How To Calculate Point Spread Bets And Total Bets

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Point spread bets and total bets are normally used in football and basketball. Here we will go in-depth about each and then learn how to calculate how much a winning ticket will payout.

oddsboard How To Calculate Point Spread Bets And Total Bets
Picture of a Las Vegas Odds Board

Point Spread Bets

Point spread bets are used by a sportsbook to balance the action on each side of a game. If a powerful team was to play a weak team everyone would bet the powerful team.

In order to balance the betting action a point spread is applied. A negative value of points is posted next to the favored team. This value will be subtracted from the favored teams score at the end of the game.

For example, if Team A is playing Team B the odds board may look like this:

Team A
Team B -7

As such, if the final score is Team A, 14 and Team B, 17 and you bet on Team A you have won the bet because 7 points has been subtracted from the score of Team B.

Unless otherwise posted, point spread bets have the odds of -110 or 10 to 11. This means for every $11 bet you will win $10. In other words, the total amount you will collect would be $21 on a $11 bet.

Total Bets or Over Under Bets

Total bets are also know as the “over under bets”. These are wagers on the final combined score of both teams at the end of the game to go over or under the posted number on the odds board.

For example, a total that is posted at 39 means that you can place a bet that the game will go “over the total” or “under the total” of 39.

Total or over under bets have the same odds of -110 as a point spread bet, unless otherwise posted, and are calculated exactly the same.

Point Spread Bets and Totals Bets Example

A point spread bet and a totals bet have the same odds of -110. The only difference is that instead of betting which “side” will win on a point spread bet, with a totals bet your betting if the combined score of the game will go under or over the posted number on the odds board.

odds2 How To Calculate Point Spread Bets And Total Bets

In the above example, the point spread is -14 in favor of New England and the Total is 42 1/2. Whichever bet you make you will have -110 odds.

The point spread odds of 10/11 (.91) or 10 to 11 are a standard among most sportsbooks and are posted on the odd board as -110 or in most cases are not posted at all. It is assumed in most sportsbooks that if odds are not posted next to the points spread or the total that the odds are -110, just like in the example shown above. In some cases it is possible to have odd that are higher or lower than -110, if that is the case then the sportsbook will post those specific odds.

We will go through some detailed examples for each sport in “Step 4 – Understanding Las Vegas Odds” in order to eliminate any possible confusion.

pointspreadcheerleader How To Calculate Point Spread Bets And Total Bets
Who Cares About The Point Spread Anyway?

Point Spread Bets and Totals Bets Calculations

The formula to calculate the how much a winning bet will pay for a straight bet using the point spread or using totals is as follows:

Straight Bet (-110) = (100 / 110) or .91

Calculating the “winning amount” of five separate straight bets of $55, $110, $150, $200 and $220 is as follows:

Straight Bet (-110): .91 x $55 = $50.00 Winning Amount

Straight Bet (-110): .91 x $110 = $100.00 Winning Amount

Straight Bet (-110): .91 x $150 = $136.50 Winning Amount

Straight Bet (-110): .91 x $200 = $182.00 Winning Amount

Straight Bet (-110): .91 x $220 = $200.00 Winning Amount

The formula to calculate the how much a winning bet will pay in total (winning amount + original bet) is as follows:

Straight Bet (-110) = (100 / 110 +1 ) or 1.91

Straight Bet (-110): 1.91 x $55 = $105.00 Total Payout

Straight Bet (-110): 1.91 x $110 = $210.00 Total Payout

Straight Bet (-110): 1.91 x $150 = $286.50 Total Payout

Straight Bet (-110): 1.91 x $200 = $382.00 Total Payout

Straight Bet (-110): 1.91 x $220 = $420.00 Total Payout

Next we will learn about “money line” bets and this will help put things more in perspective.

Go To Next Step arrow red How To Calculate Point Spread Bets And Total BetsStep #4 – How To Calculate Money Line Bets.

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