What is Vigorish in Sports Betting?

May 17, 2023
  • Vig, or vigorish or juice, is the amount sportsbooks charge for wagering.
  • The amount of vig varies based on odds, but it’s always there, even if it could be more obvious.
  • Bettors can compare odds at online stores and should be aware of the impact vig has on the bottom line.

When betting on sports, your winnings sometimes double. It is because of the vig, the amount sportsbooks charge for betting. That’s the cost of doing business, taking bets for sportsbooks. This page describes how it works and its overall impact.

What is Vigorish?

Vig is short for vigorish, and the two terms are interchangeable. The amount of vig is part of all betting odds.

Essentially, vigs are the equivalent of fees or commissions charged by online sportsbooks. It helps ensure the book will make money no matter how well the game goes. By extension, it also directly affects the bettor’s potential profit.

Are Vig and Juice the same?

Yes, vig and juice refer to the same thing regarding sports betting. These two terms use in betting circles, so you will likely come across them both.

Juice is part of every bet offered by the sportsbook. Bettors should consider this before placing a Bet, as the amount of juice impacts your potential profit.

Which sportsbooks charge vig?

All of them. Sports betting is a for-profit entity, not to lose money. Vig is a big part of ensuring that doesn’t happen. It also gives them an advantage over the average bettor who has to beat the vig over the long run to turn a profit.

How much does sports betting charge?

The number of vigs may vary. To make matters even more confusing, the amount of sports betting odds is only sometimes noticeable. However, the answer is easier to identify for a spread and total bet where both odds are -110.

  • The odds for both bets are -110.
  • One bettor bets $110 on Team A, and another bets $110 on Team B.
  • The total stake is $220.
  • The winning bettor will receive $210 ($110 original bet plus $100 profit).
  • So, the sportsbook cut is $10.
  • Dividing by the amount paid for the book equals vig: 10/210 = .0476, or 4.76%.

As the spread and total odds change, so does the price you pay for your bet. If the number goes down to -108 or -106, you’ll pay less and potentially get a more significant return. When the odds go the other way, say as high as -112 or -114, the price of the bet goes up, meaning you have to bet more to win those mentioned above $100 profit.

Other bets

Vig is easy to spot when both sides have the same odds. The calculations are more complicated when betting Moneylines and other bets where the odds differ. You can use an online handicap calculator to calculate the juice, or you can Calculate it yourself by following these steps:

  • Convert odds to implied probabilities.

Negative odds: an absolute value of odds / (Absolute value of odds + 100) = implied probability

Positive odds: 100/(odds value +100) = implied probability

  • Add the implied probabilities on both sides.
  • Subtract 100 to get vig.

Let’s do the above while using the -140/+120 money line split.

  • The implied probability at -140

140/(140+100) = 58.33%

  • Implied probability at +120

100/(120+100) = 45.45%

  • Implied probability outcome

58.33% + 45.45% = 103.78%
103.78% – 100% = 3.78%

Vig is 3.78%. Alternatively, you can calculate vig directly from the odds by the following formula.

  • (favorite odds/(favorite odds + 100) X 100) + (100/(underdog odds + 100) X 100) – 100 = vig
 

Example: Odds of -140+120

(140/140+100) * 100) + (100/(120+100) * 100) – 100 = 3.78%

The above formula is Useful when double-sided betting. The calculations are even more challenging when it’s a bet with multiple options, such as a futures bet on the next Super Bowl winner or a prop bet on the player to score first in an NBA game.

For the simplified version, you must calculate each option’s implied probability. Next, combine to get the total, and subtract 100 to determine the actual vig. Sportsbooks take a commission on all the bets you place, and when it’s less likely to be guessed, it can be much larger than expected, especially in the more easily hidden futures markets.

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