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Press Release: Sports Betting 101

Press Release: Sports Betting 101

Sports betting master “Rivers Ross” offers tutorial

DES PLAINES, IL (March 2, 2020) — Don’t know your over-under from your moneyline and confused about how to parlay your interest in sports with placing a bet at a newly legalized Illinois sportsbook? Fear not. At Rivers Casino Des Plaines’ soon-to-be-open BetRivers Sportsbook, resident expert Ross Sansone is making it simple for you.

“The sports betting terms can intimidate even the biggest sports fan, but with a few pointers, you can have a lot of fun and win some money--and you don’t even have to bet against your favorite team, even if they are the underdog,” Sansone said.

As Illinois prepares for sports betting to begin in time for college basketball’s “March Madness” tournament, BetRivers’ Sansone, known to some as “Rivers Ross” is providing a “Sports Betting 101” outline of the basics for each bet that can be made and definitions of common terms.

Sansone says there are four main types of bets that Illinois residents will be able to make.

1. Moneyline

“A wager on the moneyline is one of the most basic bets you can make. It’s as simple as picking the winning team,” he said. The favorite team is the team expected to win. This side of the bet is usually denoted with a minus “-” sign. The underdog team on the moneyline is the team that’s expected to lose, usually listed with a plus “+” sign. The signs help you quickly figure out how each side will pay, if that side wins: The minus sign means the payout will be less than the original bet, the plus means the payout will be more than the original bet. Reading the odds for a money line bet is simple. If a team is +120, this means they are the underdog. If that team wins, your $100 bet will win you an additional $120. If a team is shown -160 that means they’re a favorite (expected to win). You’ll need to make a $160 bet to be paid $100 in winnings if that team wins.

Example: The Chicago Bears are playing the Green Bay Packers and the Packers are favored to win at -120. If you decide to bet for the Packers, and you wanted to win $100, you would have to bet $120.

2. Point Spread

“A point spread bet has become more and more popular. When you bet on the point spread, it isn’t on who will win or lose. It’s a bet on how much the win or loss will be,” said Sansone. Similar to a moneyline bet, the “+” sign represents the underdog team and the “-” represents the favorite team. But in a point spread bet, another number is added. That is the number of points a team needs to win by for you to win your bet. There is usually an additional number in parentheses that tells you what the payout will be if you win.

Example: If the Chicago Bears are the 8.5 favorite (-8.5) over the Detroit Lions (+8.5), perhaps you want to place a $100 bet on Chicago winning and covering the spread. In this hypothetical game, if Chicago wins by 9 points the Bears would not only win the game, but you would win your bet. If the Bears only win by 6 points—maybe because they “double-doinked” a field goal in the closing seconds—you would lose your point spread bet. “When you hear someone say ‘my team didn’t cover,’ they are referring to losing a point spread bet,” he said.

3. Over/Under

An Over/Under bet is a wager on the combined total number of points scored by both teams in a game. That’s why it’s often called a “totals” bet. “You’re just trying to predict whether the total points scored in a game will be higher or lower than a set number. It’s an exciting way to bet on the action of a game without picking a winner or loser,” Sansone added. Reading the odds for an over/under, or “total” bet is simple. When the over/under is set for the Bears vs. Packers game at 37.5 and the combined score of both teams adds up to 38 or more, the “over” wins. If the total is 37 or less, the “under” wins. A unique aspect of an over/under bet, according to Sansone, is you can have a tie. “Occasionally, the total is set as a whole number. Using the Bears vs. Packers example again, if the over/under is 38 and the combined point total for the Bears and the Packers is 38 you have what is called a “push”--or a tie--and you get your money back.”

4. Parlay

This is a single wager that links together two or more individual bets. If any of the bets in the parlay lose, the entire parlay loses. But if all the linked bets win, the parlay wins — and the payouts can be huge. “It’s an example of higher risk for higher reward,” said Sansone.


Sansone said you may hear fellow sports book customers using insider-sounding terms. “At the sportsbook and often on sports radio you’ll hear people use this language to sound like they are in-the-know,” he said.

Some of those phrases include:

● Bad Beat: Losing, often as a result of a last second score.

● Bankroll: The money you have at your disposal with which to bet.

