The easiest of bets to understand mathematically are spreads and over/unders, where the casino aims to have a 50/50 split on the two sides of a bet. When betting $10 on the spread of a game—usually the minimum—the winning payout is actually less than $10.
Since the casino makes $10 on every lost bet and pays out less than $10 on a winning bet (amount depends on the sportsbook or gambling site), they make the difference on a 1:1 ratio of bets won to lost.
For the sake of easy math, if they pay out $9.50 per winning $10 bet, then for 10 bets won and 10 lost, the casino nets $5. Other bets become more mathematically complicated, but follow the same principles.
My point? Every bet should make you think. There will always be dissenting opinions. Just because a guy buys commercial time, slicks back his hair and tells you he’s a gambling wiz, doesn’t mean he has the answers to every bet.
You can make arguments for every bet. No one is ever right. That is, until they redeem the winning ticket.
Stay tuned tomorrow when we break down all the different bets you can make...or not make. In the meantime, got any questions about sports betting? Let us know. Or think you know something we don't know? Tell us in comments below!