In simple terms, “juice” or “vigorish” is the fee charged by the sportsbook for accepting a gambler’s wager. This term is also known by many other slangs like “under-juice”, “take”, “cut”, “margin” or “house edge”. They all mean the same and are devised for one purpose: to get the book profits, so it can keep making money to stay in business.
The juice in sports betting is a percentage of what a sportsbook receives as part of the wagers. The most common type of wager is the point spread where each side is “equally” lined. What does -110 mean in betting? Why isn’t it just +100 or “even” on both sides?
This is a moneyline that indicates $110 is wagered for every $100 won. But since this is supposed to be a 50/50 wager, that extra $10 is the vigorish or juice. In this case, if the book takes two $110 bets on opposite sides, only one bet wins, and that extra $10 goes to the book for its profit. This is the vigorish or the juice in sports betting.
If both sides were lined at even odds, and one side wins, the book will profit nothing. At the end of the day, sportsbooks are for-profit entities and are in the business of sports betting to make money.
Keep Juice/Vigorish in Mind When Betting
Juice/vigorish is ever-present in sports betting. There is a reason why every bettor needs to win more than 50 percent of their bets at the standard -110 odds. But even for new bettors, keeping in mind a few things about vigorish can go a long way.
The break-even in -110 betting is 52.4 percent.
Shopping around for a different vig is recommended.
Calculate probabilities without vig.
Pros vs Cons
Juice/Vigorish Explained as Examples
We’ve used -110 as the simplest way to explain juice betting or vigorish. But what about in moneyline bets, where the betting lines are not -110? Let’s use an example to find the juice. Here is an NFL game:
|New England Patriots||-280|
With this example, a bettor needs to stake $280 on the favorites, the Patriots, just to win $100. On the other side, the Browns backer will win $225 if they wagered $100 because Cleveland is the underdog.
If the Patriots win this game as expected, the sportsbook will break even as they pay out $100 to the Patriots bettor from the $100 the Browns bettor provided. The juice here is the extra $180 the bettor needed to bet on the favorite, the Patriots.
But if the Browns won the game, the book would have profited $55. The book will pay out the Browns bettor $325 with $225 as the bettor’s profit. The remaining $55, which is taken from the $280 Pat’s backer wagered ($280 – $225 = $55), is taken by the book as the juice or the vigorish.
Vigorish or juice is a necessary part of sports betting. It is how sportsbooks make a profit and stay in business. For bettors, they need to win more than half of their bets at -110 odds to make a profit. Line-shopping and looking for promotions to reduce vig can help in this aspect.
Betting Juice/Vigorish FAQs
1. What Is Vigorish?
2. How Does Vigorish Work in Sports Betting?
3. What is Juice in Betting?
4. How Does Juice Work in Sports Betting?
5. How Can I Figure out the Vigorish/Juice?