Your guide to a variety of sports betting options

Understanding the different types of bets offered by sportsbooks is essential for any sports bettor.

Super Bowl Ticket Drop

Types of Bets

Understanding the different types of bets offered by sportsbooks is essential for any sports bettor. This guide will explain the full range of wagering options and provide relevant examples for many of the main types of sports bets available to any sports bettor.

Money Line Bets

Money Line (ML) bets – or straight bets – are the most common wager for sports bettors. Money line is the simplest form of wagering as far as selecting a distinct outcome, but it gets trickier once you dig deeper and factor in odds. When wagering on the money line, the bettor is simply picking who will win the event outright. With money line bets, it does not matter how many points/goals/runs one team wins by, just that they win the event.

There are no ties in many of the major betting sports, so as long as the event is played, there will definitely be a winner and loser on a money line bet. The manner in which sportsbooks convey the differences in talent or projected result between the two teams with moneyline wagers, is by weighing the money line with larger odds on the favored team. For example, a superior and popular team such as the Yankees playing a perennial losing team such as the Royals, will often have substantial odds in their favor, as shown in the example below.

Kansas City Royals (+175) at New York Yankees (-200)

The plus sign in the odds always indicates the underdog team, and the amount you will win (or equivalent ratio) on a $100 bet. The minus sign always indicates the favored team, and the amount you must wager in order to win $100 (or the equivalent ratio). The above odds can be interpreted in the following manner – if wagering $100 on the Royals money line, you would win $175 (plus you are returned the $100 you wagered) – if wagering on the Yankees money line, you would need to bet $200 in order to win $100 (plus you are returned the $200 you wagered).

This is how sportsbooks attempt to create balanced wagers in an otherwise unbalanced event. As the books collect wagers on both sides of an event, the money line odds are constantly adjusted on both sides in an attempt to balance the money being attributed to each team. Some factors that often impact money line betting odds and details to be aware of when wagering include location of the event (home/away/neutral site), current injuries to key players, weather and wind impacts, lineup changes, and recent player and team trends.

Parlay Bets

A parlay wager is defined as multiple (2+) bet selections within the same wager, where all bets have to be successful in order for a wager to be graded as a win. Parlay bets provide sports bettors with the potential for higher payouts in exchange for longer odds of a successful wager. These high payouts are a result of the fact that it becomes increasingly difficult to hit every leg of a parlay as each additional bet is added into the wager. 

For example, if a parlay bet is made on the Yankees money line in their game against the Royals, and the bettor adds the Cardinals money line bet in their game against the Rockies, both the Yankees and the Cardinals must win their respective games in order for the bettor to be paid out on that wager. If either one of the two selected teams lose their individual bet, the overall parlay wager is scored as a loss. 

Parlay wagers are allowed across different bet types, games, and even across different sports in most cases, which makes for an exciting and attractive type of wager when you add in the potential for higher payouts than straight wagers. An important note to include on parlay bets is that most bookmakers will not allow for parlays that include correlated bets, such as parlaying a team’s money line with their own team total.

Parlay Calculator 

Parlay calculators allow sports bettors to input the odds of each leg of your desired parlay wager and provides the expected payout of your parlay. This tool is quite beneficial to bettors to parse through many permutations of parlay legs before submitting their wager. As legs of a parlay are added, the payouts odds scale exponentially as the wager becomes increasingly difficult to cash.

Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) during the first period against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Over/Under Bets

Over/Under bets, or Game Total bets, is a type of bet that includes a betting line for the total number of points expected to be scored in a certain game. Sports bettors then wager whether the total combined score for both teams will result in over or under that total number. 

For example, a Chiefs at 49ers game total is set at 49.5 points. A bettor could either wager on the over or under for that number of total points expected in the game. As bets are accepted on this bet type leading up to the game, the game total and odds will move concurrently with the level of money being wagered on each side (over/under) of the contest, making the game total betting market very fluid depending on when you place a wager. For example, the game total betting profile might look similar to the below for this Redskins/Patriots game, and then change based on the level of wagers received on each side.

