Kelso’s Guide to Betting
Betting baseball is slightly different from football and basketball wagering,
since a point spread is not used. A money line is offered on each game
and it is based on the starting pitchers, because they are considered the most
decisive factor in predicting the outcome of a baseball game. All you
have to do to win a baseball bet is to win the game outright.
Here is what a typical baseball line looks like:
- Cincinnati Reds (Harnish) -140
- Houston Astros (Holt) +130
The team with the Minus (-) is always the favorite. The team with the
Plus (+) is always the underdog. It is very simple to understand how
to bet. If you wanted to take the Cincinnati Reds, the favorite, you would
lay $140 to win $100.
If you wanted to take the Houston Astros, the underdog, you would lay $100 to win $130.It is as simple as that.
Betting baseball totals (the over and under on a game) is equally as simple. You lay 11-to-10, just as you do in football and basketball, with some exceptions. If you see a totals line offered at 8 and you see it is listed as 8ov25, this means if you want to bet the over, you will have to lay $125 to win $100, instead of the $110 to win $100. If you wanted the under in that game, you would bet $100 to win $115.
FOOTBALL & BASKETBALL BETTING
Football and basketball is offered on a point spread basis, with money line betting (see baseball above) also offered on a limited number of games. In football and basketball betting, you always lay $11 to win $10, or 11-to-10. On smaller wagers some books require the bettor to lay 6-to-5, or $12 to win $10. With point spread betting, the winning bet is not determined by which team actually wins the game, but rather by the final score of the game, with a point spread factored in.
Let us say Alabama is playing LSU and is favored by 7 points (-7). If you wanted to bet Alabama, the favorite, you would have to lay the 7 (-7) points. If you wanted to bet LSU, the underdog, you would take the 7 points (+7) points.
Now let us say the final score was Alabama 28, LSU 20. If you bet Alabama, you would subtract the -7 and have a score of 21. Since LSU only scored 20 points, you would win your bet with Alabama, 21-20.
Now let us say the final score was Alabama 26, LSU 20. If you bet Alabama, you would subtract the -7 and have a score of 19. Since LSU only scored 20 points, you would lose your bet, 20-19.
In betting football and basketball, if you take the favorite, you subtract from your team's final score the number of points you gave. If you bet the underdog, you add to your team's final score the number of points you received. It is as simple as that.
Hockey is a more complicated sport to bet. Most bookmakers offer
a "puck" and a money line. Most books use the latter.
If you want to bet the money line, you might see a line like this: Dallas minus ½, minus $1.65 over Chicago". This means Dallas is the favorite and, if you liked Dallas, you would have to have ½ a goal and bet $165 to win $100. If you wanted to bet Chicago, the underdog, you would get ½ goal and have to bet $100 to win $145. If you wanted to bet the "puck" line, let us say Chicago is playing Detroit and favored Chicago is minus 1½, even. To bet Chicago you must give 1½ goals and wager even money, i.e. $100 to win $100. To play Detroit, the underdog, you would receive 1½ goals while laying even money, i.e. $100 to win $100.
A parlay is a bet combining two or more games in a single wager. In order to win a parlay bet, all teams in your parlay usually have to win. The exception is ties, which at some books are considered "no action" bets. Let us say for the sake or argument you were betting a three-team parlay and won two games while tying one. The tie game would be called "no action" and the parlay would be paid off as a winning two-team bet. Always check the house rules where you bet your parlays.
Here is a rundown on parlay odds.
- 2 Team Parlay Pays 13-5
- 3 Team Parlay Pays 6-1
- 4 Team Parlay Pays 10-1
- 5 Team Parlay Pays 20-1
- 6 Team Parlay Pays 40-1
Many bettors like to bet "teasers", which is a multiple-team wager offering a much more attractive point spread in exchange for a lower payoff. You must bet at least two teams. When betting a football teaser, you are given 6, 6½, 7, 10, and even 14 points with which to improve your point spread. In basketball, you receive 4, 4½, and 5 points.
In wagering a football teaser, let us say you liked the Green Bay Packers over the Washington Redskins, the St. Louis Rams over the Oakland Raiders and the Tennessee Oilers over the Baltimore Ravens.
Now let us say the actual betting lines were:
- Green Bay -3½
- St. Louis -4
- Tennessee -6½
Now let us say you wanted to bet a 3-team 6-point teaser. This means the betting lines on each game would be improved by 6 points. Now your lines are:
- Green Bay (+2½)
- St. Louis (+2)
- Tennessee (-½)
You have improved all those lines by 6 points. You must win all three
wagers to win your teaser and, in most cases, ties lose. Most payoffs
on a 3-team, 6-point teaser are 9-5, compared to the 6-1 you would get on a
winning 3-team parlay.
Prices vary from store to store on all teaser payoffs. Always ask what you will get before you bet.
Here are sample payoffs on 6-point teasers:
- 2 Teams Pays Even Money
- 3 Teams Pays 9-5
- 4 Teams Pays 3-1
- 5 Teams Pays 9-2
- 6 Teams Pays 9-1
Here are sample payoffs on 6½-point teasers:
- 2 Teams Pays 10-11
- 3 Teams Pays 8-5
- 4 Teams Pays 5-2
- 5 Teams Pays 9-2
- 6 Teams Pays 6-1
Here are sample payoffs on 7-point teasers:
- 2 Teams Pay 5-6
- 3 Teams Pays 3-2
- 4 Teams Pays 2-1
- 5 Teams Pays 7-2
- 6 Teams Pays 5-1