Many local bookies may shave points to increase their odds. Shaving points is when the bookie knows that one team is going to get more bets than the other. Let's say you live in New York and the line national line on the Giants is -3. Most likely if you tried to place a bet with a New York bookie, he's spread would be -3.5.

The same is true for money line bets. Again you are in New York and want to bet the Yankees. While they may be favored nationally and the money line is -180, a New York bookie might charge you -240.

Bookies also shave points against the favorites simply because more players are known to bet the favorite than the underdog especially for big events such as March Madness or the Super Bowl.

Additionally, bookies may begin to remember certain players and adjust the line for each individual. If a bookie begins to notice that you always bet a certain team or never bet unders, they may begin to adjust there lines just for you in order to give them an added advantage. This means that 3 other players may have the Giants over 45, but because the bookie remembers you, he tell you line the is 45.5 knowing that you will most likely bet the over and not the under.

Parley Cards: Many local bookies also offer parlay cards to their clientele. These cards are offer the spreads on all the weekend's games, and a bettor must pick at least 3 games in order to bet. These cards work as a normal parlay except that the payouts are far that from sportsbooks and even farther from the true parlay odds. While most bettors don't bet much on these cards, bookies profit heavily from them. Additionally, some bookies shave points on these cards to protect themselves. This is when a team is favored to win by 3, but on the card the spread is -2 or +4. Now if the game is decided by 2 to 4 points, it's considered a push and the players winnings are lessened by that 1 game.

To see more about parlays, check out our parlay sections.

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