In a water polo moneyline, your goal is to pick the winning team.
Here, the odds displayed next to each team indicate how much you will be asked to risk in relation to how much you stand to win. The odds are adjusted by bookies to reflect perceived talent differential between teams.
The odds are set in such a way that punters will be interested in both sides of the bet. The weaker team receives better odds, while the stronger team receives lower odds. The bookmaker hopes to attract money on both sides of the wager in this way so that the losers can be used to pay off the winners while the bookmaker keeps a small profit.
A water polo betting handicap operates similarly to a moneyline bet, to correctly predict the winning side. The difference is that handicap bets provide an artificial points disadvantage to one team or the other to account for one side's superior strength.
Here's an example: Serbia: -6.5 (2.10) versus Slovakia: +6.5 (1.76).
This scenario demonstrates that Serbia has a 6.5-point handicap and is heavily favored to win the match. If you bet on Serbia, they must win by at least seven points to be deemed a winner. Your stake is lost if Serbia loses or only wins by 5 points, for example.
If you bet on Slovakia instead, you'll receive a 6.5-point handicap in your favor. This implies that Slovakia might lose by up to 6 points and still win your bet. The odds enclosed in parentheses also indicate how much you may win by betting on each team.
Betting on totals
The objective in a point totals wager is not who will win the game. The goal is to guess whether the total number of points scored in the match will be higher or lower than a number set by the bookmaker.
The following is an example of a total points bet:
- Over 18.5: 1.90
- Under 18.5: 1.90
In this case, the total has been established at 18.5 points by the bookmaker. At the end of the game, this is the total aggregate score of both teams. You would pick the over at odds of 1.90 if you believe both teams would wind up with a combined score of 19 or more points. You should choose the under if you believe the total score will be 18 or fewer points.