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.

Table of Contents

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

Tutorial Video

Point Spreads

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

No NBA Game Market Live Example TBD: Check back soon!

Total Bets

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

MLB Odds Example

MLB Odds and Outcomes Explained

Game
BetRivers Sports Betting BetRivers
Bet
Cardinals
Pirates
6:40pm EDT
8 o -1058 u -117
Bet $100 at BetRivers Virginia
21+ Playable in VA only
Gambling Problem? Call 1-888-532-3500
Taking the Over - Over bettors risk $100 to win $95.24 at -105 odds.

An Over 8 bet wins if the total is 9 or more. The bet pushes if the total is 8. Your Over 8 bet loses if the total is 7 or fewer, or a 0-0 tie.

Taking the Under - Under bettors risk $100 to win $85.47 at -117 odds.

An Under 8 bet wins if the total is 7 or fewer, or a 0-0 tie. The bet pushes if the the total is 8. Your Under 8 bet loses if the total result is 9 or more.

Moneylines

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 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.

MLB Odds Example

MLB Odds and Outcomes Explained

Game
BetRivers Sports Betting BetRivers
Bet
Cardinals
Pirates
6:40pm EDT
+145-175
Bet $100 at BetRivers Virginia
21+ Playable in VA only
Gambling Problem? Call 1-888-532-3500
Possible Moneyline Outcomes
  • St. Louis Cardinals bettors risk $100 to win $145 at +145 odds. The implied probability for St. Louis Cardinals is 40.82%.
  • Pittsburgh Pirates bettors risk $100 to win $57.14 at -175 odds. The implied probability for Pittsburgh Pirates is 63.64%.

Asian Handicaps

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.

Asian Handicap 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.

0.5 Goal Asian Handicap

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.

0.25 Goal Asian Handicap

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 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.

No MLS Game Market Live Example TBD: Check back soon!

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!

Tables and Reference

MLS Futures Odds

2024 USA MLS Cup Odds

Team
BetRivers Sports Betting BetRivers BetMGM Sports Betting BetMGM
Inter Miami CF
+163
Bet
+175
Bet
LAFC
+700
Bet
+550
Bet
LA Galaxy
+800
Bet
+800
Bet
FC Cincinnati
+1000
Bet
+900
Bet
Columbus Crew
+1600
Bet
+1400
Bet
Real Salt Lake
+1600
Bet
+1600
Bet
Colorado Rapids
+4000
Bet
+2500
Bet
New York Red Bulls
+2500
Bet
+2500
Bet
New York City FC
+2500
Bet
+2800
Bet
Vancouver Whitecaps
+2000
Bet
+2800
Bet
Seattle Sounders FC
+5000
Bet
+3300
Bet
Orlando City SC
+6600
Bet
+4000
Bet
Charlotte FC
+4000
Bet
+5000
Bet
Houston Dynamo FC
+8000
Bet
+6600
Bet
Minnesota United FC
+6600
Bet
+6600
Bet
Philadelphia Union
+10000
Bet
+6600
Bet
Portland Timbers
+5000
Bet
+6600
Bet
Atlanta United FC
+8000
Bet
+8000
Bet
Toronto FC
+10000
Bet
+8000
Bet
Austin FC
+8000
Bet
+10000
Bet
Nashville SC
+10000
Bet
+10000
Bet
DC United
+10000
Bet
+15000
Bet
FC Dallas
+10000
Bet
+15000
Bet
Montreal Impact
+10000
Bet
+15000
Bet
New England Revolution
+15000
Bet
+20000
Bet
Sporting Kansas City
+25000
Bet
+25000
Bet
St. Louis City SC
+25000
Bet
+25000
Bet
Chicago Fire FC
+15000
Bet
+50000
Bet
San Jose Earthquakes
+100000
Bet
+100000
Bet

Other Sports 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

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 a PK point spread mean?

PK, or “Pick ’em”, means the point spread line is 0. In this case, the point spread bet becomes a moneyline. The odds values indicate risk and win amounts for each side.

What does +100 odds mean?

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

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 do 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.

What does + and – before a betting line mean?

– before a betting line indicates the side is the favorite. + before a betting line indicates the side is the underdog.