How to Become a Bookie – Lesson One

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In this guide we will discuss and explain the most common terminology that is recognized throughout the sports betting industry. This will form the foundation for all of the wagering communication between the bookmaker (the bookie) and their “player” who is placing a wager. In this edition we will focus on wagers placed on American football and basketball.

Lesson One: The Line or The Spread

The most common wager is made on what is called “The Line” or “The Spread”. That is the number of points one team “The Favorite” is favored over the other team “The Underdog” or commonly called “The Dog” for short. These “Lines” are made available by the bookie to the players so they can select the team or teams that they want to place a wager on. When wagering against the “Line” on one of the teams you are choosing what is called a “Side”.

Example One: In a recent NFL game between the Detroit Lions “the visitor” and the Chicago Bears “the home team” the Bears were favored by 7 points. This means if you place a wager on the Bears -7 points “The Favorite”, since they are favored by 7 points, then they have to win the game by more than the 7 points in order for you to win. When you bet the favorite minus the point spread then you are going to “lay the points”. The final score was Bears 34 Lions 22 so since the 12 points that the Bears won by is more than the 7 points, they were favored by a wager on the Bears was a winner.

Example Two:  In another recent NFL game the Los Angeles Rams, the home team,  were favored by 9 ½ points over the Seattle Seahawks, the visitor. If you placed a wager on the Seahawks +9 ½ points “The Dog” that means that the Seahawks don’t have to win the game for you to win the wager, they just can’t lose by more than the 9 ½ points. When you bet “The Dog” plus the points then you “take the points”. The final score was Rams 36 Seahawks 31. So even though the Rams, “The Favorite”, won the game they did not “cover the spread” or win the game by more than the number of points they were favored by so your wager on the Seahawks +9 ½ points, “The Dog “, was a winner.

Other Options: There will also be “Lines” available for the player to wager on the first half, the second half or any of the individual quarters one through four.


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