With the age of technology and the internet underway, the world has become more accessible now than ever before. People are connected worldwide and have access to establishments and information they couldn’t have had before.

Of course, this applies to the gambling industry as well, as the rise of online casinos and sportsbooks take the world by a storm.

Players now have access to casinos on an international level, where they have their choice of multiple online casinos that offer a huge range of casino games, or sportsbooks with multiple betting opportunities. However, this also means it’s important to have an understanding of the casino games and aspects of sports betting. This includes understanding how betting odds work, in order to gamble meaningfully.

Betting odds, also known as lines or spreads, tell you how likely an event will occur. These odds can help you predict the outcome of a game or occasion and exist for just about everything from sporting events to elections.

The good news is that betting lines are pretty easy to understand once you know the basics of how they work. Here’s a quick explainer to help you figure out how betting odds work and how you can use them to make intelligent bets.

How Do Odds Work?

There are several types of ways odds can be presented to the bettors, with one of the most common ways being the point spread.

Point Spread

A spread is designed so that if you bet on the favored team and win by more than the spread, you’ll win your bet. If the favorite team succeeds but fails to beat the spread, you’ll lose your bet. If the underdog wins, you’ll win a payout based on the odds you bet on.

Let’s say that Team A is playing Team B in a football game, and the current point spread is set at 7 points, with Team A as the favorite. If Team A wins the game by exactly 7 points, neither team’s bettors will win or lose their wagers. This means that Team A has to win the game with 8 points or more than what Team B has.

Now imagine that Team A has 10 points, with Team B having 2 points. If they hold on to the lead and beat Team B by 8 points or more, bettors who backed Team A will win their bets. But if Team A only beats Team B by 7 points or 6 points, bettors who bet on the underdog will win their bets. This means that if the game ends 10-4 or 10-3, even though the favorite won, they didn’t win with the requisite number of points.

The reverse is true if Team A starts with a 3-point lead and loses to Team B. Bettors who backed the favorite (Team A) will lose their wagers, while those who took the underdog (Team B) will win.

What Are Betting Limits?

In addition to the point spread, betting lines may also include a betting limit. This is the maximum amount you can bet for a wager to be considered valid. Depending on where you’re placing your bets, you might be required to bet a minimum amount before the line will even appear.

Make sure to check the betting limits before placing a wager, so you know what your odds are. There may be no limit on how much you can wager on an election or other event with wide markets, but there might be lower limits for sporting events.

What Is Probability?

Probability is the likelihood that something will happen based on past experiences or research. The probability of getting heads when you flip a coin, for example, is 50%.

When it comes to betting odds, probability can be used to figure out how much money you’re likely to win on an event. To do this, subtract the underdog’s chance from 100%.

If we take betting odds as a range of numbers rather than absolute values, they start to make more sense. For example, a betting line of +2 and -2 would mean that the favored team has a 64% chance to win (an implied probability of approximately 62%).