What is the Vig in Sports Betting?

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What is the Vig & How is it Calculated? - Vig in Sports Betting Explained

Whenever you’re betting online, you need to know when you’re getting the best deal and how to maximize your potential returns. It’s important to understand the concept of vigorish, or vig, and how it’s calculated, as this will help you increase your chances of making long-term profits. In this guide, we explain what vig is, how to calculate it and how to get the best vig when betting at Stake Sportsbook!

What is the Vig in Sports Betting?

The vigorish, better known simply as the vig, is an integral part of how sportsbooks operate. It’s a small commission that is built into the odds, and it’s present in all sports you can bet on. Also known as the juice, the vig ensures that even if the sportsbooks lose bets from time to time, they still generate enough profit in the long term to continue to operate.

Just like you need to consider the house edge when playing casino games, you should also think about the vig before you bet. If you consistently place bets on odds with a high vig, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage. You’d need a much higher win percentage to make a profit over time. You can learn more about sports betting odds and house edges with our guides.

Thankfully, it’s easy to ensure your vig is as low as possible when you bet at Stake.com . Our excellent sports betting promos plus excellent odds on all your favorite sports mean you’ll have no trouble finding low juice bets.

How is the Vig Calculated?

Sports betting is simple thanks to our helpful guide , and calculating the vig is easier than you might think. For even odds, where they’re the same on both sides of the line, calculating the vig is straightforward. However, for moneyline odds and other bets where the odds are different for each option, there are more steps involved.

Here’s how to calculate the vig for even odds on a football game or any other sport:

  • Both sides of the bet have -110 odds

  • If you bet $110 on team A and your friend bets $110 on team B, you’ve placed a total of $220

  • The winning bet receives $100 in profit plus the original stake of $110, totaling $210

  • The sportsbook provider makes a $10 profit overall.

  • You calculate the vig as a percentage by dividing the profit by the total payout. In this case:

  • 10/210 = 0.0476, which is 4.76%

Calculating Implied Probability

For moneyline odds , where you have a clear favorite and underdog, calculating the vig is a little more challenging. First, you have to work out the implied probability of each potential outcome, then add it together and find the extra percentage, which is the vig.

Here’s how it’s done for a game between Team A (-155) and Team B (+130)

1. First, translate the odds into implied probability using this formula:

  • For negative odds, divide the value of the odds by the value of the odds plus 100

  • So, 155/(155+100) = 0.608 = 60.80%

  • For positive odds, divide 100 by the value of the odds plus 100

  • So, 100/(130+100) = 0.435 = 43.48%

2. Then you add these two implied probabilities together:

  • 60.80% + 43.48% = 104.28%

3. Then subtract 100 to find the vig:

  • 104.28% - 100 = 4.28%

What Is the Standard Vig or Juice?

When betting on the point spread or totals, the line is normally even on both sides of the bet. Typically, sportsbooks will offer -110 and +110 on both sides, giving you the standard vig of 4.76%.

With this juice, you need to win 53% of your bets in order to make a consistent profit. However, the vig can also vary, so be sure to calculate it if you’re not betting on even odds.

Sometimes, spread bets may have odds such as:

  • -112/+108

  • -115/+115

While these look slightly different, the calculation for vig is the same, and you end up with a very similar amount of juice. Typically, this won’t go above 4.8%. However, if you see the vig is higher than this, you’re very likely to find better value elsewhere.

You might see more variation with other bet types, but you should still aim to only bet on options that have lower juice.

Does the Vigorish Matter?

The vigorish matters a lot. While sports betting should be about entertainment rather than making money, you should still want to make a profit whenever possible. To do this, you need to take bets when the house edge is as low as possible. We recommend reading our sports betting guide if you're new to betting on your favourite sports.

Placing sports bets when the vig is high will mean your win percentage needs to be much higher. For the standard juice of 4.76%, you need to win 53% of your bets to be in profit. However, your chance of being profitable decreases even with small increases to the vig.

It’s always worth checking the vig before you bet and making sure you get the best possible value. Even if you have excellent betting knowledge, you’ll still benefit from it because higher juice means a lower payout if your bet wins.

How Does the Vig Affect Different Bet Types?

Vig is present at all sportsbooks and all sports. Betting on events such as March Madness involved juice, and all bet types have vig. Here are some examples of common bet types and the way they’re affected by the vigorish:

Moneylines

Moneyline betting allows you to pick a winner for an upcoming match, with the odds varying depending on the relative strength of each team. Because the odds change a lot depending on many different factors, the vig can vary too.

Bear in mind that for sports with ties, such as soccer, there’s a three-way moneyline betting market. When calculating the sports betting vig, you need to work out the implied probability for all three options before adding them together and subtracting 100.

Totals

Totals bets are among the easiest to calculate the vig, as there are typically even odds on both sides of the line. 4.76% is the standard for the over/under , though there can be some variation in the odds and juice from time to time. It’s also possible to find alternative lines, which let you bet on a higher or lower number of points.

For alternative betting lines, you may end up paying a higher vig. For this reason, they’re not as popular with experienced bettors, although you can still make them work if you find low vigorish lines.

Props

Prop betting is very popular, allowing you to bet on specific player actions or game outcomes. While many players enjoy betting on props , and they offer a lot more variety than standard betting markets, you should know that the juice is often much higher.

Typically, props may have juice of more than 6%, which means your win rate needs to be much higher when choosing your picks.

Parlays/multibets

While parlays give you higher odds and bigger potential payout, they also increase the vig of your bet. Just as the odds compound with each selection, so does the total juice. Parlays and same-game multibets are a lot of fun, they’re best used sparingly if you’re looking to make long-term profits.

Advice & Tips for Vigorish Betting

Here are our top tips for getting the better of the vig when betting on sports:

  1. Calculate the vig for every bet – Yeah, it might seem like a lot of work, but once you get the hang of it, it’s actually pretty simple. Knowing the vig helps you work out how high your chance of winning needs to be for your bet to be profitable.

  2. Always consider the bet type—There are lots of fun ways to bet on your favorite sport, but some bet types have much higher vig than others. As such, this should factor into your betting decisions. Moneylines, totals, and spreads will typically offer the lowest vig, and if you bet on other markets, your win rate will need to be higher.

  3. Don’t overpay – Always check the standard vig for your bet type and avoid paying more than you need to. Taking bets at a vig that’s higher than average is just putting yourself at an unnecessary disadvantage.

  4. Make the most of promotions - Sports betting promotions like monthly bonuses are a great way to decrease the sportsbook’s advantage and improve your chances of potential profit. These offers are usually very easy to claim and fun to use. Just be sure to check the terms.

Why Wager on Stake Sportsbook?

At Stake.com, we not only offer betting on a huge range of sports and markets, we’re also committed to providing fair vig that allows you to make more potential profits from every bet you place. We want betting to be fair, fun, and easy to do, which is why we make signing up, making deposits and placing bets as simple as possible.

Sports Promotions, VIP Club & Responsible Gambling

What’s more, Stake also has fun sports betting promotions and an exciting VIP Club that offers member-only rewards . Learn more about perks like VIP hosts , rakeback and reload bonuses on our VIP Club FAQs .

Always check the terms and conditions before you claim, and take a look at our promotions page regularly to see all of the updated offers available to you. Whatever you choose to bet on, ensure you set a budget and keep your bet sizes under control. Follow our responsible gambling guidelines to stay safe while having fun.