General Lee 01
01-20-2007, 01:58 AM
I just saw the movie "Two for the Money", and I was wondering if anyone could explain the over/under and point spread. i kinda understand it, but not enough. any clarification would be appreciated, thanks.
01-20-2007, 09:40 PM
You can generally bet on football games in one of two ways. On either team and on the total points.
A bookie generally charges 10% 'vig' or 'juice' on the bet. So you pay $110 to put $100 on the Ravens for example. The bookie keeps the $10. Since football betting is paid out 1:1, you will win $100 on your bet ($200 back). Therefore ideally, the bookie wants to pay the winners with the money from the losers so he needs equal betting on both sides while he banks the vig.
But, football teams are rarely equal. If the Lions were playing the Patriots for example, more people would bet on the Patriots who would likely win. In this case, the bookie would lose out big time paying all winners who bet on the Pats. So, the bookie offers a line. He handicaps the game by giving one team a few points up front. In this case, he may give the Lions 7 points. Maybe 10. The Line would be shown as 'Patriots -7'.
Now, if you bet on the Patriots, they have to win by more than 7. If they win by 3, or 5 you lose. If you bet on the Lions, they have to lose by no more than 7 (or win of course).
Team stats and performance have a lot to do with setting the line but other factors such as team popularity can affect the line. The Steelers for example have a huge fanbase all over the country and the bookies understand that a lot of bets are placed (without much thought) on them regardless of the line.
If you go to a site like www.bodog.com (http://www.bodog.com) for example, you can watch the bookies adjust the line throughout the week as they try to equalise the betting.
Many people don't understand this. For example, when a team that has a big points spread loses, you will hear people mutter how the bookies lost their asses but so long as the lines are set correctly, the bookie doesn't care who wins - he pays the winners with the loser's cash
Similarly, the over/under bet is whether or not you think the total score (both teams added together) will be over or under the number given.
Again, the number is picked to ideally have equal people bet on either side of the line.
Maybe some more seasoned gamblers can chime in but that is how I understand it :)
General Lee 01
01-21-2007, 02:09 PM
^^thanks, much appreciated. ^^