Sportsbook pointspread lines are used primarily for pro and college football, along with pro and college basketball. Let’s take a look at the online sportsbook lines you are likely to see. Sportsbook pointspread lines are the most common form of sports betting lines and are primarily used for football and basketball as gamblers either take the favorite at minus points or the underdog at plus points.
The pointspreads are generally set up by the sportsbook oddsmakers with one of two objectives; (1) to attract equal amounts of betting action and money on sides or totals of a matchup or (2) to suck the gambling public into a trap with a sportsbook pointspread that is too good to be true.
The reason that the sportsbook would want equal amounts of betting action on a matchup is the “juice,” also known as “vig” that is charged to gamblers wagering on sides and totals at the online sportsbook.
The “vig” is usually ten percent on side and total action and is charged above and beyond what a gambler is trying to win at the sportsbook. For example, if a gambler wanted to win $500 on a game, he would have to wager $550.
As long as the betting action is equal, the sportsbook is guaranteed a profit with the “vig” that losers forfeit as part of their sportsbook wager. An example of a pointspread betting line in the NBA might have Utah at -4 and Denver at +4.
Gamblers taking the Nuggets with an online sportsbook wager would need Denver to win the game straight up or to lose by less than four points. Gamblers taking the Jazz at the online sportsbook would need Utah to win by more than four points.
If the Clippers won the game by exactly four points the game would be considered a “push at the sportsbook and all bets would be refunded. Sportsbook pointspreads are used in pro and college football and pro and college basketball.
Baseball and hockey have money lines at the sportsbook as do other sports like soccer, NASCAR, tennis, golf, etc.
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