How Do Las Vegas Sports Betting Lines Work?


Quick Answer

A betting line is used in a particular sport, such as basketball or football, and helps to even the odds of the event. It works when points are either taken away from or added to a team's final score, and this determines if the bet is a winner. A betting line is also called a point spread.

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Full Answer

Betting lines, or point spreads, usually take place during major sporting events, like the Super Bowl. For example, in Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005, the point spread was seven. That means that, because the New England Patriots were favored to win the game, they were given a negative seven-point spread and the Philadelphia Eagles had a seven-point spread.

If a person bet on the Patriots during this game, he would not win the bet because after deducting the seven points, it would appear the Eagles won, despite the Patriots actually winning the game. If the Patriots would have won by more than seven points, it would have been a winning bet.

In Las Vegas and in other places where gambling is legal, gamblers sometimes have the ability to bet against the line. Spread betting allows gamblers to bet against the spread. Spread betting is one of the most common forms of betting used in sporting events.

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