Chiefs at 49ers Over 49.5 (-115)

Chiefs at Niners Under 49.5 (-105)

Point Spread Bets

By far the most popular type of bet for the NFL and the NBA, point spread wagers are a point of discussion between fans and bettors alike leading up to each slate of games. The point spread can be understood as how many points the favored team would have to “give” to the underdog team for the game to be viewed as equal. Let’s look at an example to show the what the point spread might look like for an NFL game:

Las Vegas Raiders +9.5 (-110) at Kansas City Chiefs -9.5 (-110)

The interpretation of these point spread odds are as follows – a $110 wager on the Raiders +9.5 means that you are betting that the Raiders will either win the game outright or lose by 1-9 points. The Raiders losing by ten or more points would result in a loss. With the odds posted, you would stand to win $100 (plus the $110 wagered) if the Raiders win the game or lose by nine or less. If betting on the Chiefs -9.5, the odds tell you that you must wager $110 to win $100, and the Chiefs must win the game by at least ten points for your wager to be paid. This method of trying to even out each game is what makes point spread wagering so popular in both the NFL and the NBA, where there are often large mismatches between teams on paper. As with money line odds, spreads will vary leading up to each game as sports books receive wagers on either side of each game.

MLB and NHL point spread wagering is unique to most other sports in that there is not a traditional point spread established for each game. In lieu of a point spread, each game has a fixed -1.5 and +1.5 “run line” assigned to the two teams for MLB, with the favorite being assigned -1.5 and the underdog assigned +1.5. This is seen as well in hockey as NHL wagering utilizes -1.5 and +1.5 “puck lines” assigned to the two teams in play. 

Live In-Game Betting

Live, or in-game betting, allows bettors to wager on ongoing sporting events. This form of betting is arguably the future face of sports wagering. As sports gambling legislation is approved across the country, sports franchises will be increasingly motivated to include in-game or live betting options for game attendees in their stadiums and arenas. Ted Leonsis, the current owner of the Washington Wizards and the Washington Capitals, has already expressed interest in installing consoles at seats where fans can place live wagers on the action unfolding in front of them

In-Game wagering ranges from very simple to quite complex. For example, in the NFL, bettors can wager on what type of play will be next – Pass or Run – or on whether or not the next play will result in a first down – or which individual player will score the next touchdown. This type of wagering will undoubtedly enhance the in-stadium experience for bettors who attend games in person, as well as anyone with access to a sports book during live game action. Live wagering also includes dynamic live spreads and odds which bettors can place bets on during game action on many of the standard types of bets, including money lines, point spreads, and totals. This way, viewers can see the action unfolding in front of them and wager “live” along with the game as they watch the action play out.

Futures

Futures wagering is among the more popular wagering types and involves predicting long-term results. Whether it be choosing which team will win the next Super Bowl, which team will win its Division at the end of the regular season, or perhaps a player to win a major season-long award, futures bets provide a quality long-term sweat for bettors. The main draw of futures bets are the high payouts connected to the long odds that come with predicting something down the line such as the correct Super Bowl winning team, or the correct player to earn the MVP award, well in advance before the results are known. Futures wagers are most commonly placed before the season begins, but can be placed at any time through the entirety of the season – with odds changing fluidly based on the on-field results and injuries of the players and teams involved on a day-to-day basis. Futures bets are paid out based on the odds when the wager is placed. For example, if you bet $100 on a +700 futures bet that cashes, you will receive $700, plus the $100 you wagered returned to you. Futures bets also allow for hedging opportunities as the event wagered on comes towards a conclusion, an opportunity for a bettor to lock in guaranteed profit at the expense of a full payout from the original wager. Ante-post betting is another term used for futures betting, most commonly utilized in horse racing referring to odds posted at least a day in advance before a race occurs, before the post odds are available.

