What Does +1.5 Mean in Sports Betting?

What Does +1.5 Mean in Sports Betting?

Looking to bet on any NFL or college football game this fall using legal online sportsbooks? Before you do, you’ll need to know the basics of online sports betting apps, like, what does +1.5 mean?

We tasked our sports betting experts with teaching you the best ways to bet on sports online or using your mobile phone. To best explain everything you need to know about online sports betting, our team of pundits put together a series of sports betting guides.

So, let’s get to answering the question.

What Does +1.5 Mean In Sports Betting?

When you see a +1.5 in front of a team’s name, in spread betting, that means that they are 1.5-point underdogs in that matchup. Here is what this might look like from your typical sportsbook:

  • Chicago Bulls -1.5
  • New York Knicks +1.5

This means that sportsbooks believe that the Chicago Bulls have a higher probability of winning the game over the Miami Heat. Setting the line at just 1.5 does mean that these two teams are extremely close.

This is what is called a “spread” bet, or “betting against the spread.” This is a very common bet in basketball and football games, but it is seen in other sports as well.

In this case, the Chicago Bulls would have to win the game by at least two points to be declared a winner of the bet. The Miami Heat can actually lose the game but must keep the final score within 1.5 total points.

Even though we are using +1.5 for this exercise, spreads are usually more spread out than this. There can be spreads of all different lengths, and it just depends on the sport, as you can see below.

spread betting


If you are betting on a team with a (+) in front of their odds, they are viewed as the underdog in a particular matchup. A team with a (-) in front of their odds are considered the favorite in that matchup. 

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+1.5 Means Different Things Depending on The Sport

Almost all forms of sports betting offer spread betting, but they behave differently depending on the sport. The most common sports that offer spread bets are basketball and football, but baseball, hockey, and soccer offer spread bet variations.

In fact, baseball, hockey, and soccer commonly set the run or goal line at 1.5, which rarely changes. The underdog will almost always be listed at +1.5, while the favorite will be listed at -1.5.

Spread Betting Lines Can Always Move

Another thing to keep in mind is that lines can always move, and most of them will move several times before a game begins. If you see a line of +1.5 on a football or basketball game, look for that line to be adjusted when it gets closer to the start of a game.

There are several reasons that lines move, and it’s important for you to try to figure out why they are moving before placing a bet. Lines typically move because there are changes in financial circumstances, players are being injured, or there is some other news that may affect the likely outcome of a game or match.

If you ever see a line completely shift and change who is favored in a matchup, do some research to see if you can figure out what may have caused this. To ensure you get the best of a line, research all of the best online sportsbooks before placing your action.

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Ryan has been writing sports betting content for over 15 years now, and has published well over 1,500 articles in this niche. He follows every move in the United States legal & industry news space. On top of industry news, Ryan enjoys writing sports betting strategy, game previews, opinion pieces, hosting podcasts and more!