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Gambling 101: What are Two-Way Odds?

Our Sports Gambling 101 series continues with a look at “two-way” odds. How do bettors read these popular wagering lines and how do they differ from similar sports betting options?

Available across all sports wagering markets, two-way betting odds are offered as point spreads, moneylines and game totals. Player and team props, plus a variety of futures options, are also posted with two-way betting lines. Different from three-way odds, which include a TIE option, bettors need to select from just two sides on two-way odds. The final score of a match, which includes regulation time and overtime, decides the winner of standard two-way betting tickets.

What Are Standard Two-Way Betting Odds?

Two-way betting lines are always offered with the common big three wagering options. In the NFL odds example below, bettors backing Las Vegas need the Raiders to win by two points or more to cash winning point spread tickets. Moneyline bettors need the Raiders to win outright and the total score needs to be 48 points or more for OVER to cash. If the Raiders win 24-23, point spread and game total bets would be graded as a PUSH and original wagers are refunded.

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

How do Two-Way and Three-Way Odds Differ?

Bettors need to be aware that both two-way and three-way lines are common soccer and hockey betting odds. Misreading or mistaking the two can result in costly losses.

From the English Premier League odds below, Manchester United is a (-250) favorite on the three-way moneyline odds but the price jumps (-910) on the Red Devils “tie no bet” line. Players who bet on the (-250) price, and forget a tie is involved, send their tickets to the trash if the full-time result is a draw.

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Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

Player and Team Propositions Offer Two-Way Odds

Offered during the preseason, regular season and playoffs, a variety of proposition options are listed with two-way betting lines. Prior to the 2020 NFL season, bettors could wager on how many total passing yards Aaron Rodgers would post. Common on player prop options, FanDuel bookmakers added a half-point hook to the line so a PUSH isn’t possible. If Rodgers reaches or exceeds 3900 passing yards, OVER bettors collect $100 on every $110 they wager.

Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook

Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook

Two-Way Betting Odds Bottom Line

As the most common betting option available, two-way wagering odds are very straightforward. While understanding the lines in simple, bettors still need to follow a solid pregame research plan. Reviewing the current form of the sides involved, recent head-to-head history, plus injuries and venue, are keys to cashing winning wagers. Proper bankroll management, which includes shopping for the best priced odds, also helps players enjoy two-way betting success.