What Does “Juice” Mean?

If you have ever watched an old gangster movie then you have probably heard someone talk about “the juice” in regard to sports betting; but what is it?

When a novice bettor hears someone talk about the “juice,” they are probably going to wonder whether the conversation is about apple or orange juice. But, when it comes to sports betting, the juice is, well — it is not orange or yellowish.

It is green.

“Juice” is a slang term in sports betting circles that refers to the “vig” or vigorish, which is how sportsbooks make money. Sportsbooks do not make money because they come out on the winning end of bets more often than not. However, it is worth noting that the vigorish is a fee that sportsbooks collect only on losing bets.

So, how can you tell what the juice or vig is for your particular bet? Let’s review the opening betting line for Super Bowl LV:

  • Point Spread: Kansas City Chiefs -3.5 (-106); Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3.5 (-115)
  • Moneyline: Kansas City Chiefs -175; Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+140)
  • Total: Over/Under 57.5 (-110/-110)

The moneyline for the over/under is the easiest example. On both sides of the wager, fans had to bet $110 to win $100. The $10 is the juice. If you lose the bet, it goes to the sportsbook.

If a sportsbook does want to stick with a certain point spread but wants to encourage the public to bet a certain way, they will vary the vig for each team. For the opening line of Super Bowl LV, sportsbooks were trying to encourage fans to bet on the Chiefs over the Buccaneers by offering a discounted vig while raising the vig for bets on Tampa Bay.

But fans were leaning heavily towards the Chiefs at first causing DraftKings to change the line:

· Chiefs -3 (-117)

· Buccaneers +3 (-105)

As the game drew closer, public perception gave the Buccaneers a real shot at winning forcing the line to alter once again to:

· Chiefs -3 (-113)

· Buccaneers -3 (-108)

The juice is not something that is uniform across the sports betting landscape, although it often is (-110 odds are probably the most common). Books can assign whatever juice they want to a bet, but they typically do not push the limit too much so as not to scare customers away.

That explains the juice for games, but what about futures?

For futures, it is not as easy to calculate what the juice is. To do so, you will need to convert the odds to a percentage (use an odds calculator) for every option listed. Take those percentages and add them up. Anything over 100 percent is the juice for that wager.

If the percentage for every option equals 130 percent, then the juice is 30 percent, meaning the book takes 30 percent of every dollar bet.

Photo Credit: Twitter

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