Teaser Bets

A teaser bet is a type of wager that allows a sports bettor to combine two or more bets into one wager. A teaser bet allows the bettor to favorably move the point spreads or the game totals for two or more games chosen, where both bets must hit, and the payout is reduced due to the allowance of the bettor to change the point spreads. In NFL betting, normally two-team, 6-point teasers are offered at 11 to 10 odds, or -110. For example, a two-team 6-point teaser bets might look like the following wagers – one teasing the point spreads and one teasing the game totals – remember that both bets must win for the wager to be paid out:

Chiefs -9.5 vs. Raiders teased down to Chiefs -3.5; plus Cowboys -7.5 vs. Redskins teased down to Cowboys -1.5, (-110)

Chiefs vs. Raiders over 49.5 teased down to 43.5; plus Cowboys vs. Redskins under 44.5 teased up to 50.5, (-110)

Pleaser Bets

A pleaser bet is a similar type of wager to the teaser bet in that it allows a sports bettor to combine two or more bets into one wager. Contrary to the teaser bet, a pleaser bet allows the bettor to move the point spreads or the game totals favorably for the sports book for two or more games chosen, where both bets must hit, and instead the payout is increased due to the increasingly favorable nature of the point spreads given to the sports book.

Aug 25, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Brooks Koepka lines up his putt on the 15th green during the third round of the Tour Championship golf tournament at East Lake Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Prop Bets

Proposition (prop) bets are wagers which are event-based within the game or match itself. Prop bets are often yes or no propositions or multiple-choice type questions where the bettor can choose from a group of selections. Prop bets are most popular during the Super Bowl, as they can add some extra entertainment to the big game for bettors.

Examples of some propositions include the following:

Team to Score First

Will the game/match go to overtime? – Yes/No

Prop bets are inherently quite volatile and hard to predict by nature and are therefore widely seen more as fun or ancillary wager, with lower ceiling bets allowed by sports books. As the sports betting industry grows in the United States, prop bets will become more prominent as it looks as if most teams plan on implementing game proposition wagers within their arenas to enhance the viewer experience.

Player Prop Bets

Rapidly expanding in popularity across all sports, player proposition bets are an excellent way to substantiate other wagers placed on an event. For many players in each event, sports books will offer over/under propositions for major statistical categories for bettors to wager on player’s performances within that event. A given game in any of the the major US sports will include player prop bets for every major skill player and relevant statistic. For example in an NFL game, prop bets will be offered for passing yardage, passing touchdowns, interceptions, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, receiving yards, receiving yardage, and the number of receptions. Other player prop offerings include wagers such as first player to score or the first quarterback to throw an interception. The wagering possibilities in the player prop market are endless.

Player prop wagers allow for an intriguing way to leverage player projections in order to capitalize on what are often soft proposition numbers offered by the sports books on certain players. As the player prop market is quite softer in comparison to other types of bets, sports books often place lower maximum bet limits on sports bettors in order to limit their monetary exposure on any single player prop.

H2H Bets

Types of Sports Betting:

Types of Bets

Understanding the different types of bets offered by sportsbooks is essential for any sports bettor. This guide will explain the full range of wagering options and provide relevant examples for many of the main types of sports bets available to any sports bettor.

Money Line Bets

Money Line (ML) bets – or straight bets – are the most common wager for sports bettors. Money line is the simplest form of wagering as far as selecting a distinct outcome, but it gets trickier once you dig deeper and factor in odds. When wagering on the money line, the bettor is simply picking who will win the event outright. With money line bets, it does not matter how many points/goals/runs one team wins by, just that they win the event. 

There are no ties in many of the major betting sports, so as long as the event is played, there will definitely be a winner and loser on a money line bet. The manner in which sportsbooks convey the differences in talent or projected result between the two teams with moneyline wagers, is by weighing the money line with larger odds on the favored team. For example, a superior and popular team such as the Yankees playing a perennial losing team such as the Royals, will often have substantial odds in their favor, as shown in the example below.

Kansas City Royals (+175) at New York Yankees (-200)

The plus sign in the odds always indicates the underdog team, and the amount you will win (or equivalent ratio) on a $100 bet. The minus sign always indicates the favored team, and the amount you must wager in order to win $100 (or the equivalent ratio). The above odds can be interpreted in the following manner – if wagering $100 on the Royals money line, you would win $175 (plus you are returned the $100 you wagered) – if wagering on the Yankees money line, you would need to bet $200 in order to win $100 (plus you are returned the $200 you wagered). 

