# What are the odds of winning in Blackjack?

Sports Betting
July 9, 2016 – 11:18 am

## Introduction

I have a ton of stuff on this web site about sports betting. Way to much to fit on one page. If you're already familiar with the basics of how to make a sports bet, I invite you to go to skip this page and jump to one of my pages on a specific sport, as follows:

If you're new to sports betting, this page will endeavor to teach you the major types of bets. We'll use the photo above as a reference for some of them. In particular, we'll focus on the Rams/Vikings game, which looks like this:

### Oct. 11, 2009 — Vikings Vs. Rams

 401 Vikings -10 -600 402 Rams 41 +400

In all sports betting, the odds are on a "to one" basis. In other words, you always get your bet back, plus winnings, if you win. So, for example, if you must bet \$11 to win \$10, then you would present \$11 at the window and the writer will give you a ticket worth \$21 if it wins.

## Money Line

Money Line bets are simply on whom will win. No point spreads or any other nonsense.

Most of the time, one team will be favored over the other. So, if you bet the underdog, then you're rewarded with more than even money if they win. If you want to bet the favorite, then you will have to risk more than what you stand to win.

Consider game numbers 401 and 402 in the example above. The +400 for the Rams means that a bet on the Rams would pay 4 to 1. The -600 on the Vikings means that if you bet them, then you have to lay 6 to 1.

Examples:

• A \$100 on the Rams would win \$400.
• A \$600 bet on the Vikings would win \$100.

The most common way to bet football and basketball is with a point spread. Most sports bettors like a wager that has about a 50% chance to win. Less than that and you'll probably lose. More than that and you won't win much if you do win.

To achieve about a 50/50 chance of winning a bet on a lopsided game, like the Rams vs. Vikings above, the sports books have come up with the "point spread."

Before I go on, let me clarify some terminology. Despite it being probably the most popular way to bet, there is no particular term for a bet against the spread. Many people call this a "straight bet." However, this term can also be used, and is printed on tickets for, money line bets, total bets, and any other bet involving just one game. For purposes of this page, I call such bets a "point spread" bet, and invite the rest of the world to adopt this terminology.

A point spread is simply a handicap you give the weaker team, or deduct from the stronger one, depending on how you look at it. For example, if my average scoring in bowling is 120 and I play somebody with an average of 140, then to make a wager fair, I might be given a free 20 points. In this case you would say my point spread is +20.

Source: wizardofodds.com
Interesting facts

Sports betting is the activity of predicting sports results and placing a wager on the outcome.
Aside from simple wagers such as betting a friend that one's favorite baseball team will win its division or buying a football "square" for the Super Bowl, sports betting is commonly performed through a bookmaker or through various online Internet...

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