How to Read Sports Betting Odds

Learn how to read sports betting odds. Our video tutorial explains sports betting odds in simple language. Use this knowledge hone your skills. Below, we’ll discuss point spreads, totals, and moneylines from various sports leagues. We also introduce the Asian Handicap to soccer bettors.

Chapters

  1. Point Spread
  2. Total Bet
  3. Moneyline Bet
  4. Asian Handicap Bet

Watch the following video to understand Betting Odds


How to Read Point Spread Odds

Point Spread
Game
Line & Odds
Bulls
Celtics
12/15/22 8:00pm EDT
+9.5 -115
-9.5 -105

Point Spread Basics

12/15/22 is the game date. 8:00 PM is the game time. You must place a point spread bet before gametime.

The visiting team comes first. In the example, the Chicago Bulls are the visiting team. The home team follows below. The Boston Celtics are the home team.

Point Spread Line

Teams with a plus line are the underdog. In the example, the Chicago Bulls are the +9.5 point underdogs.

Teams with a minus line are the favorite. The Boston Celtics are the -9.5 point favorites.

Why Does the Point Spread Line Have a ½ Point?

A ½ point spread means no tie bets. Either Bulls bettors or Celtics bettors will win. Oddsmakers use ½ points strategically to avoid pushing players.

A tie is possible when the point spread line is a whole number like 8, 10, or 15. If the final score difference ties the spread, your bet will be refunded. Neither Bulls bettors nor Celtics bettors will win.

Point Spread Odds

The numbers next to each point spread line are odds. These numbers determine your bet’s risk and win amounts.

Minus numbers indicate how much you lay to win $100. In the example, -115 means you lay $115 to win $100 on the underdog Chicago Bulls. -105 means you lay $105 to win $100 on the favorite Boston Celtics.

Plus numbers indicate how much you win for risking $100. Suppose the Bulls +9.5 had +120 odds. +120 would mean you win $120 for risking $100.

+100, PK, or EV is an even money bet. You risk $100 to win $100.

SportsBetting3.com College Football Odds Example

College Football Odds and Outcomes Explained

Game
BetRivers BetRivers
Bet
Utah State
BYU
8:00pm EDT

Underdog Utah State - Utah State bettors risk $100 to win $91.74 at -109 odds.

A +24.5 Utah State underdog bet wins if they lose by 24 or fewer, tie, or win outright. Your bet loses if they lose by 25 or more.

Favorite BYU - BYU bettors risk $100 to win $89.29 at -112 odds.

A -24.5 BYU favorite bet wins if they win by 25 or more. Your bet loses if they win by 24 or fewer, tie, or lose outright.


How to Read Total Bet Odds

Total
Game
Line & Odds
Avalanche
Lightning
01/22/23 7:30pm EDT
4.5 o -110
4.5 u -110

Total Bet Basics

01/22/23 is the game date. 7:30 PM is the game time. You must place a total bet before the game starts.

The visiting team appears over the home team. The over-under total bet is made against the sportsbook’s total line. This differs from the point spread or moneyline, where you pick a team to win.

Total Bet Line

Sportsbooks set a over-under total line that combines the estimated final scores of each team. In this example, the sportsbook has set a 4.5  total line for the Colorado Avalanche at Tampa Bay Lightning matchup.

o is an abbreviation for “over”. u is an abbreviation for “under”.

You decide whether the actual goal total will be over or under the sportsbook’s line.

Why Does the Total Line Have a ½ Point?

A ½ total line means no tie bets. The actual point total will be either over or under the sportsbook’s line.

A tie is possible when the total line is a whole number like 5, 6, or 9. If the actual point total equals the sportsbook’s line, your bet will be refunded. Neither the over nor the under will win.

Total Bet Odds

The numbers next to each total bet line are odds. These numbers determine your bet’s risk and win amounts.

Minus numbers indicate how much you lay to win $100. In the example, -110 means you lay $110 to win $100 on both the over and under.

Sometimes the numbers will differ. The over might have -115 odds while the under has -105. In this case, you would lay $115 to win $100 on the over. Or, you would lay $105 to win $100 on the under.

Plus numbers indicate how much you win for risking $100. Suppose the under had +120 odds. That means you win $120 for risking $100 on the under.

+100, PK, or EV is an even money bet. You risk $100 to win $100.

