Some of this is easy enough to read. The Redskins -4 means the Redskins are favored to win and must do so by at least 5 points for a bet on the ‘Skins to pay out. The next number (-200) is the moneyline, in this case the Redskins are a 2/1 favorite. The last number (38) is the total, the over/under of the expected number of points scored in the game.
Edit My Bet. The ‘edit bet’ feature can be used by gamblers to ‘unsettle straight accumulators’ before matches have started or whilst they are in-play. The feature can also be used for to swap single bets for new bets, and the gambler is given a new bet selection valued at the bookie's cash out price to reflect live market/game odds for the original bet.
Reason number two that the bookie wins: He “charges” people to bet. The odds that he offers don’t add up to an implied probability of 100%, the remainder being potential profit for the bookie (known as the “vig” in the US). Depending on the event he might be charging a couple of percentage points (so on average he’ll make $2 for each $100 bet) to a couple of hundred percentage points (so on average he’ll make $200 for each $100 bet). It depends on his certainty around his estimate, how dodgy he is, how dumb he thinks his punters are, how much competition he has, and so on.
Sports betting should be a little different in every region and in every state. Football may always be the most popular sport for gamblers but basketball could be a little more popular on the east coast than Nevada. In addition to regional preferences, Atlantic City and much of southern New Jersey is considered a sports suburb for Philadelphia sports teams. TV’s are always turned into 76ers, Phillies, Eagles, and Flyers games.
**This is pretty long and covers your question and betting sports as a full-time endeavor. I bet year-round but don’t know if I would term myself a professional sports bettor and don’t have the bankroll to ever be a “shark” but I know the industry and the sports inside and out and put in considerable amounts towards each season. If you want to see what work goes into this and not just a numbers explanation (means nothing to someone who isn’t betting full-time and isn’t useful for someone who is because they already know) read it and let me know if you have any questions.**
Most losers base their judgement on a subjective feel for the forthcoming event, relying on an inkling or a hunch about what may happen. The skilled tipsters has a huge advantage over the recreational bettor, finding “value” in the odds, where the true chance of a win is greater than that estimated by the bookmaker. Many punters fail to appreciate the importance of value betting, preferring to subscribe to the “back winners, not losers” school of gambling, which will not make you win 57%.
This is a relatively new one for sports bettors to deal with, as many online sportsbooks now have casino-style gaming, which is too much for some sports bettors, including some very good sports bettors, to walk away from. It's not unheard of for a solid sports bettor to generally show a profit each week, but give that money back, plus a little extra, playing the casino games their sportsbooks offer.
Future wagers. While all sports wagers are by definition on future events, bets listed as "futures" generally have a long-term horizon measured in weeks or months; for example, a bet that a certain NFL team will win the Super Bowl for the upcoming season. Such a bet must be made before the season starts in September, and winning bets will not pay off until the conclusion of the Super Bowl in January or February (although many of the losing bets will be clear well before then and can be closed out by the book). Odds for such a bet generally are expressed in a ratio of units paid to unit wagered. The team wagered upon might be 50-1 to win the Super Bowl, which means that the bet will pay 50 times the amount wagered if the team does so. In general, most sports books will prefer this type of wager due to the low win-probability, and also the longer period of time in which the house holds the player's money while the bet is pending.
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What about financial products which are usually perceived as investment such as Equity (Stock) or Bond (Fixed Income)? Annual Returns on Stock, T.Bonds and T.Bills: 1928 – Current shows S&P 500 (US Stock Index) average is 11.41% while 10 year T-Bond is 5.23%. However, when it comes to the standard deviation (fluctuation of return), off course Stock is much higher. According to CFA Digest, stocks are about 3 times more volatile than bonds on average. Means the certainty of outcome in Positive return of Fixed Income is surely higher than Stock. The below chart is just giving you how the magnitude of the difference of volatility between these 2 assets class are (sourced from Market Realist);
When it comes to the Casino games, there is House Edge you can’t mathematically overcome. It’s the margin casino build in all through the games, and as long as the house edge exists the EV is negative. The % of the house edge depends on the game. According to The Wizard of Odds, it ranges between the lowest o.3% of Blackjack and 25% of Keno. The American Roulette is 5.6%, means if you stake $100 on Roulette you will lose average $5.6. Don’t misunderstand, always Variance comes in, thus you are not necessary to lose $5.6 every time when you bet $100 but the more you bet the closer to this number the loss will be. Say, if you stake $10,000 x 1 or $5,000 x 2, you may make a lot or lose everything, this is due to Variance. However you play $100 x 100 or $10 x 1,000 times, then you will quite likely to lose $560. That’s how mathematics of EV works.
Levante are the feel good story in Europe, and there’s no good reason to stop believing at this point. AccuScore calculates value on both the draw and a Levante win, so a split pick is the correct play on this one. Regardless of whether Levante win or draw, the pick would be profitable. The trends aren’t with this pick, but Levante has surprised us all this season. If Levante lose, however, Barcelona and Real Madrid will likely return to the top and Levante will be the forgotten story of the season.