We all started with “10 bucks says” or “I’ll bet ya 10 dollars” so your first time looking at a betting line can be overwhelming. Lets take a quick look at how to read a line.

When betting on team sports, you will see three columns, Spread, Winner and Total, these are all types of bets you can place. The first set of numbers is called the line and the second set is the odds.

We will start by going over the types of bets Spread, Winner, and Totals , then we will take a look at How to read odds.

**Types of Bets**

**Winner**

Winner simply means, which team will win the game.

**Totals**

When betting the Total, the number you see is set by how many points are anticipated to be scored by both teams combined.

What you are betting on is if the total score will be Over, meaning the teams will combine to score more points, or Under, meaning the teams will score less points. The O next to the number indicates that you believe the Over will come in, the U means the Under.

**Spread**

The Spread is all about identifying the favorite and the underdog and trying to even the odds by either taking points away from the favorite or adding points to the underdog.

When looking at the Spread the team with negative points next to it is the favorite, the number next to the minus sign, is how much they are anticipated to win by.

For example if the favorite is established at -3, they need to win by more than 3 points for that to be the winning bet.

Adversely, the underdog is given points. Lets say they are plus 3. This means they can lose the game out right but can’t lose by more than 3 points.

Now that we know the type of bets, we can look at the odds.

**How to Read Odds**

Odds are if you are reading/watching this, this is your first time reading American betting odds. Sorry, we couldn’t resist. When it comes to reading odds the rule is to keep it 100. Just like in the Spread, the Favorite will always have a negative sign. The number that follows it is how much you would have to bet to win 100 dollars. So the higher that number the more they are favored to win.

The underdog will always have a + and that will be how much you would win if you bet 100 dollars. So the higher that number, the more of an upset it would be if they win.

BettorEdge has also put in probability in the form of % to show you the the likelihood that bet will be the correct outcome. The lower the percentage, the more risk and therefore more payout if correct. Remember, fortune favors the bold.

Still unsure, you can check out the examples below.

**Odds Example**

Lets take a look at a college basketball game.

Michigan State Spartans - 644 (Favorite)

Minnesota Golden Gophers + 644 (Underdog)

As one would expect in a battle between an ancient greek warrior and a gopher, the Spartans are a heavy favorite. BettorEdge also includes percentages to help understand the odds. Here you can see there is a 86.6% chance that the Michigan State Spartans will win.

Remember American odds are based off a 100. Michigan State is a heavy favorite so in order for us to win 100, we would have to bet 644. If they won, we would have our bet, 644, plus our winnings 100 to put 744 in our account.

Minnesota is the underdog and this would be an upset if they won. If we bet $100 and they won, we would have our bet, 100, plus our winnings 644 to put 744 in our account.

**Spread Example**

Here is a spread example from an NBA line between the Orlando Magic and the Washington Wizards.

Orlando Magic +9 (Underdog)

Washington Wizards -9 (Favorite)

The Washington Wizards are the favorite and are expected to win by 9 points. How about we cast a spell and see if we can review two different outcomes to better understand Spreads.

**FINAL SCORE 1**

Orlando Magic 100

Washington Wizards 108

In this case the Wizards only won by 8 points not the 9 they were expected to win by therefore Orlando Magic +9 would be the winning bet.

**FINAL SCORE 2**

Orlando Magic 100

Washington Wizards 110

In this case the Wizards only won by 10 points which is more than the 9 they were expected to win by therefore Washington Wizards -9 would be the winning bet.

**Totals Example **

In order for me to avoid using my calculator, lets take a look at a hockey total line because they are much lower than other sports. In this matchup between a sea monster and a shape, both teams are expected to score 6 goals.

**FINAL SCORE 1**

Seattle Kracken 3

Dallas Stars 2

The combined score of 5 goals, means the Under would come in because (assuming my math is correct) 5 is less than 6.

**FINAL SCORE 2**

Seattle Kracken 3

Dallas Stars 4

The combined score of 7 goals, means the Over would come in . Its important to note that with Totals, it doesn't matter which team scores, it only matters the combined score. So if you see someone doing the "D-FENCE D-FENCE" chant the entire game, regardless of who has the puck/ball, there is a good chance they took the Under.