This is how sportsbooks attempt to create balanced wagers in an otherwise unbalanced event. As the books collect wagers on both sides of an event, the money line odds are constantly adjusted on both sides in an attempt to balance the money being attributed to each team. Some factors that often impact money line betting odds and details to be aware of when wagering include location of the event (home/away/neutral site), current injuries to key players, weather and wind impacts, lineup changes, and recent player and team trends.

Parlay Bets

A parlay wager is defined as multiple (2+) bet selections within the same wager, where all bets have to be successful in order for the wager to be graded as a win. Parlay bets provide sports bettors with the potential for higher payouts in exchange for longer odds of a successful wager. These high payouts are a result of the fact that it becomes increasingly difficult to hit every leg of a parlay as each additional bet is added into the wager.

For example, if a parlay bet is made on the Yankees money line in their game against the Royals, and the bettor adds the Cardinals money line in their game against the Rockies, both the Yankees and the Cardinals must win their respective games in order for the bettor to be paid out on that wager. If either one of the two selected teams loses their individual bet, the overall parlay wager is scored as a loss.

Parlay wagers are allowed across different bet types, games, and even across different sports in most cases, which makes for an exciting and attractive type of wager when you add in the potential for higher payouts than straight wagers. An important note to include on parlay bets is that most bookmakers will not allow for parlays that include correlated bets, such as parlaying a team’s money line with their own team total.

Parlay Calculator 

Parlay calculators allow sports bettors to input the odds of each leg of a desired parlay wager and provides the expected payout of the parlay. This tool is quite beneficial to bettors, as it helps to parse through many permutations of parlay legs before submitting a wager. As legs of a parlay are added, the payout’s odds scale exponentially as the wager becomes increasingly difficult to cash.

Jun 16, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; Boston Red Sox pitcher Brandon Workman (44) throws a pitch in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Over/Under Bets

Over/Under bets – or Game Total bets – are wagers that include a betting line for the total number of points expected to be scored in a certain game. Sports bettors wager whether the total combined score for both teams will result in over or under this line.

For example, let’s say a Chiefs vs 49ers game total is set at 49.5 points. A bettor could either wager on the over or under for that line of total points expected in the game. As wagers are accepted on this bet type leading up to the game, the game total and odds will move concurrently with the level of money being wagered on each side (over/under) of the contest, making the game total betting market very fluid depending on when you place a wager. The game total betting profile might at first look similar to the example below for a Redskins/Patriots game, and then change based on the wagers received on each side.

Chiefs at 49ers Over 49.5 (-115)

Chiefs at Niners Under 49.5 (-105)

Point Spread Bets

By far the most popular type of bet for the NFL and the NBA, point spread wagers are a frequently discussed between fans and bettors alike leading up to each slate of games. The point spread can be understood as how many points the favored team would have to “give” to the underdog team for the game to be viewed as equal. Let’s look at an example to show the what the point spread might look like for an NFL game:

Las Vegas Raiders +9.5 (-110) at Kansas City Chiefs -9.5 (-110)

The interpretation of these point spread odds are as follows – a $110 wager on the Raiders +9.5 means that you are betting that the Raiders will either win the game outright or lose by 1-9 points. The Raiders losing by ten or more points would result in a loss. With the odds posted, you would stand to win $100 (plus the $110 wagered) if the Raiders win the game or lose by nine or less. If betting on the Chiefs -9.5, the odds state that you must wager $110 to win $100, and the Chiefs must win the game by at least ten points for your wager to be paid. This method of trying to even out each game is what makes point spread wagering so popular in both the NFL and the NBA, where there are often large mismatches between teams on paper. As with money line odds, spreads vary leading up to each game as sportsbooks receive wagers for both participants.

MLB and NHL point spread wagering is unique to most other sports in that there is not a traditional point spread established for each game. In lieu of a point spread, each MLB game has a fixed -1.5 and +1.5 “run line” assigned to the two teams, with the favorite being assigned -1.5 and the underdog assigned +1.5. This method is used in hockey as well, where NHL wagering utilizes -1.5 and +1.5 “puck lines” assigned to the two teams in play.

