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Bets on money line, spread, total




Money line
This is a line with two outcomes for a victory of a team in a sport event. The Draw option is missing. It is mostly used for American sports. It is applied also for other sports, for instance, rugby, tennis, box etc. For some of these draw is a possible outcome but not likely to happen. If, for some reason, there is no winner of the event, the bets on Money line are settled as “push”. There are exceptions with some bookmakers – in the event of a draw, the bets on the Money line are settled according to “the dead heat rule” (for more information read the relevant article).


The odds (the price) of the two playing teams depend on their chances of a victory. In the event of a significant difference between the rank of the playing teams, there will eventually be a difference between their odds. For example, the following line for NBA:





is significantly imbalanced which makes it unattractive to the punters and also hard for the bookmakers to manage. For the chances to be relevantly equalized and the line respectively balanced, the bookmaker introduces a point spread. This is a value used to correct the final result of an event and the bets are settled after this correction. The value of the spread depends on the difference between the playing teams’ ranks and is chosen in such a way that their chances and respectively their odds in the line are equalized. Let’s go back to our example above and, on the basis of a statistical data, assume that the favorite team would win the game with 11-12 points, then the bookmaker would place this amount as a spread and form the following line:



In this event, for the bets on Miami –11.5 to be winning the team has to win the game with 12 or more points. For all other outcomes, the bets on Portland +11.5 are winning.

If the spread is a whole number, then after the correction the result may be a draw. The bets are then settled as “push”.

This is the sum of the final results of both playing teams. According to the type of sport, it is measured in points, goals, sets, etc. The bookmaker defines the value of the total and gives 2 betting options – over and under. For the process of settling the bets to be eased, the total is usually a number ending in 0.5. For instance, according to statistical data, the total of 195.5 points can be found often for an NBA game. In the event of 196 or more points, the bets on over are winning, in the event of 195 or less points, the bets on under are winning. Sometimes the bookmaker, having made precise calculations and driven by the desire to balance out the prices for over/under, offers a total which is a whole number. Should the sum of the final results of the playing teams be equal to the total, then the bet is settled as “push”.

The concepts we discussed can be shown in practice in the NBA lines of Betcris:


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