Do you place bets on sports? If so, you have likely heard the terms “juice,” “vig,” or “vigorish,” in the past. It’s sometimes just called -110, too. What you may be wondering (especially if you are new to the realm of sports betting) is what exactly this means and how it may affect you.
In sports betting, the magic number is -110. That’s because it outlines the total amount required by a sportsbook to earn(win) $100 on either side of a straight bet wager against the spread. Bettors have to lay down $110 if they want to win $100 when they are wagering on a point spread. Bettors can bet any amount on a -110 betting line or any line for that matter, but the return is different. For example if you wanted to win $50, you would have to bet $55, If you wanted to win $25 you would have to bet $27.50. The point spread is set by the oddsmakers, with their goal being to acquire equal action on both sides.
Confused? There’s no need to be. It isn’t as hard to understand as it may seem once you get the fundamentals of sports betting down pat. Lets dig alittle deeper.
If you are coming from the perspective of a sportsbook (bookie), the -110 number is actually used for making sure they are able to make money off of the bettors regularly – this is essential for staying in business. The “juice,” which is what this is usually referred to, is the amount of commission that the book earns on a bet or bets that have been wagered. The sportsbooks goal is to have 50% of the bets on each side guaranteeing them a profit from the “juice”
Put simply, you can think of it this like this. Consider it as a fee to broker the wager. This allows the book to still wind up with a profit between the one winning bet that’s cashed out, and another losing bet that’s based on the same -110.
If a bettor were to keep splitting bets with the sportsbook and there was never any juice associated with this, then it’d be pretty hard to make profit.
For bettors, the -110 is similar to wagering on a smaller moneyline, but usually with a total or spread involved where you are going to choose one side to cover the point spread. For example if the Lakers were -2 and -110 against the Hornets and you wanted to bet on the Lakers -2 -110 for $200, you would have to Risk $220 to win $200.
In some cases, a sportsbook may provide a bettor with “reduced juice,” or even “nickel lines” at specific times when they drop the -110 to -105. This is typically done in an effort to get more bets to come in. As a result, if you are betting, it is a good idea that you shop around to find the best lines before you put up a wager. After all, the ultimate goal is for you to make as much money as you can and put yourself in the position to pay much less so you can win the same amount. This is one of the best ways to help ensure this happens.
In some cases, it may be necessary for you to pay a premium of -120 or even -130. However, as long as your bet is a winner, it doesn’t really matter. Losing is what is going to cost you, so you should minimize your losses as much as possible.