There are certain questions we get all the time here at Elite Sports Betting. Here are the answers.
How do sports bets work?
Sports betting is just like any other kind of betting: You place a bet on an event happening — or not happening — and if you’re correct, you win.
What do odds of +200 mean?
If a bet is listed as having odds of “+200”, it means a $100 bet would — if it won — pay a profit of $200. So, if you placed a $100 bet on a team to win a game (a “moneyline” bet) at +200 odds, and that team won, your sportsbook would pay you $300 (the $100 you gave them to place the bet + the $200 in profit you get).
How does a parlay bet work?
A “parlay” is a type of bet you create by linking together the outcomes of two (or more) other bets. In order to win the parlay, each of the bets you’ve linked together must win. If any one of them loses, you lose the entire parlay. The reason bettors do this is because the payout for winning a parlay is much higher than would be the sum of the payouts for winning each of the bets individually.
What states is sports betting legal in?
Fully Legal (in brick & mortar sportsbooks AND through online/mobile platforms):
Colorado (CO), Indiana (IN), Iowa (IA), Mississippi (MS), Nevada (NV), New Hampshire (NH), New Jersey (NJ), Oregon (OR), Pennsylvania (PA), Rhode Island (RI), West Virginia (WV).
Legal, with Restrictions (brick & mortar sportsbooks only):
Arkansas (AR), Delaware (DE), Illinois (IL), Michigan (MI), Montana (MT), New Mexico (NM), New York (NY).
Legal, but Yet to Be Active (bills/laws only recently passed, as of June 2020):
North Carolina (NC), Tennessee (TN), Virginia (VA), Washington (WA), Washington, D.C. (DC).
In Front of Legislature/On the Ballot for 2020:
Maryland (MD), Massachusetts (MA), Ohio (OH).
Can I place a bet online?
Yes. Sports betting is legal in many states, most of whom have methods of placing your bets online or through a mobile device. In states where sports betting is not explicitly legal there are still many ways for you to get a bet placed, namely through the use of non-US-based online sportsbooks.
How do odds work?
In sports betting, the term “odds” refers to the potential payout a sportsbook is offering on a certain bet if that bet should happen to win. In the US, most sportsbooks will list their odds in the “American” format, which displays them as a positive, or negative, 3-digit number. If a bet’s odds are a positive number (“X”), it means that a $100 wager will reward you with a profit of X. If a bet’s odds are a negative number (“Z”), it means that you will have to risk Z in order for a win to profit you $100.
For example, if a bet has odds of +250, and you risk $100 and win, you will receive a profit of $250 (the sportsbook will pay you $350, the $100 you risked + the $250 profit). If you risked $1 on that same bet, you would receive a profit of $2.50.
If a bet has odds of -150, though, you would have to risk $150 in order to profit $100 with a win. If you risked $15, it would be for a potential profit of $10.
What are 30 to 1 odds?
“30 to 1” is a way of saying that a bet will pay out a profit of 30x whatever amount was risked. If you risked $1 on a “30 to 1” bet and won, the sportsbook would pay you a total of $31 (for a profit of $30). “30 to 1” (or, “30/1”) is an example of fractional odds, as opposed to the more common (in the US) format of American odds. In American odds, “30/1” would be listed as +3000.
What is a spread in sports betting?
“Spread” refers to the point spread, which is a type of bet offered by sportsbooks in order to encourage bets on both of the teams in a game. With traditional moneyline betting, games between heavy favorites and big underdogs would receive far less action than those between close competitors, because betting on the favorite would return such little profit, and betting on the underdogs would cash in so infrequently.
So, the bookmakers invented the “point spread”, which allowed them to list both of the teams in a game at equal odds, the catch being that the favorited team had to win the game by X number of points/runs/goals (“X” being the point spread). Conversely, the underdog team only had to keep themselves within that X number of points in order to win for their bettors.
What does it mean to cover the spread?
A team “covers the spread” when it wins the game by a number of points/runs/goals that is greater than the listed point spread (or, loses the game by fewer points/runs/goals than the listed spread, in the case of underdog teams).