Staying on top of sports betting odds movement and game line changes takes sustained effort on your own. Our live odds feed pulls all the latest odds from multiple sportsbooks together so you can see at a glance where the current odds are in real-time.
See our sports odds feed below for up-to-the-minute odds and game lines at Virginia online sportsbooks. Use the drop-down menu to toggle between sports, states and key betting markets such as moneyline, spread and totals.
Sports betting odds will be displayed in one of three main ways at sportsbooks. Here’s an explanation of how the different sports betting odds work. If you’re new to sports betting, our how to sports bet guide will answer most of your questions.
At legal and regulated sportsbooks here in the US, this is the odds listing you’ll be dealing with. The odds are listed as three-digit numbers. In a case in which there are just two choices present, negative numbers indicate the favored side, while positive odds appear on the side of the underdog.
Many of the sportsbooks over in Europe and elsewhere across the globe list odds in decimal form. For an individual game, the side with the higher value is the favorite. The choice with the lower number is the underdog.
This is the top choice for sportsbooks in the UK and Ireland, and they’ll also look familiar to fans of horse race betting. In the eyes of oddsmakers, the smaller the overall value of the fraction, the more likely the outcome favoring that side will come to pass.
It’s important to understand how all three listings work, but those playing at Virginia sportsbooks will be dealing with the American odds listing. That’s where our focus will be for the remainder of this article.
For team-based sports, each matchup will have its own listing at sportsbooks. The general rule is that road teams are on top and home teams on the bottom, but there are some occasional neutral-site matchups to be aware of.
Next to each team name will be a series of numbers, so the full listing will look something like this.
If we read from left to right, the numbers are the odds and lines for the top three game bet types: point spread, moneyline and totals.
For our example, the Titans are 2.5-point favorites. They’re also favored on the moneyline in a game with a projected total of 47.5 points. In parentheses next to the spread and totals are the odds for those bet types.
While this is a standard listing, there are some variances depending on the sport. Basketball and football games use the point spread. Baseball betting uses what’s known as a run line, typically set at 1.5. Soccer and hockey betting use a goal line.
Online sportsbooks and sportsbook apps make it easy to see what the potential return will be for your winning bets. All you need to do is add a selection to the betting slip and plug in the amount of your bet.
The platform will display the possible return for a successful bet right there.
Despite that, it’s a good idea to know how to run through the calculations on your own. This helps you to further conceptualize return percentages, and also gain an even greater understanding of the risk-to-reward relationship.
To that end, let’s run through three formulas that will help you get it down in no time.
First up, here’s how we can figure out what the payout will be when the odds are negative.
To calculate this formula, we would begin inside the parentheses and take the listed odds without the minus sign and divide that number by 100. That’ll give us the value for that part of the equation. From there, it’s just a matter of dividing the amount of our bet by that value.
Our potential return for a winning bet at odds of -130 is $76.92.
If we flip the odds around to positive — +130 — then the formula switches up, as well.
We still need to figure out the part in parentheses first, but we’ll then multiply that value by our bet amount to find the potential profit.
On a winning $100 bet at odds of +130, we’re looking at a profit of $130 for our efforts.
Naturally, not everyone bets at stakes of $100 per contest — or uses the exact same unit amount for each bet — but both formulas work the same regardless of the amount of the stake.
The final formula to work through has to do with figuring out the commission sportsbooks charge us. In the case of negative odds, the operator is charging juice or vig to facilitate the bet.
For example purposes, let’s assume odds of -110, which serve as the baseline for spread and total bets at most operators. If we bet $100 at these odds, what will we get back?
So why can’t we just double our money? That’s thanks to the vig. Once we know the potential profit, we can subtract that amount from our initial wager and then convert it to percentage form.
While it’s important to understand how these formulas work, not everyone has time to run through the math for every single bet. As mentioned, you can plug in a fictitious bet to see what the return would be at online sportsbooks, and you can also find betting calculators online.
There’s also a simple trick you can use to quickly place the odds in a monetary perspective. When the odds are negative, the value of the number is how much you would need to bet to get back exactly $100. In the case of -110 odds, you’d need to bet $110 to get back $100.
If the odds are positive, the number is telling you how much you can expect to get back for a winning $100 bet. If you wagered $100 at odds of +110 and things broke in your favor, you’d see a profit of $110.
Sports betting odds can also tell us the likelihood of a specific outcome, at least in the eyes of the oddsmakers. Once again, there’s some math involved that we’ll walk through. For starters, let’s say you’re betting on an NFL game with the following moneyline odds.
As the negative odds indicate, the Chiefs are favored to win the game. But how likely is it to happen? Also known as implied probability, this is how we figure it out based on the odds.
For the favorite, we remove the minus sign from the odds amount to make it positive, divide that amount by the positive odds number plus 100 and then multiply the result by 100 to find the implied percentage.
On the underdog side, the formula is set up the same. However, instead of beginning with the amount of the odds, the first number is always set at 100.
After we walk through these calculations, we know that there’s about a 56% chance for the Chiefs to win the game, and about a 45% chance of a Ravens win. (At least according to the oddsmakers.(
This is another calculation that is helpful to know how to do, as implied probability can help to further place the likelihood of outcomes in perspective. For the math-averse, there are calculators you can find online that will do the heavy lifting for you.
