Whether placing bets on the Super Bowl, March Madness or an MLB game, bettors need to know some fundamentals about how sports wagering works, along with which options are available. This means learning the basics and understanding some of the language and terminology bettors use. Let’s look at a few of the must-know terms in the sports betting glossary.
Favorites vs. Underdogs
For every game, regardless of the sport, oddsmakers first must decide which team is the favorite and which team is the underdog. Many factors go into the process. It’s not as simple as the team with the better record being favored. Things like home-field advantage and injuries can help oddsmakers decide one team is more likely to beat the other on a given day.
The favorite is considered the one that is expected to win the game. The underdog, also known simply as the dog, is the one expected to lose. However, because favorites are the better team and win most of their games, oddsmakers must make betting fair by providing pros and cons to betting favorites and underdogs. Otherwise, everyone would always bet favorites, and the sportsbooks would go bankrupt. As a result, oddsmakers level the playing field by creating risks for betting favorites and providing advantages for betting underdogs.