Sports Betting

What is Vig in Betting, How to Calculate and Beat It

When entering the betting world, you need to learn many terms like what is vig. It describes as the house edge that an online bookmaker takes on its betting lines. It is an important term for sports bettors to figure out, as it has a big impact on your chances of earning a long-term profit. 

This article will explain the meaning of vig in betting and how to calculate it. So, make sure you keep reading to help you boost your profit while placing a bet. 

Vig in Sports Betting Meaning

Understanding What is Vig in Betting

To understand what is vig, it is short for vigorish. It is more popularly known as “juice“. All online sports betting Malaysia build vigorish into their betting lines, as it will allow them to pay their overheads and make a profit. The concept of this term is the same with the house edge built into a casino game like blackjack, roulette, and video slot. 

To help you understand more about what is vig, let’s see the picture that shows the sports betting odds available on an NFL football game.

Example of Vig

As you can see, it is providing -110 on the Commanders +5.5 and -110 on the Eagles -5.5. It means:

  • A MYR 110 bet would be needed to make a MYR 100 profit on the Bulls covering the spread
  • A MYR 110 bet would be also needed to make a MYR 100 profit on the Heat covering the spread

If an online bookmaker doesn’t charge any vig, it would offer odds of +110 on either team to cover the spread. Moreover, you can double your money if you place a winning bet. However, then the bookie will struggle to earn a margin and stay afloat. 

As such, most bookmakers require you to place MYR 110 to win MYR 100. That extra MYR 10 you pay is the sports betting vig. That means that when you only win half of your bets, you will end up with a total net loss, so you are required to make astute betting options to make a long-term profit.

The Standard Vig

After knowing what is vig, you also should understand the standard offerings of this term. Most online bookmakers offer odds of -110 on either side of point spread bets or over under (total). That is now widely regarded as the standard vig charged by the sports betting industry. 

It calculates to a house edge of 4.77%. When placing bets at standard vig lines, you will need to win 53% of the time to make a profit. Experienced bettors generally manage to win 555 of the time, which allows them to receive a living from sports betting. You will see some variations of standard juice lines, such as:

  • -110/-110
  • -112/-108
  • -115/-105

In that case, the vig will remain at around 4.7% to 4.8%. Therefore, it is still a standard vig line. When a sportsbook offers -111 on either side of a bet, or -112 on one side and -109 on the other, it is charging more than the standard market of what is vig, and you might find better value elsewhere. 

Lowered Vig Lines

From what is vig, some bookmakers offer lowered vig lines, which are also known as “reduced vig lines”. That means they will take the same house edge as most rivals. Therefore, reduced vig lines are very interesting. Look at an example of a reduced vig line:

  • Miami Heat -5.5 vs. Chicago Bulls (-105)
  • Chicago Bulls +5.5 vs. Miami Heat (-105)

That means you are only required to risk MYR 105 to make a MYR 100 winning on either team. It brings the house edge down to just 2.46%. If you usually bet sides and totals at -105, you will only need to win 51.5% of your bets to secure a long-term profit. 

Well, these are all examples of reduced vig betting lines:

  • -110/-109
  • -110/-108
  • -115/-102
  • -107/-103

In that case of what is vig, the house edge is lower than the standard 4.7% to 4.8%. It means that you don’t need to risk as much of your own money. 

How to Calculate Vig?

After learning what is vig and you are curious how to calculate it, you need to work out the probability of each side of the bet winning. Then, you add both implied probabilities together and subtract 100 to work out the juice. When the odds start with a minus, you can use this format to work out the implied probability:

  • Odds/(Odds + 100) x 100 = implied probability

If they begin with a plus, you could use this format:

  • 100/(Odds + 100) / 100 = implied probability

The odds of -110 equate to an implied probability of around 52.4% according to that format. If a bookie offers -110 on both sides of a bet, you would be left with: 52.4 + 52.4 – 100 = 4.8. That will tell you the vig is 4.8%, or 4.77% to be more accurate. 

However, you don’t have to work it out manually. It simply uses a free vig sports betting calculator online, and it quickly tells you the margin a bookmaker is taking. Just enter the odds on either side of the bet, and it will show you with the house edge. The lower the house edge, the better the playing. 

How to Beat the Vig in Sports Betting

As you know what is vig and you expect to beat it, we have got good and bad news for you. The bad news is that the chances to beat the vig are few and far between. The vig is how the bookies will make money—they have to.

Meanwhile, the good news is that when you find and odds boost promotion, that can help you avoid the vig when your bet ends up winning. Therefore, you can use promotions and bonuses to your advantage to avoid vig when you can. 

Final Words

Now, you already understand what is vig. Yes, it is short for vigorish and known as juice. This is the concept similar to house edge. As a sports bettor, you need to learn how to make strategy before placing bets. It will help you avoid bad news about vig in sports betting. 


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