Live In-Game Betting

Live betting – or in-game betting – allows bettors to wager on sporting events while they are in progress. This form of betting is arguably the future face of sports wagering. As sports gambling legislation is approved across the country, sports franchises will be increasingly motivated to include in-game or live betting options for game attendees in their stadiums and arenas. Ted Leonsis – current owner of the Washington Wizards and the Washington Capitals – has already expressed interest in installing consoles at seats where fans can place live wagers on the action unfolding in front of them.

In-Game wagering ranges from very simple to quite complex. In the NFL for example, bettors can wager on whether the next play will be a pass or a run, whether or not the next play will result in a first dow, or which individual player will score the next touchdown. This type of wagering will undoubtedly enhance the in-stadium experience for bettors who attend games in person, as well as anyone with access to a sportsbook during live game action. Live wagering also includes dynamic live spreads and odds that bettors can place bets on during game action on many of the standard types of bets, including money lines, point spreads, and totals. This way, viewers can see the action unfolding in front of them and wager “live” along with the game as they watch the action play out.

Futures

Futures wagering is among the more popular wagering types and involves predicting long-term results. Whether it be choosing which team will win the next Super Bowl, which team will win its division at the end of the regular season, or perhaps a player to win a major end-of-season award, futures bets provide a quality long-term sweat for bettors. The main draw of futures bets is the high payouts connected to the long odds that come with predicting something down the line such as the correct World Series winning team, or the correct player to earn the MVP award, well in advance before the results are known. Futures wagers are most commonly placed before the season begins, but can be placed at any time through the entirety of the season – with odds changing fluidly based on the on-field results, injuries to players, and performance of teams involved on a day-to-day basis. 

Futures bets are paid out based on the odds when the wager is placed. For example, if you bet $100 on a +700 futures bet that cashes, you will receive $700, plus the $100 you wagered returned to you. Futures bets also allow for hedging opportunities as the event wagered on comes toward a conclusion, enabling the bettor to lock in guaranteed profit at the expense of a full payout from the original wager. Ante-post betting is another term for futures betting, most commonly utilized in horse racing to reference odds posted at least a day in advance of a race occurring, before the post odds are available.

Teaser Bets

A teaser bet is a type of wager that allows a sports bettor to combine two or more bets into one wager. A teaser bet allows the bettor to favorably move the point spreads or the game totals for two or more games chosen, where both bets must hit, and the payout is reduced due to the allowance of the bettor to change the point spreads. In normal NFL betting, two-team, 6-point teasers are offered at 11 to 10 odds, or -110. For example, a two-team 6-point teaser bet might look like the following wagers, with one teasing the point spreads and one teasing the game totals. Remember that both bets must win for the wager to be paid out:

Chiefs -9.5 vs. Raiders teased down to Chiefs -3.5; plus Cowboys -7.5 vs. Redskins teased down to Cowboys -1.5, (-110)

Chiefs vs. Raiders over 49.5 teased down to 43.5; plus Cowboys vs. Redskins under 44.5 teased up to 50.5, (-110)

Pleaser Bets

A pleaser bet is a similar type of wager to the teaser bet in that it allows a sports bettor to combine two or more bets into one wager. Contrary to the teaser bet though, a pleaser bet allows the bettor to move the point spreads or the game totals favorably for the sports book for two or more games chosen, where both bets must hit. The payout is then increased due to the favorable nature of the point spreads given to the sports book.

Prop Bets

Proposition (prop) bets are event-based wagers within the game or match itself. These bets are often yes or no propositions, or multiple-choice type questions, where the bettor can choose from a group of selections. Prop bets are most popular during the Super Bowl, as they can add some extra entertainment to the big game for bettors.

Examples of some propositions include the following:

Team to Score First

Will the game/match go to overtime? – Yes/No

Prop bets are inherently quite volatile and hard to predict by nature, and are therefore widely seen more as fun or ancillary wagers, with lower ceiling bets allowed by sportsbooks. As the sports betting industry grows in the United States, prop bets will become more prominent, since it looks as if most teams plan on implementing game proposition wagers within their arenas to enhance the viewer experience.

