As well as the different types of bets you can make which we will cover below, it’s important to understand betting odds and the 3 different ways they are shown – Decimal, Fractional & American. Each will tell you how much you stand to win but are expressed differently.
Below is a list of all of the most important betting types that you need to know. Understanding the basics of sports betting online really comes down to knowing the difference between the range of bets that can be made.
Don’t forget the bookie or betting shop always wants to make his bit of profit or commission and this is know as Juice, Vigor or “the vig”, this is either calculated within with the odds offered or as a difference in points on the money line.
Spread Bet: A “spread” is used for higher scoring games such as football or basketball. Typically in a spread, one team is usually a favourite to win by so many points. If a bettor were to make a bet on the team that is favourite to win, then for them to win their bet that team would have to beat the underdog by at least as many points listed. For example, if the New England Patriots were a favourite to win by 7 points over the Dallas Cowboys, the spread would look like this: NE Patriots -7 Dallas Cowboys +7. The Patriots would have to beat the Cowboys by 8 points for bettors to win or at least by 7 for all bets to push (tie). Bets made on the underdog or in this case the Dallas Cowboys will win if Dallas manages to lose by less than 6 points or outright win the game.
Betting Money Line: Used for all sports but is mostly used for lower scoring games such as baseball, soccer, etc. These are generally shown as a decimal but at times the decimal can be left out or a fraction used instead. These will also be shown as a negative for the favourite and as a positive for the underdog and is normally showing what someone would expect to pay to win 100 units eg. £100 / $100
For example, if the NY Yankees were the favourite in the World Series against the Phillies, then the money line might look something like NY Yankees -1.50 | Philadelphia Phillies +130. What this means is that if you place a bet on the Yankees, you will be paying $150 to win $100 since they’re a favourite to win. If you bet on the Phillies, you will be paying $100 to potentially win $150 since they’re the underdogs. Of course if you bet less, then the money line will be in proportion to what you bet.
Usually, there is only a difference of ’20 between the favourite and the underdog which tends to serve as the bookie’s commission. At times however, bookies will offer what they call a “dime line” which is half the “juice” or only ’10′ for a commission.
Parlay Bets: Parlays are generally bets on a combination of games. In many cases, the minimum is 2 different games and the maximum is 5. In the event that any one game loses, the whole Parlay bet is a loser. Odds are better in Parlays because of the amount of games being wagered on.
Straight Bet: Just as it sounds, a straight bet is a simple bet on who will win the game outright. As explained above in the money line section, these bets are generally a $110 or $120 wager to win $100. Or in the case of an underdog, a $100 bet to win whatever the positive amount is; for example, a +150 would be a $150 win for $100 wagered.
Teaser Bets: A Teaser bet is similar to a parlay except the betting line is generally moved in your favor. For example, if the line is -4 and your Teaser is -2, then the line would actually be -2. In a Teaser bettors cannot mix sports since each Teaser would be different and similar to a Parlay, all teams would have to win for the Teaser to be a winner.
Over/Under Bets: These are bets that are made on the final outcome of the combined score of the two teams. For example, if it is said that the combined score of two teams in a football game would be 40 points, you can than make an ‘under’ bet with the thought that the score would actually be less or you can bet an ‘over’ bet thinking that the combined score will be higher.
Other kinds of bets can also be made depending on the kind of game you’re wagering on. Bets can be made on the outcome of each quarter or half, what play a team makes to make the first set of points or even the outcome of MVP for the league or various positions in a sport. As you can probably imagine, the possibilities are endless.