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Betting 101


Sports betting is a growing and emerging field. Many sports fans are placing wagers on their favorite team and within the NLL is no different. If you are looking to place a bet with it’s important to feel confident and knowledgeable when doing so.

Below you will find a summary of definitions and examples to prepare you to make a decision whether to place a wager on any NLL games.

It is important to learn if you are legally eligible to bet in your state.

  • Sports Betting Basics

    For all types of bets:

    • The team or situation favored is indicated with a (-) number
    • The underdog – who oddsmakers think is less likely to win – will be listed with a (+)
  • Moneyline

    A moneyline bet is a bet in which you are simply picking the winner of the game. A moneyline bet or wager (the two terms are often used interchangeably) will be listed showing one team as the favorite: who the oddsmakers believe is more likely to win.

    The larger the number next to the (-) or (+) the more of a favorite or underdog they are.

  • Spread/Point Spread

    The spread, or point spread (you may see it listed either way), is placed on a match to level the playing field. Instead of just betting on who you think the winner of the game will be, you are betting based on the favored team’s margin of victory.

    Using the Week 11 Colorado Mammoth and Calgary Roughnecks game, the Mammoth have a spread of -1.5 while the Roughnecks have a +1.5. If you placed a bet on the Mammoth, you would win ONLY if the Mammoth won by more than 1.5 goals, and inversely, if you bet on the Roughnecks, you would win in a couple of ways: if they win (by any margin) but also if they lose by less than 1.5 goals.

  • Over/Under

    Unlike the other methods of betting in which you are picking the winner of the game, betting on the over/under means you are betting that the game will have OVER the aggregate goal total that is listed or UNDER the aggregate goal total that is listed.

    For example, in the Week 11 match between the Saskatchewan Rush and the Vancouver Warriors, the over/under number listed is 22.5. If you bet the OVER, you would need there to be 23 or more combined goals scored in the game to win. If you bet on the UNDER, you would need there to be 22 or fewer combined goals scored in the game to win the bet. If the over/under number is a whole number and the game ends exactly on that number, no money is won or lost and is considered a ‘push’.

  • Futures

    A futures bet is a wager on a future outcome, not based on the outcome of a single game, that typically resolves at the end of the season. For example, a bet where you are selecting who you think will win the NLL Cup weeks or months in advance is a futures bet. In many sports, you may see futures around which players will win awards or a teams number of wins on the season. You can place future bets during the season, but keep in mind that the further into the season you are, the odds will change as favorites and underdogs become clearer after each week. You can pick any team in the league in a futures bet.

    Heading into Week 11, you could place a futures bet on the Buffalo Bandits, who were the betting favorites to win the NLL Cup and listed at +275, or you could place a bet on a team who is not one of the betting favorites to win the NLL Cup like the Albany FireWolves, who were listed at +1800. Remember the higher the (+) number, greater the potential payout because the odds of it happening are less likely.

  • Payout

    The payout is what every bettor is looking to collect when they make the bet. When you put money down on your bet and win you will receive a payout. A payout will be larger than the money you bet. The amount of the payout is determined by the amount you bet as well as if you placed a bet on the favourite or the underdog. A payout will include your winnings plus whatever you wagered originally.

    This is where the (+) and (-) comes into play. If you see a number with the (-) or is favored, that is the amount you would need to bet to win $100. Inversely, if you see a number with the (+) in front, as the underdog, that is the amount of money you would win if you wagered $100 on the bet.

    For example, for the Week 11 matchup featuring the Colorado Mammoth and the Calgary Roughnecks, the Mammoth were a -160 favorite whereas the Roughnecks are listed at +125 as the underdog. If you wanted to place a wager on the Mammoth, in order to win $100 you would need to stake $160 and if you win your bet, your payout would be $260. On the other hand, if you wanted to place a wager on the Roughnecks, if you placed a $100 wager and the bet was a winner, you would win $125 with an overall payout of $225.

  • Parlay

    A parlay bet is when you place multiple wagers as part of one bet. Not only can you pick multiple winners for the week, but you can also pick a mix of moneyline bets, or a mix of over/under bets or a mix of spread options if you choose.

    Because the odds that you will select multiple winners as opposed to just one winner on a bet are less likely in the oddsmakers eyes, the payout for parlay bets is usually larger but you need to have all bets correct in order to win. On BetMGM you can make up to 12 selections on a parlay bet.

    For example, in Week 11, instead of JUST picking moneyline bets like the Rush (-160) to beat the Warriors, you would be picking other moneyline winners as well such as Buffalo Bandits (-150) to beat the Toronto Rock, and the Georgia Swarm (-375) to beat the New York Riptide. If you placed a $10 bet, the odds would be listed at (+243) and would pay out ($34.30).

Please wager responsible. 21+ years of age. For BetMGM: CO, IA, IN, MI, NJ, PA, TN, VA or WV only. Excludes Michigan Disassociated Persons. Please Gamble Responsibly. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-522-4700 (CO & VA), 1-800-270-7117 for confidential help (MI), 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ, PA & WV), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), Call or Text the Tennessee REDLINE: 800-889-9789 (TN), If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN).

Thank you to writer, Adam Levi, for writing the definitions and examples