The main object of sports
betting is to beat the 'Oddsmakers' or the 'Odds
Compilers' and win some money. Additionally, placing
a bet on your favorite sport event makes the game
exciting and more enjoyable.
Betting is done through
Sportsbooks (US) or Bookmakers (UK) entities that accept bets.
You can bet on the outcome of several sporting events, such as;
Baseball, Basketball, Football, Tennis,
Hockey, Snooker and Soccer games.
To place a sports bet,
you go to a sportsbook, physical or online. You could also bet
over the phone with many sportsbooks. Note that a sports book or
sportsbook is not the same as an oddsmaker. The sportsbook
simply accepts sports bets. An oddsmaker is a person who sets
the betting odds.
You need to state what you are
betting on by making a selection, the type of bet and the amount
you are wagering. Your selection will obviously depend on the
odds offered, so you will want to examine the range of odds
available before you make a decision.
There are many types of bets
you can place. Some sportsbooks may offer more betting varieties
and combinations than others. Below is a list of the more common
types of bets.
- Straight bet or Single. This is the simplest and
most common bet. You bet on a winner at given odds.
- Point Spread. This bet lets you bet on a winner
from two selections who have been made equal by allocating
appropriate points to the underdog team. The Point Spread is
the number of points allocated and is shown with a + sign
for the favorite and a - sign for the underdog. The favorite
has to win by more than the Point Spread for you to win,
otherwise you lose your bet even if the team wins.
Inversely, if you bet for the underdog, that team has to
lose by less than the Point Spread for you to win. If the
favorite wins by the exact Point Spread, then it is a push
or a tie. You get your bet back. To eliminate a tie result,
the oddsmakers sometimes include a half point spread. Since
scores use full numbers only, one team has to win outright.
- Buy Points. Also, to buy Key Points. Move the
Point Spread favorably at a price.
- The Moneyline. This establishes the odds for each
team but inversely proportional to what would have been a
Point Spread, and is indicated by a + for the underdog and a
- sign for the favorite. Say team A is favorite and quoted
at -180 and B is the underdog at + 120. The bets offered
would be 10:18 odds-on for the favorite, and 12:10 for the
underdog. For every $180 you bet on A you would win $100 or
lose $180, but for every $100 you bet on B you would win
$120 or lose $100.
- Total. A bet for the number of points scored in
the game by both teams combined, including points scored in
- Over/Under. A bet that the combined number of
points scored by the two teams in the game will be Over or
Under the total set by the oddsmaker.
Parlay or Accumulator. A multiple bet. A kind of
'let-it-ride' bet. Making simultaneous selections on two or
more games with the intent of pressing the winnings of the
first win on the bet of the following game selected, and so
on. All the selections made must win for you to win the
parlay. If a game is a tie, postponed or cancelled, your
parlay is automatically reduced by one selection; a double
parlay becomes a straight bet, a triple parlay becomes a
double. A parlay bet can yield huge dividends if won.
- Teaser. It is like a parlay, but with the option
to add or subtract points (called 'moving the line') from
one or more Spread bets. When betting a teaser additional
points are either added to the underdog or subtracted from
the favorite. The odds vary according to the number of
points the spread is moved and the number of teams combined
to form the teaser. As in the parlay, all selections must
win for the teaser to win. Teasers odds are usually worse
than the parlays.
- If-wager. A bet that allows the bettor to make a
second wager, up to an equal amount, pending a win on the
- Open Wager. Open wagers allow the bettor to play
teasers or parlays making a selection at different times and
even different days.
- Future. A bet on a future event. At the start of
each season, the sportsbooks give out odds for teams to win
a certain championship. The odds change as the game date
approaches and in most cases get shorter, but if you win you
get paid at the original odds that you took. This is
possibly one of the most profitable bets if you have
considerable knowledge of the sport that you are betting on
including the players, and a good sense of judgement.
- Exotic Bets. Betting on unusual events. Some
sportsbooks post odds and take bets on a wide variety of
other sports related events and activities. A few others
will take bets on just about anything you can think of.
- Proposition Bet or Prop Bet. An offer of bets at
odds and conditions chosen by the sportsbook, usually on