SportsBetting3.com MLB Odds Example

MLB Odds and Outcomes Explained

Game
BetRivers BetRivers
Bet
Royals
Tigers
1:10pm EDT
Taking the Over - Over bettors risk $100 to win $89.29 at -112 odds.

An Over 7.5 bet wins if the total is 8 or more. Your Over 7.5 bet loses if the total is 7 or fewer, or a 0-0 tie.

Taking the Under - Under bettors risk $100 to win $93.46 at -107 odds.

An Under 7.5 bet wins if the total is 7 or fewer, or a 0-0 tie. Your Under 7.5 bet loses if the total result is 8 or more.


How to Read Moneyline Odds

Moneyline
Game
Line & Odds
Tigers
Royals
7/11/22 2:10pm EDT
+115
-134

Moneyline Bet Basics

07/11/22 is the game date. 2:10 PM is the game time. You must place a moneyline bet before the game starts.

The visiting team comes first. In the example, the Detroit Tigers are the visiting team. The home team follows below. The Kansas City Royals are the home team.

Moneyline Bet Odds

The moneyline favorite will have a minus value. The moneyline underdog will have a plus value.

Minus numbers indicate how much you lay to win $100. In the example, the favorite Royals have a -134 moneyline. That means you risk $134 to win $100.

Plus numbers indicate how much you win for risking $100. The underdog Tigers have a +115 moneyline. That means you win $115 for risking $100.

+100, PK, or EV is an even money bet. You risk $100 to win $100 on the underdog. You’ll only see this when the favorite has -120 odds.

Rarely, both sides will have -110 moneylines. That means there’s no favorite or underdog. The sportsbook regards this game as an equal matchup. Risk $110 to win $100 on either team.

SportsBetting3.com MLB Odds Example

MLB Odds and Outcomes Explained

Game
BetRivers BetRivers
Bet
Royals
Tigers
1:10pm EDT
Possible Moneyline Outcomes
  • Kansas City Royals bettors risk $100 to win $118 at +118 odds. The implied probability for Kansas City Royals is 45.87%.
  • Detroit Tigers bettors risk $100 to win $73.53 at -136 odds. The implied probability for Detroit Tigers is 57.63%.

How to Read Asian Handicap Odds

Asian Handicap
Game
Line & Odds
Columbus Crew
DC United
7/13/22 8:00pm EDT
+0.25 -120
-0.25 +100

Asian Handicap Bet Basics

07/13/22 is the game date. 8:00 PM is the game time. You must place an Asian Handicap bet before the game starts.

The visiting team comes first. In the example, the Columbus Crew are the visiting team. The home team follows below. DC United is the home team.

Point Spread Line

Teams with a plus line are the underdog. In the example, the Columbus Crew are the +0.25 point underdogs.

Teams with a minus line are the favorite. DC United is the -0.25 point favorites.

The Asian Handicap functions like a point spread. The line’s numerical value determines how the bet wins or loses.

Why Does the Asian Handicap Line Have a 0.5 Goal Value?

A ½ point spread means no tie bets. Either the favorite or underdog bettors will win. Oddsmakers use ½ points strategically to avoid pushing players.

A tie is possible when the Asian Handicap line is a whole number like 2, 3, or 4. If the final score difference ties the spread, your bet will be refunded. Neither the favorite nor the underdog betters will win.

Why Does the Asian Handicap Line Have a 0.25 Goal Value?

Lines with a quarter goal increment, like 0.25 or 0.75, mean your bet is split equally between the halves closest to each number. This also includes lines like 1.25 or 1.75, or 2.25 or 2.75.

In the example, a bet on the underdog Columbus Crew means half your bet goes against +0 and the other half against +0.5. Both +0 and +0.5 are the two halves closest to +0.25.

Similarly, a bet on the favorite DC United means half your bet goes against -0 and the other half against -0.5. Both -0 and -0.5 are the two halves closes to -0.25.

You can also just add 0.25 and then subtract 0.25 to get each line.

Asian Handicap Odds

The numbers next to each Asian Handicap line are odds. These numbers determine your bet’s risk and win amounts.

Minus numbers indicate how much you lay to win $100. In the example, -120 means you lay $120 to win $100 on the underdog Columbus Crew. The 0.25 line means your bet is split equally against +0 and +0.5. That means $60 to win $50 against +0 and $60 to win $50 against +0.5.

