New Jersey is quickly becoming the capital of sports betting in the U.S. The boom of sports betting in New Jersey has brought in an influx of new players, but it can be difficult for a novice player to make sense of the odds. Anytime you are confused, it’s always good to use a betting glossary to look terms up.
For team sports, top New Jersey sportsbooks offer three primary odds for each game: the point spread, moneyline and the over/under.
The Point Spread
Point-spread betting is the most popular form of sports wagering, and it’s also the most confusing for many new players. Simply put, the spread is the amount of points a team is favored to win or lose by.
The spread is set by sportsbooks’ oddsmakers to help even the odds between two unevenly matched teams. These figures are indicated by a positive and negative number after each team listed. The team with the negative number is the favorite to win.
For example, the 2019 NFL Wild Card weekend featured the Baltimore Ravens -3 versus the Los Angeles Chargers +3. These figures indicated that the Ravens were three-point favorites. If one were to back the Ravens in this scenario, Baltimore would have to win by more than three points to cover the spread. In contrast, if one were to bet on the Chargers, a player would be given the three points at the start of the game. A loss by fewer than three points or a victory would cash.
The moneyline is the most straight forward type of wager in sports betting because the player is just choosing an outright winner. The New Jersey sportsbooks will list two different numerical values, a positive and negative one, between the teams playing; this is the moneyline. The team with the negative number is favored to win.
In the NHL, if a sportsbook listed the New Jersey Devils -160 versus the New York Rangers +200, then the Rangers would be the underdog. You would have to bet $160 to win $100. In contrast, if one were to back the Rangers, it would pay two to one; a player who bet $100 would win $200.
If a player places a bet on the over/under, they are betting on the score of a game, rather than a particular team. The oddsmakers set the over/under based on how they predict the game will unfold from a scoring standpoint.
A player places a bet on if the total number of points scored between both teams will either be over or under the set total. For example, in an NBA game of the Brooklyn Nets vs. the New York Knicks, a New Jersey sportsbook would lay the odds out similar to this: 227 Over (-110), 227 Under (+105).
If a player were to bet on the over in this scenario, they are wagering that the combined score between the two teams will total more than 227 points, and they would need to bet $110 to win $100. Similarly, if a player were to bet the under, they would win $105 for a $100 bet if the total score was less than 227 points.
It’s important for a player to remember to shop around since each New Jersey sportsbook has their own oddsmakers, so the odds may slightly differ from one sportsbook to the other.