Vigorish, which is also referred to as “the vig” or “juice” is a fee applied to a wager by casinos and sportsbooks and is the primary way they make their money from a bettors action. In other words, it’s a commission a sportsbook or casino places on each bet placed through their establishment. An important thing to note is that if a bettor wins a bet, they do not have to pay the vigorish. However, if they lose, then they do, in fact, pay the vig.
As many bettors know, the sportsbooks aim to have the same amount of action on each side. To take the Ravens vs Patriots NFL playoff game for example… Ideally, the casino wants say $10 million on the Ravens and $10 million on the Patriots, that way, regardless of who wins the game, the players’ bets will essentially cancel each other out, and the casino will still reap the benefit of the big, or juice paid by the losing bettors.
However, most sportsbooks rarely split the action evenly, so they either bet on themselves to win in the long term to turn a profit, or in some cases when a casino has a very lopsided game with way more money on one particular side, then they’ll offload some of their action onto another casino to diminish the risk some in case the heavily bet on team wins. These are all basic but important gambling terms and concepts that all sports bettors need to be familiar with.
While the vig itself is usually universal and consistent, and doesn’t give any hint as to which side the sportsbook is favoring, the odds themselves and the late line movement can mean the difference between reading good winning information, or misreading bad information. The professional gamblers like to keep an eye on the general line movement throughout the week, to see both who the sportsbooks like, and also who the betting public likes, as well. Deciphering who is moving the line throughout the week is one of the most important keys to success that an amateur bettor can have. That way, if it’s the public money moving the line, you know not to take the line movement as serious then say if it was moved by smart money right before the start of a game. In that case, it’s usually the sports betting sharps moving on a line late so that the sportsbook doesn’t have time to correct it before the game starts. All of these techniques are second nature to the industry pros, and you can join the industry pros now when you sign up on our homepage with Jon price and his team here at Sports Information Traders.