What is ‘Vig’ in Sports Betting?

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What is ‘vig’?

Vig is a fee charged by bookmakers in the sports betting industry. Also referred to as “juice” or “commission”, vig is essentially the price a punter pays for the convenience of placing a wager on a sporting event.

This fee helps sportsbooks to ensure that they make a profit, regardless of the outcome of the event.

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How does ‘vig’ work?

In sports betting, bookmakers act as a market maker, setting the odds for each event and taking bets from punters.

The goal is to make money from the spread between the bets placed on each side of an event.

But with so many factors at play, sportsbooks and betting sites need to protect themselves to make sure they don’t lose money.

Vig is usually expressed as a percentage of the wager and is added to the odds of the bet.

For example, if the odds of a team winning are $2.00 and the Vig is 10%, the actual odds the punter is betting on will be $2.20.

This means that if the punter wins, you’ll receive their original wager plus their winnings, but if you lose, you lose their entire bet.

Why is ‘vig’ required?

Vig is a crucial part of the business model. It helps sportsbooks to balance the amount of money being bet on each side of an event and to cover their costs.

Without Vig, bookmakers would have to rely solely on their expertise in setting the odds to make a profit, which could be challenging.

Bookmakers use different methods to calculate Vig, but the most common method is to take a percentage of the bet. The percentage can vary depending on the sport, the event, and the bookmaker.

For example, some bookmakers might charge a higher Vig for more popular sports, such as NFL or NBA, because there is more competition and they need to stay competitive.

It’s worth noting that while Vig helps bookmakers to stay profitable, it can also be a disadvantage for punters.

By adding Vig to the odds, sportsbooks are effectively lowering the potential winnings for punters. This is why it’s essential for punters to shop around and find sportsbooks with the lowest Vig.

Finding the lowest vig can be done by having an account with multiple sportsbooks, so if you want to bet on the Lakers to beat the Warriors, you could get higher odds with one bookmaker compared to another.

Our Conclusion on Vig in Sports Betting

In conclusion, Vig is a commission charged by all sportsbooks in the sports betting industry to ensure they make a profit, regardless of the outcome of the event.

It’s expressed as a percentage of the wager and is added to the odds of the bet.

While it can be a disadvantage for punters, it’s a crucial part of the business model for sportsbooks.

So next time you place a bet, remember to keep an eye out for Vig and shop around for the best odds!

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About Daryl Curnow

After graduating from the University of Auckland (BA - English), Daryl was thrown into the world of sports and horse racing journalism. Having worked as a racing journalist for two years, he decided to move into the online world of horse racing and sports writing. Coupled with his love of US sport, Daryl's picks have been featured on various websites around the world and viewed by millions of readers. After years of honing his craft, Daryl became a professional punter in 2009 - with a focus on horse racing, NBA, NFL, and college sports. When he's not working, Daryl tries to avoid making bogeys on the golf course.