Favorite
In sports betting the favorite is the side of a betting market that has a greater perceived chance of winning. Abbreviated fav, the favorite carries a negative point spread and yields a smaller profit on the moneyline relative to initial risk. The other side of the same market with a lower perceived chance of winning is known as the underdog.
Moneyline
Favorites are perceived as having a greater chance of winning and therefore carry moneylines with negative odds. Betting on a favorite's outright victory yields a smaller profit relative to risk. American odds displays favorite moneylines with negative numbers. A team with -300 odds of winning carries a 75.0% implied probability and would yield $100 profit off a $300 initial risk (for a total return of $400).
In the NFL match below the New England Patriots are the favored team. They have -180 moneyline odds which carry a 64.3% implied probability. An initial risk of $180 would yield $100 profit for a total return of $280.
Team | Spread | Total | Moneyline | |
New England Patriots | -3.5 (-110) | Over 44.5 (-110) | -180 | |
Baltimore Ravens | +3.5 (-110) | Under 44.5 (-110) | +160 |
Spread
A point spread is used to balance the perceived skill difference between competing teams. The favorite is viewed as the stronger team and is given a negative spread. The point spread is applied to the final score to determine if the bet wins. Negative point spreads require that team to win by by a margin greater than the spread.
Using the same example the New England Patriots have a -3.5 point spread with -110 odds. Betting on this negative spread requires the Patriots to win by a margin of 4 or more points. Because point spreads are used to balance the perceived ability between teams the betting odds on either side is normally -110. This means an initial risk of $110 would yield $100 in profit for a total return of $210.
Team | Spread | Total | Moneyline | |
New England Patriots | -3.5 (-110) | Over 44.5 (-110) | -180 | |
Baltimore Ravens | +3.5 (-110) | Under 44.5 (-110) | +160 |