The Different Types of Sports Bets: A Beginner’s Guide

6 Min Read

Sports betting can be a fun and exciting way to enhance your enjoyment of sporting events. Whether you’re a seasoned bettor or new to the world of sports betting, it’s important to understand the different types of bets available and how they work. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll cover the most common types of sports bets and provide an overview of how each one works.

Moneyline Bets

A moneyline bet is a simple bet on which team or player will win a particular game or event. The odds for a moneyline bet are expressed as a positive or negative number, with the favorite having a negative number and the underdog having a positive number. For example, if the New York Yankees are -150 and the Boston Red Sox are +120, the Yankees are the favorite and the Red Sox are the underdog. To place a moneyline bet, you simply choose the team or player you think will win and place your bet.

Point Spread Bets

A point spread bet, also known as a “spread” or “handicap” bet, is a bet on the margin of victory in a particular game. In a point spread bet, one team is given a “spread” of points, and you bet on whether that team will win by more or fewer points than the spread. For example, if the point spread for a basketball game is -5.5 points in favor of the home team, you can bet on the home team to win by more than 5.5 points, or bet on the away team to lose by fewer than 5.5 points.

Total Bets

A total bet, also known as an “over/under” bet, is a bet on the combined score of a particular game. The sportsbook sets a total for the game, and you bet on whether the actual combined score will be over or under that total. For example, if the total for a football game is 45 points, you can bet on the combined score being over 45 points, or bet on the combined score being under 45 points.

Parlay Bets

A parlay bet is a bet on multiple games or events, with all selections needing to win in order for the bet to be a winner. Parlay bets offer the potential for large payouts, but they are also high risk, as you need all of your selections to be correct in order to win. For example, if you place a three-team parlay bet and all three teams win, you’ll receive a much larger payout than if you had placed three individual bets. However, if even one of your selections loses, the entire bet is a loss.

Teaser Bets

A teaser bet is similar to a parlay bet, but with one key difference: the point spreads or totals for each selection in a teaser bet are adjusted in your favor. This means that you’ll have a better chance of winning, but the payouts are smaller as a result. Teaser bets are generally considered to be a lower-risk option than parlay bets.

Prop Bets

Prop bets, short for “proposition bets,” are a type of sports bet that focuses on a specific outcome or event within a game. Prop bets can be on anything from the outcome of a coin toss to the number of touchdowns a particular player will score. Prop bets are generally considered to be more novelty-type bets and can be a fun way to add excitement to a game. However, they are also known for having lower odds and less predictable outcomes, so it’s important to be cautious when placing prop bets. Some examples of common prop bets include betting on the first team to score, the first player to score a touchdown, or the player to score the most points in a game.

Futures Bets

Futures bets, also known as “outright” bets, are a type of sports bet that allows you to place a wager on the outcome of a future event. Futures bets are typically placed on events that will happen at a later date, such as the winner of a championship or the team to win a division. Futures bets can be placed on individual games, as well as entire seasons or events. The odds for futures bets are generally longer, as there are more variables and uncertainties involved. However, the potential payouts can be much larger as a result. Examples of common futures bets include betting on the team to win the World Series, the player to win a golf tournament, or the team to win the Super Bowl.