Player Prop Bets

Rapidly expanding in popularity across all sports, player proposition bets are an excellent way to substantiate other wagers placed on an event. For many players in each event, sportsbooks will offer over/under propositions in major statistical categories for bettors to wager on players’ individual performances within that event. A given game in any of the major US sports will include player prop bets for every major skill player and relevant statistic. For example, in an NFL game, prop bets will be offered for passing yardage, passing touchdowns, interceptions, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, receiving yards, and total number of receptions. Other player prop offerings include wagers such as the first player to score or the first quarterback to throw an interception. The wagering possibilities in the player prop market are endless.

Player prop wagers allow for an intriguing way to leverage player projections in order to capitalize on what are often soft proposition numbers offered by the sports books on certain players. As the player prop market is softer in comparison to other types of bets, sportsbooks often place lower maximum bet limits on sports bettors in order to limit their monetary exposure on any single player prop.

H2H Bets

Types of Sports Betting:

Types of Bets

Understanding the different types of bets offered by sportsbooks is essential for any sports bettor. This guide will explain the full range of wagering options and provide relevant examples for many of the main types of sports bets available to any sports bettor.

Money Line Bets

Money Line (ML) bets – or straight bets – are the most common wager for sports bettors. Money line is the simplest form of wagering as far as selecting a distinct outcome, but it gets trickier once you dig deeper and factor in odds. When wagering on the money line, the bettor is simply picking who will win the event outright. With money line bets, it does not matter how many points/goals/runs one team wins by, just that they win the event. 

There are no ties in many of the major betting sports, so as long as the event is played, there will definitely be a winner and loser on a money line bet. The manner in which sportsbooks convey the differences in talent or projected result between the two teams with moneyline wagers, is by weighing the money line with larger odds on the favored team. For example, a superior and popular team such as the Yankees playing a perennial losing team such as the Royals, will often have substantial odds in their favor, as shown in the example below.

Kansas City Royals (+175) at New York Yankees (-200)

The plus sign in the odds always indicates the underdog team, and the amount you will win (or equivalent ratio) on a $100 bet. The minus sign always indicates the favored team, and the amount you must wager in order to win $100 (or the equivalent ratio). The above odds can be interpreted in the following manner – if wagering $100 on the Royals money line, you would win $175 (plus you are returned the $100 you wagered) – if wagering on the Yankees money line, you would need to bet $200 in order to win $100 (plus you are returned the $200 you wagered). 

This is how sportsbooks attempt to create balanced wagers in an otherwise unbalanced event. As the books collect wagers on both sides of an event, the money line odds are constantly adjusted on both sides in an attempt to balance the money being attributed to each team. Some factors that often impact money line betting odds and details to be aware of when wagering include location of the event (home/away/neutral site), current injuries to key players, weather and wind impacts, lineup changes, and recent player and team trends.

Parlay Bets

A parlay wager is defined as multiple (2+) bet selections within the same wager, where all bets have to be successful in order for the wager to be graded as a win. Parlay bets provide sports bettors with the potential for higher payouts in exchange for longer odds of a successful wager. These high payouts are a result of the fact that it becomes increasingly difficult to hit every leg of a parlay as each additional bet is added into the wager.

For example, if a parlay bet is made on the Yankees money line in their game against the Royals, and the bettor adds the Cardinals money line in their game against the Rockies, both the Yankees and the Cardinals must win their respective games in order for the bettor to be paid out on that wager. If either one of the two selected teams loses their individual bet, the overall parlay wager is scored as a loss.

Parlay wagers are allowed across different bet types, games, and even across different sports in most cases, which makes for an exciting and attractive type of wager when you add in the potential for higher payouts than straight wagers. An important note to include on parlay bets is that most bookmakers will not allow for parlays that include correlated bets, such as parlaying a team’s money line with their own team total.

