Live Pennsylvania Sports Betting Odds
The PA sports betting odds market is active and always in flux. Staying on top of the odds can be tough and it can take time to check the prices in several different spots. Enter our live odds feed.
See the real-time odds at PA online sportsbooks below. Use the drop-down menus to see different sports odds or toggle between moneylines, spreads and totals. Click on any odds to go straight to the sportsbook, claim your welcome bonus and register a new account.
How do PA sports betting odds work?
For each contest on the docket, PA sportsbooks will release odds in advance of the event. Each bet type will have its own odds attached, and bettors then get to choose the ones they find the most appealing and place their wagers from there. But what do sports betting odds mean?
Put simply, the odds are an indicator of the most likely outcome for the event, at least as far as the oddsmakers are concerned. We can also determine what kind of a return we may see for winning bets, but that takes some doing. We’ll walk through how to figure that out shortly.
After odds are initially released, there will often be movement in the numbers. This happens due to the betting action that has come in thus far, and any adjustments could spark an additional wave of action.
At first glance, the sports betting odds board can seem rather intimidating and confusing. However, there is a method to the madness. Making sense of the numbers becomes much simpler as you move along.
How to read sports betting odds and lines
For each sporting event, there are a number of ways to bet. Each of the wagers will have its own odds attached. The main listings at online sportsbooks and PA sportsbook apps revolve around games for the major sports leagues.
In general, games are listed with the away team on top and the home team on the bottom, but keep in mind that there are neutral-site contests to contend with. Next to each of the team names is a series of numbers that will look something like this at online books, with this example taken from the PointsBet PA sportsbook app:
- Minnesota Vikings -2.5 (-110) -140 O 49.5 (-110)
- Philadelphia Eagles +2.5 (-110) +120 U 49.5 (-110)
If we go from left to right, the numbers represent the following: point spread, moneyline and point totals. For each of the major team sports, the listing will be similar. However, the spread can go by different names, such as a run line for MLB betting, a goal line in soccer betting, and a puck line in NHL wagering.
Looking at the numbers, the oddsmakers have set the Vikings as a 2.5-point favorite over the Eagles. Minnesota is also the favorite on the moneyline, while the game is expected to have a decent amount of points. Here’s how we know that.
- Point spread: Negative numbers indicate the favorite, positive numbers for underdogs. The number is the actual amount of points on the spread, while the figure in parentheses is the odds.
- Moneyline: Also negative for favorites and positive for underdogs. The bigger the span between the two numbers, then the larger the mismatch appears to be. When the range is tight, that could indicate a toss-up game.
- Totals: This is the total projected number of points that will be scored in the game. The number is the same on both sides, which in this case is 49.5. The O indicates the over, as in you think there will be more than 49.5 points scored. The U is for the under, so the bet would win if the total points comes in below that number. In parentheses are the odds for the two sides of the wager.
Knowing how to read the numbers is half of the battle, but you also need to know what they are saying about the matchup.
What do sports betting odds tell us?
A simple glance at a standard odds listing can tell us a lot. We can quickly determine which side is the favorite, a potential margin of victory and the range of points that may be scored in the game.
That information comes courtesy of the odds for the three main sports bet types: moneyline, spread and total. The odds also give us an idea of what kind of profit we can expect on winning bets. Sometimes, that’s really straightforward, but there is some thought involved for others.
There are online handicapping calculators to lean on, and you can also simply just plug in the bet on the slip along with the wager amount to see the payout. It’s also helpful to know the math behind how all of it works. We’ll walk through that shortly.
As we gain more experience with reading the odds, we can also determine the direction the money has been flowing on the game. Lines can move once bettors start placing bets, and that can have a direct impact on the board.
There are a number of sites that track the direction in which the public money is leaning for each game on the docket. By studying the movements from release to the present, you can also gain some clues. We’ll explain how to do that as we move forward.
Odds for different bet types explained
Sports betting odds will vary based on a number of variables. The two biggest factors are the bet type and the likelihood of something happening. PA online betting apps set the number based on their estimated probabilities, and they have a wealth of data at their disposal while doing so.
While lines can also be tweaked in a bid to attract even action on both sides, we can take the numbers at face value and use them to assume the likely outcome. For example, a really big favorite is being listed that way for a reason, and the same holds true on the underdog side.
On some bet types, the odds fall into a set range, but they can be all over the map for others. Here’s a quick run-through on the three main bet types.
- Moneyline odds: This is a case when they can be all over the map. Favorites have negative odds, while the number is positive on the underdog side. For a perceived mismatch, there will be a wide range between the two numbers. When the odds on both sides are close, we can interpret that to mean that the choice is a tight one.
- Spread odds: At most operators, the starting point for spread bets is odds of -110 on both sides. After the public starts placing bets, there’s usually some movement. For example, one side may go to -115 while the other becomes -105.
- Totals odds: The odds for totals work similar to spread bets. The baseline at most books is -110, and the number will rise or fall based on betting action. In an extreme case, one side could go to -120 while the other hits +100.
For other popular bet types, such as props, futures and live betting, there’s no set range for the odds. It all depends on the wager and the number of choices involved. When it’s a case in which there are just two choices, the odds might look like a moneyline.
If there are a range of choices, you’ll often find that most of the choices have positive odds, while a favored outcome will likely have negative odds.
