The Rundown: Place Your Bets

On Wednesdays we will showcase something interesting about sports. It might be five facts about a sport, player or an insider’s look. With Super Bowl around the corner, today’s feature is about sports betting and how you can arrive at a sportsbook looking like a know it all. Friday we’ll feature a preview of this weekend’s NFL playoffs.

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The LNG Team

PS – We’re not your bookie so don’t blame us if you don’t win. We’re simply providing you the knowledge! Usually the sportsbook staff are helpful if you’re looking to place a bet and still a bit confused. 

Place your bets

What are the odds? The sportsbook will be buzzing this time of year with the NFL playoffs. Here’s a quick break down that you can apply to sports all year round. 

  • One way to bet is on the spread. The spread is the number sportsbooks think a team will win/lose by. 
    • For example, Patriots are -3 (favored by three points) vs Broncos this weekend. Favored teams always have a minus in front and the underdogs have plus. This means the Patriots would have to win by three or more points for you to win. Conversely, Broncos can lose by three points and you would still win.
  • Another way to bet is to go with the money line bet, meaning you bet on a team to win straight up, without a spread. This is beneficial if you think the underdog will win as the payouts are bigger. (The favorites are more likely to win so payouts are less).
    • For example, on Sunday Broncos are +140 money line bet, meaning they would have to win the game for you to win the bet. If you put $10 on them and they won, you would win $14.
    • Patriots are -160 favorites therefore the odds in a money line bet are not as good. If you put $10 on them, you would only win $6.
  • Then there’s the under/over bet which means you are not betting on any specific team but the final score of the game.
    • Let’s say the Cardinals vs Panthers over/under is 48. If you take the over you’re betting that the two teams will score at least 48 points. The under means you bet on them scoring less than 48 total.
  • Another option to bet is a parlay, which is making two or more bets on a single ticket. Parlays have higher payouts because the likelihood of winning decreases with more bets put on a parlay card. Each bet must win for you to win your bet.
    • An example according to William Hill mobile betting app, if you put $10 on a four team parlay it would look like this: 
      • Broncos +3 (spread – can lose by three points and you still win)
      • Broncos/Patriots Over 44 (over/under – total score will consist of 44 points or more)
      • Cardinals +3 (spread – Cardinals can lose by three points and you still win)
      • Cardinals/Panthers Over 48 (over/under – total score will consist of 48 points or more)
      • If you win all four bets, your winnings would equal $118.35
  • Last but certainly the most fun is a proposition or prop bet. Prop bets are bets on individual things that will happen throughout the game. They are very popular during the Super Bowl. Here are some popular prop bets in Super Bowl:
    • Over/under of the length of the national anthem
    • Who will win the opening coin toss?
    • What color Gatorade dumped on the winning coach?
    • Will there be a safety in the game?
  • A few last minute pointers
    • A push means you tie your bet and get the money you bet back. Say you bet over 44 for Patriots/Broncos and they score exactly 44. You will get your money back because they met the over points, but didn’t actually go over.
    • Backdoor means team score a meaningless points at the end of the game to cover a spread (see College Football Championship)
    • A sportsbook makes money by taking a cut of each bet, which typically is 10 cents on spreads and over/unders. Therefore if you wanted to bet $10 on the Broncos at +3 odds (win by three or more) would be -110. Which means you would need to put down $11 to make it even money
    • Lastly, the people who set the points on each game are smart and there’s a reason it's their job as they’re good at making the casino money. Enjoy it but gamble responsibly.

(Source for the

Quickie Updates

  • MLB (Major League Baseball) Coveted 28-year-old free agent, outfielder Justin Upton, signs a contract with Detroit Tigers - six years, $132 million.
  • NBA (National Basketball Association)  Memphis Grizzlies Matt Barnes delivers the classiest quote of the the year.  When referring to his personal situation with New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher, “Violence is never the answer, but sometimes it is." You may remember Fisher is dating Barnes’ ex-wife. Emily Post would be so proud. The NBA slapped Barnes with a $35,000 fine for condoning violence. 
  • NCAA Basketball (College) The great state of Iowa is number one ranked teams’ kryptonite as three number one teams have lost so far in the state. 
  • NFL (National Football League) Rookie of the year announced: Future star of Los Angeles, Rams running back Todd Gurley (offense) and Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters (defense).
  • Olympic Basketball USA basketball announces the final 30 candidates for this year’s Olympic team. There are 12 spots total for the team playing in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. Read the list here
  • Tennis There were major upsets in the first round of the Australian Open which include Rafael Nadal and Venus Williams.