What Is Vig, Vigorish, and Juice In Sports Betting And How It’s Calculated

Understand what the "juice" means is critical when becoming a sports bettor.
Image Credit: Imagn

Once you’ve learned what the point spread is, you may ask yourself, what the number such as “-110” or “-120” is that appears next to the spread because isn’t the idea behind a point spread to handicap teams evenly?

This number is commonly known as the “vig,” short for vigorish, or the “juice” on the bet. It’s the price a sportsbook charges for taking the bet. In most cases when it comes to point spread betting, the number will be -110, which equates to a 10% vig or juice. This is the commission the sportsbook takes for accepting to take a wager.

For example, let’s say the New England Patriots are -8 against the New York Jets, who are then +8. Both sides can be listed at -110 and that means that if you were to wager $110 on the Patriots, and they win by 10 points, you would win $100 because they covered the spread. You’re not getting an even-money return on your wager, but rather the house keeps a $10 commission. This is the vig or the juice.

Sometimes, instead of moving a point spread number, oddsmakers will adjust the juice on a line, going up to -115 or -120, or down to -105. This means you would pay more or less of a commission on the bet depending on the juice that’s offered.