● Betting line: The odds used to determine the payout of wagers, for example, the lines move as bets are made and team news like injuries are reported.

● Dime: A $1,000 bet.

● Favorite: The side expected to win a sporting event.

● The dog: The underdog, or team expected to lose.

● First-Half Bet: A wager on the first half of a sporting event only, and not the outcome.

● Prop bets: Increasing in popularity, this can be anything from the outcome of the coin flip at the Super Bowl to the number of touchdowns Kansas City Quarterback Patrick Mahomes will throw today.

“Sports betting has its own language, but don’t get caught up in what other people say. These simple tips --along with only betting what you can afford to lose from your bankroll--should help you have fun at the BetRivers Sportsbook or at other sportsbook locations,” Sansone said.


Responsible Gaming Rivers Casino is committed to make responsible gaming a priority and takes this issue very seriously. While many are able to gamble responsibly, there is a small portion of the population who can develop a serious, sometimes uncontrollable gambling problem. This can affect persons of any age, income, gender or race at any time.

To protect them and others affected by their behavior, Rivers Casino established a set of policies and guidelines which deal with issues such as underage gambling, problem gambling, responsible marketing, and improper use or abuse of alcohol.

Rivers Casino employs a number or approaches to promote responsible gaming including:

● Employee education and training programs

● Self-exclusion policies

● Detailed written procedures to identify and manage these issues

● Use of outside experts

● Customer and employee education and awareness

● Self-restrictions for check cashing, credit and mail/promotional offers

● Monitoring and measuring compliance with results of these programs

Please gamble responsibly.

Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

About Rush Street Gaming

Founded by Neil Bluhm and Greg Carlin, Rush Street Gaming and its affiliates, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, have developed and operate successful casinos in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Des Plaines, Illinois (Chicago area) and Schenectady, New York. Rush Street Gaming and its affiliates has become one of the leading casino developers in the United States and operators of online casinos and sports books. Additional information at:

About Rivers Casino Des Plaines

Rivers Casino Des Plaines is the most successful casino in Illinois and jointly owned by Rush Street Gaming and Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”) (Nasdaq: CHDN). CDI is an industry-leading racing, online wagering and gaming entertainment company anchored by its flagship event – The Kentucky Derby. The company owns and operates 10 regional gaming facilities in eight states, as well as Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights. ABOUT RUSH STREET INTERACTIVE Founded in 2012, Chicago-based Rush Street Interactive (RSI) launched its first betting site,, in New Jersey in September 2016. The company subsequently made history by becoming the first operator in the United States to offer a fully integrated online sportsbook and casino. In addition, RSI was the first company to launch legal online sportsbooks both in Pennsylvania ( and Indiana ( as well as being the first to open a legal sportsbook in the state of New York (@ Rivers Casino in Schenectady). RSI also operates in-casino sportsbooks at Rivers Casinos in Pittsburgh & Philadelphia, and most recently, at the historic French Lick Resort in Indiana. is also the exclusive official sportsbook partner for the Philadelphia Flyers & Wells Fargo Center. RSI was the first US-based gaming operator to launch a legal and regulated online sportsbook in Latin America ( in Colombia). Rush Street Interactive is also the developer and operator of a leading social gaming platform currently deployed at the group’s affiliated land-based casinos and selected third party partners. Rush Street Interactive was named “Mobile Operator of the Year” in North America at the EGR North America Awards 2019 and “American Operator of the Year” & “Casino Operator of the Year” at the American Gambling Awards in 2019. For more information, visit About Churchill Downs Incorporated Churchill Downs Incorporated is an industry-leading racing, online wagering and gaming entertainment company anchored by our iconic flagship event - The Kentucky Derby. We own and operate Derby City Gaming, a historical racing machine facility in Louisville, Kentucky. We also own and operate the largest online horse racing wagering platform in the U.S.,, and we operate sports betting and iGaming through our BetAmerica platform in multiple states. We are also a leader in brick-and-mortar casino gaming with approximately 11,000 slot machines and video lottery terminals and 200 table games in eight states. Additional information about CDI can be found online at

Contact: Dennis Culloton, 312.228.4780 (o) 630.699.8811 (m) [email protected]

Patrick Skarr, 312.228.4789 (o) 630.768.3675 (m) [email protected]