I’ve lived in the United States my entire life. And I’m used to making bets using lines listed in US sportsbooks. So when I look at lines, I know what 1.5 means on a point spread in sports played in the US. And I know what 1.5 means on a MLB run line or an NHL puck line. So, I want to answer the following question in this post. What does 1.5 mean in betting?
The first time I signed up for an account at an online sportsbook located in another country, I saw a couple of things that threw me off. One of the things I saw was a line of 1.5 on the moneyline for a team.
I had to spend a little time studying what 1.5 meant, so I thought others might have the same questions. So here’s a list of different things that 1.5 can mean in betting.
What Does 1.5 Mean in Betting: Point Spread
The most common use of 1.5 in betting that I see is a point spread. When 1.5 is used for a point spread, it always has a + or – in front of it.
For example, you might see a line on a college football game listed as follows:
LSU – 1.5
You read this line that Alabama is playing at LSU, and LSU is favored by 1.5 points. So a bet on Alabama means you get 1.5 points, and a bet on LSU means you give 1.5 points. So a bet on Alabama wins when Alabama wins the game or loses by one. A bet on LSU only wins if LSU wins by at least two.
The same line can be shown a different way.
Alabama + 1.5
When you look at point spreads, one team gets points, and the other team gives the same number of points. This is only true when the sportsbooks offer the teams at even or no points.
What about the Vig?
If you bet on a point spread, you still have to pay vig, even if the line is even. For example, you usually have to bet $11 to win $10 or $110 to win $100. Sometimes you can place bets with lower vig, like $105 in order to win $100, but there’s always vig when you place bets with sportsbooks.
When a point spread is even, the listing looks like this.
Alabama – 110
LSU – 110
When the listing looks like this, neither team gets points, but you still have to pay vig. And sometimes the vig is different for each team, like this.
Alabama – 115
LSU – 105
Every sports gambler needs to know how point spreads work. But once you understand how point spreads work, a point spread of + 1.5 or – 1.5 is the same as any other point spread.
As a side note, when you see lines with a low point spread like + 1.5, it means the sportsbooks think the game is going to be close. If you learn how to handicap games well, you can often find value in these games. With a low point spread, you usually win if you can pick the winner of the game.
What Does 1.5 Mean in Betting: Run Line and Puck Line
Football and basketball are the main sports that use point spreads. Baseball and hockey both have a unique way of using 1.5 that looks like a point spread, but it’s not a point spread.
When 1.5 is used in baseball, it’s called a run line, and when it’s used in hockey, it’s called a puck line. And every run line and puck line uses a plus or minus in front of the 1.5. So you don’t just see 1.5; you see + 1.5 and – 1.5.
Many sportsbooks use 1 ½ instead of 1.5, but both numbers mean the same thing.
Using baseball as an example, here’s a line using a run line.
Cincinnati + 1.5
Colorado – 1.5
The line means that if you bet on Cincinnati, you win the bet if they win the game or lose by only one run. But if you bet on Colorado, you only win the best if Colorado wins by at least two runs.
How about Puck Lines?
Puck lines work the same way. But run lines and puck lines also have another number on each team that you need to understand.
Every run line and puck line also has a plus or minus number, and the other plus and minus number works like a moneyline. For example, you might see – 200 on the + 1.5 run line on Cincinnati. It means you have to risk $200 to win $100 if you take the 1.5 runs on the Reds.
On the other hand, you often get a better price when you give 1.5 runs in baseball or goals in hockey. For example, you might see + 150 on Colorado, so you bet $100 to win $150 when you give 1.5 runs.
Soccer Over or Under
I don’t make a lot of bets on soccer because I don’t follow the sport. But, just so you know what I’m talking about, I’m using soccer in this post. Many US gamblers call the game soccer, but in most of the world, soccer is called football.
In the US, people call the games played in the NFL football and games using a soccer ball soccer. I’m not arguing that one way is better than the other, but the best way to keep the two sports separated is to call one football and the other soccer.
A bet that’s available on soccer games is over or under 1.5 goals. You can also find lines for over or under 2.5 goals on some games.
With a line of 1.5, you bet that the total number of goals by both teams in the match is going to be 1 goal or less, or 2 goals or more.
If the final score is 1 – 0, you win if you bet under 1.5. But you lose if the score is 2 – 0, or 1 – 1, or 2 – 1, or any higher score.
Decimal Odds and 1.5
If you make bets in the United States, you’re probably used to using odds displayed a certain way when you bet on games. For example, if you want to bet on a favorite on the moneyline and see – 200, you know you have to bet $200 to win $100.
But in most places outside of the US, the odds aren’t listed the same way. Many sportsbooks use something called decimal odds. The odds on the same team on the moneyline that’s listed at – 200 in the US are listed as 1.5.
When you place a bet in the US, the easiest way to think about the odds is when you win, you get back the amount you wagered plus the amount you win. So when you bet $200 on the example above and win, you get back your $200, and you win another $100.
The best way to look at decimal odds is to think of only the total amount of money you get back if you win. When you place a moneyline wager on decimal odds, the odds show the total amount you get back when you win.
For example, if you bet $200 on decimal odds of 1.5, when you win, you get back a total of $200 times 1.5. In other words, you get back a total of $300. So you get back the same total amount when you bet $200 on the moneyline if the line shows – 200 or 1.5.
Decimal Odds Make It Easy
Once you learn how to use decimal odds, it’s easy to see what you’re risking and can win. Decimal odds under 2 show the team is the favorite, and decimal odds over 2 show that the team is an underdog.
For example, if the decimal odds are 3.0, if you bet $100 and win, you get back $300. This is because decimal odds of 3.0 are the same as a US moneyline of + 200. So you bet $100, and when you win, you get back your $100 plus $200.
The only thing you need to watch out for is confusing point spreads and decimal odds. You learned about point spreads in the first section, so I’m not going to go over them again. Just make sure that you know whether you’re betting using a point spread or decimal odds.
Understanding decimal odds of 1.5 is important, so you know exactly what you’re betting on when you’re placing wagers in a sportsbook that doesn’t use odds the same way as sportsbooks in the US.
Conclusion – What Does 1.5 Mean in Betting?
It’s dangerous to make bets when you’re not sure what the lines mean. For example, 1.5 can mean different things when you place a bet, but once you understand what you’re looking at, you can make bets that are exactly what you want to make.
Decimal odds are the hardest thing to get a handle on if you’re used to US-based lines. But once you see how decimal odds work, you see they’re just a different way to display the odds you’re used to seeing.
As long as you know what 1.5 means when you bet in every situation, you won’t be in for a rude surprise.