What is an Even Money Bet: Sports Betting 101

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Sports betting is quickly growing across the United States with the rise of online betting platforms. Top online sportsbooks make it easier for bettors to place wagers on games, leagues, and teams.

You can find odds on major sporting events such as NFL and NBA games. How do you find odds that are even money? Here’s a guide to what is an even money bet and more.

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What Does Even Money Mean?

An even money bet is a type of wager in which the potential payout is equal to the original bet. For example, if you bet $100 on the Kansas City Chiefs to win your payout would be $200. $100 for winning the bet and your original $100 back.

The odds for an even money bet will always give you winnings that are equal to your bet amount. It sometimes is known as 50-50 betting. For example, for the Super Bowl, the odds of the coin toss being heads are +100. The odds are +100 if it’s tails.

If you bet $500 on heads and are correct, you will receive $500 in winnings. The payout would be $1,000 because you receive your initial $500 bet back too. Mathematically speaking, even money bets are easy for calculating how much you are going to win on your wager.

Even Money in a Casino

An example bettors might be familiar with is a gambler playing roulette at a casino. Choosing red or black are examples of even money bets in roulette. If you choose red and win, you receive winnings equal to your bet.

Even Money Odds With a Sportsbook

A sportsbook will have a long list of odds for bets such as moneylines, spreads, totals, parlays, futures, props, and more. For a spread bet, you might see odds of -110. This means you have to bet $110 to win $100. This is not an even money bet because the winnings are not 1 to 1.

Odds of -110 have juice. The house has an edge. This means that statistically the bettor has to be right more than if it was an even money bet. If you calculate the juice on a -110 bet, you see the probability is 52.4%. Both sides of a spread bet would be 104.8% which gives the house an edge.

This is compared to the 50% probability for the bettor if they placed only even money bets. The house edge is reduced if you are making an even-money bet. Juice with a sportsbook means statistically the bettor will lose over time if they have a win percentage of .500.

Why Place Even Money Bets in Sports Betting

Sportsbooks don’t like even money bets because it is not easy for them to make money. This is why you will see odds of -110 for a spread or total bet. The extra bit of juice helps them make a profit on each bet so even money bets aren’t always likely to occur.

For example, you bet $110 on a spread and win. You receive $100 in winnings. For your next bet, you place a $110 bet. Unfortunately, the bet loses. You are now down $10.

Compare Even Money Odds at Multiple Sportsbooks

As a sports bettor, you need to consider if an even money bet with a sportsbook is worth it. What is the probability of each outcome and is it truly even odds? 

This is where comparing odds at multiple sportsbooks can be helpful. Let’s say DraftKings has the odds at +100 for Patrick Mahomes to have a rushing touchdown in the 2023 Super Bowl. FanDuel has the same prop but the odds are +120.

As a bettor, you can get more value from the FanDuel +120 bet. A $100 bet will win $120. Also, if you see several sportsbooks at +120, DraftKings +100 odds aren’t truly even money because the probability is less than 50-50.

Take a non-sports example. Let’s look at roulette again. Picking red or black should be a 50-50 bet but there is the presence of the green 0. That means it’s not truly a 50-50 bet. There are 36 numbers on the board, but 37 or 38 places depending if American or European roulette.

How to Place an Even Money Bet

Placing an even money bet is simple and straightforward. First, you need to choose a sports betting platform and create an account. Once you have done that, you can find a game your want to bet on. You can also search player props if you don’t want to bet on a team or result.

After you locate a bet with odds of +100, you need to figure out how much you want to wager. Successful gamblers have to examine their bankroll and have a strategy for how much they will bet at a time.

Now, you can place a bet. If the bet is successful, you will receive a 2-to-1 payout. If you bet $500, you will receive a payout of $1,000 because you receive $500 in winnings and $500 from your original stake.

Conclusion: Even Money Bets

An even money bet is a simple and straightforward type of wager in sports betting. It offers a 50-50 chance of winning, making it a low-risk option for new bettors or those who prefer to keep their betting simple.

To place an even money bet, all you need to do is choose a betting platform and register. Then you select the sport or event you want to bet on. Find a bet with odds of +100 to ensure you will get winnings that match your wager. If you bet $100 and win you’ll get $200 because you’ll also receive your stake back.

Keep in mind, there might be a game that offers a bet of +100 but research the odds. Is there an advantage for the sportsbook? Are the odds mispriced?

These are questions asked in professional gambling. You want to get the best value for your bet. Compare odds and lines from multiple sportsbooks to find the best value for you.

21+ and Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. Please Play Responsibly.

WRITTEN BY

Sam Russell

Sam hails from Grandville, Michigan, and was Betsperts' first employee back in January 2019. He has a rich sports background, including playing baseball at Central Michigan before covering high school sports and working with the Orlando Magic. He earned his degree from Central Michigan University and was a member of the 2010 MAC Championship baseball team.

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