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Remember that sportsbooks make their money by withholding a small commission on winning wagers. If Player A bets on Atlanta -4, risking the standard $110 to win $100 and Player B bets $110 to win $100 on Buffalo +4, then the sportsbook makes $10 regardless of the outcome, as long as the final score isn't Atlanta by 4 points (in which case both wagers would be pushed and nobody makes any money). Since the total wagered is $220, the house's gross profit % in this simple scenario is about 4.5%. This number is the Theoretical Hold Percentage (or THP for short) for a straight wager. more...
Arguably, there is no simpler bet than the game total. Simply add the score of the two teams together (including Overtime) and if it is higher than the posted total, the Over wins. If it is lower than the posted number, the Under wins. It doesn't get easier than that. However, unlike pointspreads, many new bettors have difficulty predicting outcomes for totals, either from lack of experience or just lack of knowledge.
"What are the odds that David and Victoria Beckham will divorce before Christmas?"
A prop bet is a wager that is not directly related to the final score of the game (or event). For example, if your favorite baseball team is playing and you don't really have a feel for the outcome of the game, you might still have a feel for the pitchers or some of the players. You could place a prop bet or two on how those pitchers or players might do and that makes watching the game more exciting.
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