Sports betting: How it works

LINCOLN CITY — You don’t have to go to Nevada to enjoy “Las Vegas-Style” sports wagering with the opening of Oregon’s first sports book at Chinook Winds Casino Resort.

Sports betting is so much fun because we’re all tuned-in to our favorite college squad, pro boxer or NASCAR team. But it helps to learn the ropes before you step into the wagering lounge.

A great place to learn about laying a wager is the web site,, which offers an easy how-to on the types of games you’ll encounter, how to read odds, figure arcane subjects such as “the spread” and calculate potential winnings on baseball, basketball, boxing, football, golf, hockey, horse racing and other lines. Here’s an example:


To bet on football, tell the ticket writer the bet number of the team you wish to bet, with the point spread and the amount you wish to wager. The payout, unless stated otherwise, is figured at odds of 10/11. This means that a wager of $11 would win $10 and return $21.

This is called a straight bet. A straight bet is the most common type of football bet.

The point spread: When betting on football, the team you bet on must "cover the spread." This means the team must win or not lose by a predetermined margin of points.

Point spreads change constantly. The listed point spread at the time you make your bet may be different from the point spread when the game starts. The point spread that is listed on your ticket is your official spread.


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