One easy way to think it through is that negative odds mean that the sportsbook is keeping a cut of the proceeds, while positive odds mean you have a chance to double your money or more.
For negative odds, sportsbooks are building in the vig or juice, which is essentially a fee for facilitating the bet. While they may pay a premium on bets with positive odds, it’s generally made up for in the charges for other bets and by the fact that the public money isn’t always correct.
How to read line movements
After betting lines are released to the public, there’s a good chance there will be some movement in the numbers. So exactly why does that happen?
When the majority of the action comes in on one side, that’s frowned upon by sportsbooks. While having even action on both sides isn’t always possible, the goal is to have it balanced out as much as possible. In the event that an operator winds up lopsided on a contest, that’s a liability on the operator’s end that opens the book up to losses.
Since sportsbooks are for-profit entities, they like to avoid those situations as much as possible. As a result, the odds will be adjusted as needed to attract more betting action on one side.
Let’s walk through a quick example. The Wisconsin Badgers are visiting the Penn State Nittany Lions in what is expected to be a relatively close contest. The oddsmakers set the moneyline for the Badgers at +110, while the odds are -130 for Penn State.
At the betting window, lots of people love the Nittany Lions in the contest. The sportsbook winds up with the majority of money coming in on that side, but a lot less on the Badgers. In response, the book may adjust the moneyline to something like this.
- Wisconsin +120
- Penn State -140
Just like that, the odds on the Wisconsin side have been made more attractive while also being made less appealing for Penn State. If this tweak doesn’t have the desired effect, then additional adjustments can be made to the numbers.
Before you get ready to place your bets, be sure to take the time to examine the odds from the initial release to the current time. You should make note of any movements, as this can be a good indicator of which way the money has been flowing.
Does Vegas have the best sports betting odds?
Once upon a time, the answer to this question was obvious. Las Vegas had legal sports betting in the US on lockdown, so the odds released by books in that neck of the woods were the best.
Today, there are more options available than just Vegas sports betting odds. Sports betting has been legalized in many states and counting, including right here in Pennsylvania, and each of the markets is being served by leading operators.
The local sportsbook operators are providing odds that are right in line with what you’ll see out in Sin City. You can certainly take the time to see what the Vegas bookmakers have to say, but there’s a high probability that it’ll be a similar story to what you hear back home.
That said, keep in mind that the odds will not be exactly the same at each and every sportsbook. The listed numbers at each operator can vary, and we can directly attribute that to the betting volume they have taken in on a contest.
There will be times when one book has much more attractive odds on a game in comparison to peers, and the opposite situation comes up as well. A great way to stay on top of the market is by engaging in what’s known as line shopping.
This simply means that you are checking out the prices at multiple books in a quest to find the best one. Thanks to our live odds tool, line shopping is a snap, so be sure to check back often for the latest numbers.
When do sports betting odds get released?
Odds are released well in advance of sporting events, so you’ll have plenty of time to review and get your bets in. Most operators follow a pretty set schedule as well, so you can plan accordingly.
On the sports that run daily or several days per week, odds will generally be released the night before the contest or the morning prior to it. The following sports fall into that category: NBA, MLB, NHL, soccer and college basketball.
For sports such as the NFL or college football in which teams only play once per week, there’s more time to dissect the lines. As the current week’s slate of games begins winding down, odds start trickling out. Once the entire slate is in the books, you’ll see odds for almost all of the games.
That means that college football odds will start coming out Saturday night with the full release coming by Sunday. The odds for NFL games start trickling in on Sunday evening, while the board is usually full once “Monday Night Football” is in the books.
The exceptions to these rules come for games in which oddsmakers just can’t set a line yet. There’s usually a major piece of news that they’re waiting on, such as an injury to a key player. Once they have confirmation on that, lines will be out soon thereafter.
Calculating payouts from sports betting odds
There are two really simple ways to determine the potential payout on winning sports bets. First, after you add your wagers to a betting slip, you can plug in the amount of the bet. The sportsbook will display the return based on the current odds.
If you’re just checking out the possibilities, make sure you’re careful not to hit submit before you’re actually ready to place your bet. The other way to figure it out quickly is by using a sports betting odds calculator, many of which are free to use on the internet.
While those two options have you covered when you’re in a hurry, it’s still helpful to know how to do it yourself. There are formulas you can use to figure out the return, but the calculation varies based on what the odds have to say.
- If the odds are negative: Stake/(Odds/100) = Profit
- If the odds are positive: Stake*(Odds/100) = Profit
Let’s walk through the process for both. For a game in which the Pittsburgh Penguins are a -130 moneyline favorite over the Ottawa Senators, here’s how to figure out the potential return on a $100 wager.
- Profit = $76.92
Next, let’s say you like Penn State to take down Iowa in an upcoming game. The Nittany Lions are a road underdog with odds of +140. Here’s what you can expect to get back for a winning bet of $100.
- Profit = $140
Figuring out what you might make can be a good part of the fun of sports betting. Naturally, it becomes even more enjoyable when the potential turns into reality.
The bottom line on sports betting odds
The odds are one of the key factors that we need to understand when betting on sports. By understanding what the odds board is telling us, we can have a good handle on the more likely outcome, how the money is flowing and what kind of return we can expect for winning bets.
Staying on top of the odds and the various movements is also critical, and that’s made much easier by using our live odds feature. A solid understanding of sports betting odds will help to improve your skills, which is always a welcome development.