+100 means you lay $100 to win $100 on the favorite DC United. The 0.25 line means your bet is split equally against -0 and -0.5. You’re betting $50 to win $50 against -0 and $50 to win $50 against -0.5

+100, PK, or EV is an even money bet. You risk $100 to win $100.

Plus numbers indicate how much you win for risking $100. Suppose DC United  -0.25 had +120 odds. +120 would mean you win $120 for risking $100. With a 0.25 line, you’d be betting $50 to win $60 against -0 and $50 to win $60 against -0.5.

Read more about the Asian Handicap in our detailed soccer betting tutorial.

SportsBetting3.com Major League Soccer Odds Example

Major League Soccer Odds and Outcomes Explained

Game
BetRivers BetRivers
Bet
Inter Miami CF
Toronto FC
9/30/22 7:30pm EDT

Underdog Inter Miami CF - Inter Miami CF bettors risk $100 to win $81.97 at -122 odds.

A +0.5 Inter Miami CF underdog bet wins if the result is a draw, or they win outright. Your bet loses if they lose by 1 or more.

Favorite Toronto FC - Toronto FC bettors risk $100 to win $102 at +102 odds.

A -0.5 Toronto FC favorite bet wins if they win by 1 or more. Your bet loses if the result is a draw, or they lose outright.

Tips for comparing betting odds and finding value

Given two equal point spreads or totals, bet at the sportsbook charging less juice. A lower commission means you won’t have to risk as much to bet on the favorite.

Also shop positive juice numbers. Under 35 +118 at one book is less profitable than +120 at another. You’ll get an extra $2 reward for making this bet at the other book!

How to Read Betting Odds Tables and Reference

Betting Information

  1. March Madness Futures
  2. Stanley Cup Betting
  3. World Series Betting
  4. College Football Betting
  5. Soccer Betting
  6. Point Spread Bet Tutorial
  7. Total Bet Tutorial
  8. Moneyline Bet Tutorial

Common Sports Betting Odds FAQs

What does a -0.25 soccer spread mean?

-0.25 is an Asian Handicap. Half your bet goes against -0 and the other half against -0.5. The bet pays according to the line’s odds. Divide the total risk and win amounts in half to calculate each half bet’s risk and win amounts.

What does a -0.75 soccer spread mean?

-0.75 is an Asian Handicap. Half your bet goes against -0.5 and the other half against -1. The bet pays according to the line’s odds. Divide the total risk and win amounts in half to calculate each half bet’s risk and win amounts.

What happens if the actual MLB total equals the sportsbook’s total line?

If the actual game run total equals the sportsbook’s line, your bet “pushes” or ties. Your bet will be refunded. Neither the over nor the under win.

Do whole number or half number Asian Handicaps get split into two bets?

No. Only Asian handicaps with quarter goal increments get split into two bets. Half goal and whole goal spreads work like any other point spread bet.

What does PK odds mean?

PK or “Pick ’em” means the bet pays even money. That means you risk $100 to win $100.

What do +100 odds mean?

+100 means the bet pays even money. You risk $100 to win $100. This can also be written as PK or EV.

What does a +225 Moneyline Mean?

+225 means you risk $100 to win $225 on the underdog.

What does ML mean in betting?

ML can mean Moneyline in sports betting. In horse racing, ML means “morning line.”

What does a -3 point spread mean?

-3 means the favorite must win by 4 or more points for your bet to win. A 3 point victory would tie the spread.

What does two -110 moneylines mean?

Two -110 moneylines mean the sportsbook considers both teams evenly matched. There is no favorite team. Risk $110 to win $100 on either team.

What is the point spread called in MLB baseball betting?

The point spread is called the “Run Line” in baseball betting. Bet whether the favorite will win by more than the run line, or if the underdog will lose by less than the run line.

What is the point spread called in NHL hockey betting?

The point spread is called the “Puck Line” in hockey betting. Bet whether the favorite will win by more than puck line, or if the underdog will lose by less than the puck line.

What does winning Against the Spread mean?

Winning against the spread means the team has covered the point spread. The favorite won by more than the spread or the underdog lost by less than the spread.

What does covering the spread mean?

Covering means the team has won the game based on their point spread value. The favorite won by more than the spread or the underdog lost by less than the spread.