The overall sports betting menu is vast, and there are dozens of betting opportunities available at any given time. Each one of them will have odds attached. Let’s take a look at several of the main bet types and what the odds listing might look like for each.
This is one of the simplest bets on the board to understand, and a great starting point for new bettors as a result. You simply have to choose which side you think will win. Favorites have negative odds while underdogs are positive.
When a spread is installed on the game, you have a choice to make: the favorite minus the points or the underdog plus the number. In order to have a winning bet, the side you choose must cover the spread.
These bets revolve solely around the total combined points in the contest. Sportsbooks set an estimated amount and release it to the market, and bettors then get to decide if they think the actual number will be over or under that amount.
Proposition bets are extra bets that you can find on each of the individual games. They’ll be based on things that may or may not happen during the contest or at its conclusion. An example would be the total combined yards for an NFL running back.
A parlay wager is a combination of two or more bets on a single betting slip. The total odds will be based on the choices you include. For example, a two-team NFL moneyline parlay would look something like this.
Live betting, also known as in game betting, has grown from a niche offering to one of the most popular items at online sportsbooks. These are bets you can place in real time as games are playing out. And as you might guess, the odds can move really fast.
Live odds and open bets will vary based on what’s going on in the game or match. But how exactly do sportsbooks generate the numbers in the fast-moving world of live odds?
Leading sportsbooks invest heavily in data algorithms that crunch real-time stats provided by pro sports leagues themselves, and it shows in their offerings. For live betting, sportsbooks generate numbers just as they do for any other sports betting line, albeit in super-quick fashion, with a team of folks and the assistance of computers and algorithms.
For a typical game, live betting odds will appear for individual performances of the players, specific game circumstances and the outcome of the contest. Let’s use the latter as an example.
Heading into an NFL game between the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins, the former is a -150 moneyline favorite, while the odds for the underdog are at +140.
After the game gets underway, Miami surprises and gets out to a quick 10-0 lead. Perspectives on the potential outcome have shifted as a result, so you might see new moneyline odds that look like this.
This will continue as the game plays out. If New England comes back to tie it up, then the odds will change once again, and so on. In cases such as this, live betting provides you the chance to hedge your initial bets or double down on your initial instincts.
As the sports betting capital of the world, Las Vegas has also spent decades as the first and last word when it comes to odds and lines. Now that sports betting has been legalized in a growing number of states, including right here in Virginia, the story is a little different.
There’s still a lot to be said for Las Vegas lines and odds. Sports betting is huge business out in the desert, and the top casinos and sportsbooks have talented oddsmakers on the payroll. When they set lines, you can be confident that a ton of research and data went into them.
However, the sports betting floodgates are now open. Las Vegas no longer has legal US sports betting to itself, so more people across the country have got in on the business of oddsmaking. Each of the newer markets are being serviced by top-notch sportsbooks or casinos as well.
These sportsbooks devote just as much time to setting lines as the major players in Vegas. As a result, the odds are usually efficient and right in line with what you’ll see from the top books in Nevada.
It’s still worth taking the time to check out the odds from Vegas as part of your research routine. However, there’s a really good chance that the numbers in your neck of the woods will be right in line.
After the initial release of odds, the betting market doesn’t stand still. Bettors will begin placing their wagers, and there’s often some fluctuation in the numbers from there. Why does that happen?
Just like the rest of us, sportsbooks have their sights set on making money at the end of the day. If a game winds up with a lot of action on one side over the other and the heavily bet side turns out to be the correct call, the books will lose money on that contest.
Since they’d rather have those instances be few and far between, sportsbooks will move the numbers in a bid to attract more attention to the other side. They can do this with the spread and totals by moving the number by a half-point or more.
They can also simply adjust the odds a few ticks for the bet type in question. If that doesn’t have the desired impact, then they may keep on adjusting until they find the right mix. Also, keep in mind that a major piece of news — such as a key injury or trade — can impact the initial numbers.
Lines move all the time with sports betting, and the odds won’t necessarily be the same at each book all the time, either. That’s a good part of the reason why line shopping is so important. This simply means that you are checking the prices at multiple operators to find the best numbers.
When betting on spreads and totals, it’s possible that the margin of victory or final score will be exactly the same as the listed lines from sportsbooks. For a moneyline, a game could be called early or end in a tie. So what happens to bets in these cases?
Sportsbooks will treat these situations as a push, which essentially means that all bets are off. The sportsbooks will treat that wager as a tie and refund all bets on the outcome in full. If you dropped $100 on a bet that wound up as a push, you would get your $100 back.
It’s a situation that happens often enough in sports betting, and also a good part of the reason why many spreads and totals are set with a half-point on the end. When the line is set like that, there will be a clear winner and loser.
We can learn a lot from studying sports betting odds. In fact, if we take a step back and think it through, we can view the odds board as if it’s a free piece of research that sportsbooks are sharing with the public.
Behind the scenes, oddsmakers have a wealth of data at their disposal to help set the lines. When they release those lines to the public, we can immediately gain a sense of the most likely outcome or implied probability.
We can also figure out how much of a return we can expect on bets for whichever side we choose. Understanding what the odds board is telling you and what you can infer from that can be a key step to take as you move down the path toward long-term profitability.