Parlay Calculator 

Parlay calculators allow sports bettors to input the odds of each leg of a desired parlay wager and provides the expected payout of the parlay. This tool is quite beneficial to bettors, as it helps to parse through many permutations of parlay legs before submitting a wager. As legs of a parlay are added, the payout’s odds scale exponentially as the wager becomes increasingly difficult to cash.

Over/Under Bets

Over/Under bets – or Game Total bets – are wagers that include a betting line for the total number of points expected to be scored in a certain game. Sports bettors wager whether the total combined score for both teams will result in over or under this line.

For example, let’s say a Chiefs vs 49ers game total is set at 49.5 points. A bettor could either wager on the over or under for that line of total points expected in the game. As wagers are accepted on this bet type leading up to the game, the game total and odds will move concurrently with the level of money being wagered on each side (over/under) of the contest, making the game total betting market very fluid depending on when you place a wager. The game total betting profile might at first look similar to the example below for a Redskins/Patriots game, and then change based on the wagers received on each side.

Chiefs at 49ers Over 49.5 (-115)

Chiefs at Niners Under 49.5 (-105)

Aug 25, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Justin Thomas plays from the rough on the 18th hole during the third round of the Tour Championship golf tournament at East Lake Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Point Spread Bets

By far the most popular type of bet for the NFL and the NBA, point spread wagers are a frequently discussed between fans and bettors alike leading up to each slate of games. The point spread can be understood as how many points the favored team would have to “give” to the underdog team for the game to be viewed as equal. Let’s look at an example to show the what the point spread might look like for an NFL game:

Las Vegas Raiders +9.5 (-110) at Kansas City Chiefs -9.5 (-110)

The interpretation of these point spread odds are as follows – a $110 wager on the Raiders +9.5 means that you are betting that the Raiders will either win the game outright or lose by 1-9 points. The Raiders losing by ten or more points would result in a loss. With the odds posted, you would stand to win $100 (plus the $110 wagered) if the Raiders win the game or lose by nine or less. If betting on the Chiefs -9.5, the odds state that you must wager $110 to win $100, and the Chiefs must win the game by at least ten points for your wager to be paid. This method of trying to even out each game is what makes point spread wagering so popular in both the NFL and the NBA, where there are often large mismatches between teams on paper. As with money line odds, spreads vary leading up to each game as sportsbooks receive wagers for both participants.

MLB and NHL point spread wagering is unique to most other sports in that there is not a traditional point spread established for each game. In lieu of a point spread, each MLB game has a fixed -1.5 and +1.5 “run line” assigned to the two teams, with the favorite being assigned -1.5 and the underdog assigned +1.5. This method is used in hockey as well, where NHL wagering utilizes -1.5 and +1.5 “puck lines” assigned to the two teams in play.

Live In-Game Betting

Live betting – or in-game betting – allows bettors to wager on sporting events while they are in progress. This form of betting is arguably the future face of sports wagering. As sports gambling legislation is approved across the country, sports franchises will be increasingly motivated to include in-game or live betting options for game attendees in their stadiums and arenas. Ted Leonsis – current owner of the Washington Wizards and the Washington Capitals – has already expressed interest in installing consoles at seats where fans can place live wagers on the action unfolding in front of them.

In-Game wagering ranges from very simple to quite complex. In the NFL for example, bettors can wager on whether the next play will be a pass or a run, whether or not the next play will result in a first dow, or which individual player will score the next touchdown. This type of wagering will undoubtedly enhance the in-stadium experience for bettors who attend games in person, as well as anyone with access to a sportsbook during live game action. Live wagering also includes dynamic live spreads and odds that bettors can place bets on during game action on many of the standard types of bets, including money lines, point spreads, and totals. This way, viewers can see the action unfolding in front of them and wager “live” along with the game as they watch the action play out.

Futures

Futures wagering is among the more popular wagering types and involves predicting long-term results. Whether it be choosing which team will win the next Super Bowl, which team will win its Division at the end of the regular season, or perhaps a player to win a major end-of-season award, futures bets provide a quality long-term sweat for bettors. The main draw of futures bets is the high payouts connected to the long odds that come with predicting something down the line such as the correct World Series winning team, or the correct player to earn the MVP award, well in advance before the results are known. Futures wagers are most commonly placed before the season begins, but can be placed at any time through the entirety of the season – with odds changing fluidly based on the on-field results, injuries to players, and performance of teams involved on a day-to-day basis. 

