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I have a question about money line sports bets?

Here’s an example:

It happens that tomorrow’s money line on the Yankee – Mariner game is New York -175, Seattle +165. Now suppose that you and I both go to a sports book in Las Vegas and I take the Yankees and you take the Mariners.
If the Yankees win, you lose $100 and I win $100.
If the Mariners win, I lose $175 and you win $165.

Now here’s my question: Assuming that there is an equal amount of betting support for each team, it looks to me like the sports book makes money on this type of bet only when the underdog wins. Is this true? If not, how does the book make money when the favorite wins?

Question posted by: wild_turkey_willie

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3 Responses to “Money line sports bets”

  1. Niki S Says:

    Create a video blog

    The books change the odds in a way that they awlays win, if people are betting more on one team the price for the other gets up and etc… They win whatever happens.
    If you want a good site that is different and you can win more money see this link
    ITs a site where you play against other people which makes the odds way much better than in any bookie.

  2. Anita Johnson Says:

    Caffeinated Content

    The thing is that everyone does not walk up and either bet to win $100 or lose $100.

    In this scenario, the books feel that a proper line would be New York -170. Regardless of which side you take, you are slightly overpaying theoretically. There’s some interesting sports articles at that you might like. I particularly liked the one they wrote about the run line.

  3. Jeff Says:

    Website content

    The problem is in your assumption. The only time you’ll see an equal amount of betting is if both teams are -105. The +165 means that only about 30-40% of the players are betting on Seattle.

    Let’s say that $8,000 is bet on Seattle to win, and $12,000 is bet on New York. That’s $20,000 in action. The house will take 5% off the top, leaving $19,000 to pay to the winners.

    If Seattle wins, then you have $8,000 in winning tickets who will get their $8,000 back, plus they share $11,000 from the losers who bet on the Yankees. If you bet $100, you get the $100 back, plus $140 from the pool.

    But if the Yankees win, then the winners get their $12,000 back, plus share $7,000 from the losers who bet on Seattle. To get a $100 share from the $7,000 loser’s pool, you’d have to bet $170 on the Yankees.

    The shorthand for that proposition is:
    Seattle +140
    Yankees -170

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