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Mathletics by Wayne L. Winston

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SPORTS GAMBLING 101

In this chapter we will review (largely through a question-and-answer format) the basic definitions and concepts involved in football, basketball, and baseball gambling.

Betting on the Odds

In the 2007 Super Bowl the Colts were favored by 7 points over the Bears and the predicted total points for the game was 48. How could someone have bet on these odds? Theoretically the fact that the Colts were favored by 7 points meant the bookies thought there was an equal chance that the Colts would win by more than 7 or less than 7 points (in the next chapter we will see this may not be the case). We often express this line as Colts –7 or Bears +7, because if the Colts' –7 points is greater than 0, a Colts' bettor wins, while if ...

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