Parimutuel Betting

Wagers on games without a point spread are called “straight bets,” and they are common in sports like football and basketball. Sportsbooks adjust a team’s score up or down to make the odds more fair. Because of the point spread, bettors can pick whichever side they prefer to win. When taking straight bets, a sportsbook aims for parity, meaning that 50% of bettors choose one team and 50% choose the other. The reasoning behind this is that the casino will make money regardless of which team wins. This is how it functions:

-9 (-110), New York Giants


+9 Lions of Detroit (-110).


The Giants are 9-point favorites over the Lions, thus they must hand over 9 points to make the score even. If you bet on the Giants and they win, you’ll collect if they win by at least 10 points. You will forfeit your wager if they win by fewer than nine points. When a team scores exactly the same number of points as the spread, the bet is a push and the bettor receives their money back. If the Giants win by exactly 9 points, then all bettors would receive their original stakes back, regardless of whether they won or lost.


The point spread changes frequently before kickoff, yet you’re still betting on the same team. If you bet on the Giants when they were -9, for instance, they need to win by at least nine points. Your wager remains the same even if the Giants’ point spread moves from -10 to -8; a victory by more than 9 points is required.


Online Sportsbook Recommendation for Straight Wagers


Sportsbook 5Dimes


Wide variety of wagers and lower juice percentages


Fixed Odds Betting

Straight bet odds are 11/10 at most brick-and-mortar and virtual sportsbooks. This means that for every $11 you wager, you have the opportunity to win an additional $10. Instead of using $10 as the floor, sportsbooks start with $100. A negative line (-) in sports betting represents the amount that must be wagered in order to win $100. If the line is -110, then a bettor can expect to win $100 for every $110 they wager.


Since the point spread already evens out the odds in straight bets, the line is always a negative number. House take (sometimes referred to as vig, vigorish, or juice) equals the difference between 11 and 10. This means the house makes $1 for every $11 wagered.


Baseball, hockey, and many other low-scoring sports don’t use straight bets since they require a point spread. Instead, money lines are the go-to for wagering on these games.

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