The next sports betting tutorial begins anew at MyTopSportsbooks. We have gone over a few topics, and today is no different. Today’s subject is the β€˜vig’ or the juice and how it affects your bets. We will define β€˜what does vig mean,’ how to calculate vig, we will touch on no vig betting, and how the vig affects the bets you are making. Vigorish is somewhat abstract, but it is certainly prevalent in online sports betting. Let’s begin.

What is a Vig in Sports Betting?

What is Vig?

Gamblers have heard the term before, and in most cases, it refers to the online sportsbook, bookie’s, or casino’s cut for handling the action on a sports wager. To be a successful sports bettor, you must win a shade over 52 percent of your bets (52.38), to be exact. The reason you must win on more than 50 percent of your bets is due to the vig. The online sportsbook or oddsmakers creates an advantage for the β€˜house’ to make a profit. The vig is built into every bet. We have been referring to the NFL for our examples, and today is no different with a hypothetical NFL betting line. The matchup of Buffalo Bills are playing the Kansas City Chiefs, and the sportsbook or oddsmakers has the game listed as pick β€˜em -110 for both teams. Whichever side of a bet you take, it costs $110 to win $100 for a total of $210 returned on a winning bet. Suppose you lose, your out the original wager of $110, and that is the bottom line. The extra $10 on the bet is the cut for the bookmakers, casinos, or online sportsbooks of your choice. All the big sportsbooks like Fanduel, BetMGM, Draftkings and Caesars charge a nominal fee to handle your action. Often sports betting sites will provide a promo code for free bets that can be used on MLB, NHL, college football bets.

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Why do Bookmakers Take a cut?

Online sportsbooks, casinos and bookies are businesses; like other businesses, they are in business to make money. They can’t live on losing bets alone, hence the vig to cover expenses and protect them from a bad beat that happens occasionally. In a perfect world, the bookmaker wants to see even betting distribution. That way, they make money no matter which side cashes a winning ticket. The vig is a valuable tool for online sportsbooks and bookies to employ, and every gambler should understand how the vig factors into their bets. To escape the vig, you must find someone to make a bet with like, a friend, who might take your bet straight up.

 Why do Bookmakers Take a cut?

What is No-Vig Sports Betting?

Now things get a little more complicated. A no-vig line is the chance of the event happening. Before when can get there, we need to understand where the break-even data point is. The break-even point equation is the Bet/Winningsx100 = Break Even%. Now, I will break it down even further on a -110 bet, the coin flip. $110/$210×100 = 52.3% for the break-even point. To get to the no-vig line, No-Vig = 52.3 / (52.3 + 52.3), No-Vig = 50%.

Do Odds Changes Affect the Vig?

Certainly, odds changes will affect the vigorish, and it is the responsibility of every sports bettor to shop around for the best odds that cost the least amount to bet (the vig). In our example using the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs, both teams were -110 for a significant percentage of 4.5. If you odds shop, you might find the game at -105 for a 2.3 vig percentage. Bettors will see a significant disparity when playing the Moneyline, especially when heavy favorites are involved.

Vig and Overground, are They the Same?

The answer is yes and no, but similar. The vig is the fee taken for the action that a bettor places with the book. The overround is the aggregate total of odds on specific sports events. Calculating the probabilities of a particular event for each team to win is how the odds are set for each game. The odds consistently surpass 100 percent, most times 105 percent, and the extra 5 percent is the profit considered the overround.

How do I calculate the Vig?

How do I calculate the Vig?

Many online sportsbooks have a calculator to determine the price of the vig, and for total implied probability. If you are doing the calculations at home, you first need to find the implied probability of the game you are betting on. We will use the NBA as our example. On the NBA Moneyline, The LA Lakers are -300 against the Dallas Mavericks +200.

  • The formula for implied probability (Lakers) is 300/400, and it becomes 75 percent of winning.
  • The formula for implied probability (Mavericks) is 100/300, and it becomes 33.3 percent of winning.
  • Next, add both implied probability results for a total of 108 percent. For every $108 bet, a $100 return comes back on winning bets.
  • To get the vig: 1-(1/overround) x 100. In this case, that’s 1- (1/108) x 100 = 0.740, or a vig of 7.40 percent.
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How Does Vig Work with a Parlay Bet?

A parlay bet is one bet that has two or more games on it. All games picked must win for a sports better to receive a parlay payout. If you look at a parlay odds chart with -110, it looks like this:

  • 2 Teams, Potential Payout +260, (13-5)
  • 3 Teams, Potential Payout +600 (6-1)
  • 4 Teams, Potential Payout +1000(10-1)
  • 5 Teams, Potential Payout +2000 (20-1)
  • 6 Teams, Potential Payout +4000 (40-1)

You can make a parlay bet with as many as 12 teams (+6000) and get an excellent return for a minimal bet, but the vig is higher than a straight bet, and you don’t get true odds. For a three-team parlay bet, you get 6-1, but in reality, the odds are 7-1; the difference is in the vig.

Shop Around

When shopping for the best vig percentage, we at MTS recommend you review some of these online sportsbooks to find the best value bet you can make. Shopping around is the difference between a casual bettor and a sharp. The casual bettor will see the vig as the cost of doing business while the sharp will seek value and savings and the savings add up over years of betting.

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Frank Lorenzo
Frank Lorenzo
MTS Co-Founder
Geoff Johnson
Geoff Johnson
MTS Co-Founder