Futures bets are paid out based on the odds when the wager is placed. For example, if you bet $100 on a +700 futures bet that cashes, you will receive $700, plus the $100 you wagered returned to you. Futures bets also allow for hedging opportunities as the event wagered on comes toward a conclusion, enabling the bettor to lock in guaranteed profit at the expense of a full payout from the original wager. Ante-post betting is another term for futures betting, most commonly utilized in horse racing to reference odds posted at least a day in advance of a race occurring, before the post odds are available.

Teaser Bets

A teaser bet is a type of wager that allows a sports bettor to combine two or more bets into one wager. A teaser bet allows the bettor to favorably move the point spreads or the game totals for two or more games chosen, where both bets must hit, and the payout is reduced due to the allowance of the bettor to change the point spreads. In normal NFL betting, two-team, 6-point teasers are offered at 11 to 10 odds, or -110. For example, a two-team 6-point teaser bet might look like the following wagers, with one teasing the point spreads and one teasing the game totals. Remember that both bets must win for the wager to be paid out:

Chiefs -9.5 vs. Raiders teased down to Chiefs -3.5; plus Cowboys -7.5 vs. Redskins teased down to Cowboys -1.5, (-110)

Chiefs vs. Raiders over 49.5 teased down to 43.5; plus Cowboys vs. Redskins under 44.5 teased up to 50.5, (-110)

Pleaser Bets

A pleaser bet is a similar type of wager to the teaser bet in that it allows a sports bettor to combine two or more bets into one wager. Contrary to the teaser bet though, a pleaser bet allows the bettor to move the point spreads or the game totals favorably for the sports book for two or more games chosen, where both bets must hit. The payout is then increased due to the favorable nature of the point spreads given to the sports book.

Prop Bets

Proposition (prop) bets are event-based wagers within the game or match itself. These bets are often yes or no propositions, or multiple-choice type questions, where the bettor can choose from a group of selections. Prop bets are most popular during the Super Bowl, as they can add some extra entertainment to the big game for bettors.

Examples of some propositions include the following:

Team to Score First

Will the game/match go to overtime? – Yes/No

Prop bets are inherently quite volatile and hard to predict by nature, and are therefore widely seen more as fun or ancillary wagers, with lower ceiling bets allowed by sportsbooks. As the sports betting industry grows in the United States, prop bets will become more prominent, since it looks as if most teams plan on implementing game proposition wagers within their arenas to enhance the viewer experience.

Player Prop Bets

Rapidly expanding in popularity across all sports, player proposition bets are an excellent way to substantiate other wagers placed on an event. For many players in each event, sportsbooks will offer over/under propositions in major statistical categories for bettors to wager on players’ individual performances within that event. A given game in any of the major US sports will include player prop bets for every major skill player and relevant statistic. For example, in an NFL game, prop bets will be offered for passing yardage, passing touchdowns, interceptions, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, receiving yards, and total number of receptions. Other player prop offerings include wagers such as the first player to score or the first quarterback to throw an interception. The wagering possibilities in the player prop market are endless.

Player prop wagers allow for an intriguing way to leverage player projections in order to capitalize on what are often soft proposition numbers offered by the sports books on certain players. As the player prop market is softer in comparison to other types of bets, sportsbooks often place lower maximum bet limits on sports bettors in order to limit their monetary exposure on any single player prop.

H2H Bets

Head-to-head (H2H) betting refers to wagering on one of two possible outcomes in an event, most often the result of who will win a match. Head-to-head bets are most common in golf or tennis matches, simply wagering on which individual will win the match. In golf, H2H bets can expand beyond heads-up matches, and are also offered for different combinations of players within the tournament field, also allowing a bettor to wager on which player will score lower over the course of a round or the entire tournament. These types of bet offerings allow for a vast amount of head-to-head wagering possibilities within a single golf tournament.

Super Bowl Ticket Drop