How to place your first football bet at a Las Vegas sportsbook like a pro

The bottom or second team listed is always the home team and has the home field advantage.Look at that point spread again. This is the moneyline.

In Vegas for the weekend and you’d like to place a friendly wager on your favorite team but don’t know where (or how) to begin? Follow these simple step-by-step instructions and you’ll be able to walk up to the casino sportsbook window and place your first NFL or college football bet like a pro.

Stop by the book, short for sportsbook, and pick up the current week’s odds sheet for the sport (in this example NFL football) you are interested in. In this example, if you straight bet the Texans, they must win by EIGHT points or more in order for you to win your bet. Notice that the Texans are the ‘bottom’ team of the two teams listed. It is customary to bet in increments of $11 ($22, $33, $55,…$1100, etc.) when straight betting/point spread betting. Again, CHECK YOUR TICKET FOR ACCURACY, thank the Ticket Writer and ask for a drink ticket and enjoy the game.. Or $37 to win $10 + your $37 bet. If the underdog Dolphins win outright, tie or lose by seven points (or less) the Dolphins are declared the winner for betting purposes and you lose. The point spread is always placed to the right of the team that is favored. This is optional when placing your bets, but a tradition when cashing your winning tickets. When straight betting or betting the spread that team must cover the spread. Or for the same rates, you can bet that the COMBINED score will be UNDER 43 points. Good Luck.

A few final notes. DO NOT LOSE YOUR TICKET. You can also view this information up above your head on the big, brightly lit boards, but it’s easier to grab a paper copy to study at your leisure.Find the team that you are convinced will win. Each sportsbook (or group of sportsbooks) have established minimum bets and maximum bets, ask the Ticket Writer about minimum bets if you’re a Low Roller or maximum bet limits if you are a High Roller.

And finally, consider tipping the helpful Ticket Writer a dollar or two or ten. Ask the sportsbook staff about mailing and cashing your winning tickets from out of state. ALL bets must be placed BEFORE kickoff. Or you could bet the Dolphins for $100 and win $300 + your $100 bet for a total of $400 back – IF the Dolphins win.Another way you can bet on this game is to bet the total. Remember that IF your team wins AND covers the spread you will get back your original bet PLUS $10 for each $11 dollars bet. Las Vegas runs on tips and good service should be rewarded. Good choice, the Texans are 7 1/2 point favorites. For your $110 bet you would get $210 back when you cash your winning ticket after the game. You win if they win by any number of points. Now find the corresponding bet number next to your team and circle it. Look back at your sheet under the M/L column. ALL bets must be placed in person, but you do not need to be in Vegas to win or collect. The Texans are -370 and Dolphins +300. As above, CHECK YOUR TICKET FOR ACCURACY, thank the Ticket Writer and ask for a drink ticket and relax.

Now, go pick up your odds sheets, pick some winners and step up to the window. The -7 1/2 under the line column indicates the Texans are 7 1/2 point favorites. Can you see why point spreads of 3, 7 and even 10 and 14 are extremely important? And to add to your stress, point spreads fluctuate up and down as the kick-off approaches. See the 43 in the total column? If you believe that both teams are healthy, happy and the weather will be perfect and you KNOW this game will be a high scoring game OVER 43 combined points, you can bet $11 (or $110) to win $10 + your $11 (or $100 + your $110) back. Walk up to the betting window and tell the Ticket Writer that you would like to straight bet or just bet $110 on #466. It can get you more drink tickets and even better service on your next visit.

Or, find your team and bet numbers for the game, walk up to the window and tell the ticket writer that you would like to bet $110 on the OVER (or UNDER) in the Texans/Dolphins game #465/466. Remember that OVERTIME COUNTS when betting totals.

Ready? Find your team and the bet number. More on that in future articles.What if you still like the Texans to win but heard about some key player injuries or weather changes or other factors that could affect the team’s performance on Sunday? You are still convinced they will win but not sure if they will win by MORE than a touchdown. You can bet the moneyline, that is bet the Texans to win by laying $370 to win $100 + your $370 bet. You could just as easily bet $370 or $3700. In this example you have selected #466 the Houston Texans. Remember that teams that cover the point spread win. Now, CHECK YOUR TICKET FOR ACCURACY and if you drink, ask for a drink ticket when you place your bet. You just spent (invested) $110, you deserve a free cocktail.

Or, find your team and bet number and walk up to the window and tell the Ticket Writer that you would like to place a $37 moneyline bet on #466 the Houston Texans. The Texans are favorites, indicated by the (-) sign and the Dolphins are underdogs or ‘dogs’ indicated by the (+) sign

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