What Is in Sports Betting?

Sports betting is the activity of predicting sports results and placing a wager on the outcome. The frequency of sports bet upon varies by culture, with the vast majority of bets being placed on association football, American football, basketball, baseball, hockey, track cycling, auto racing, mixed martial arts, and boxing at both the amateur and professional levels.

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In sports betting, the moneyline is the odds given on the team that is expected to win. The moneyline is the most common type of bet. When you bet on the moneyline, you are betting on a team to win the game outright.

American Odds

Moneyline bets are the simplest kind of bet in sports betting. A moneyline bet is a wager on which team or person will win a contest. It doesn’t matter by how much they win, just as long as they win.

The odds on a moneyline bet are usually +100/-100. This means that for every $100 you bet, you will either make $100 in profit if you win, or lose $100 if you lose.

There are also moneyline odds that are expressed as fractions. These are called “American Odds.” For example, a team that is -200 on the moneyline means that for every $200 you bet, you will make $100 in profit if they win. A +150 team means that for every $100 you bet, you will make $150 in profit if they win.

Decimal Odds

Decimal odds are the simplest form of odds to understand. That’s because all you need to do is multiply your bet by the decimal number to calculate your potential winnings including your stake. So, if you were to bet $10 on decimal odds of 2.00, your potential return would be $20 ($10 x 2.00).

If the decimal odds are less than 2.00 (i.e. 1.50), this means that you would stand to make a profit if you were to bet $100. In this case, your potential profit would be $50 ($100 x 0.50).

It’s also worth noting that most online sportsbooks will allow you to choose whether you want to see odds displayed in decimals or fractions.

Fractional Odds

Also called British Odds, these are most popular in the UK and Ireland. Fractional odds show how much profit you will earn if you bet $100. So, if the fraction is 3/1, for every $1 you bet, you would win $3 in profit if your bet comes through. The higher the first number in the fraction (i.e. 4/1, 5/1), the greater chance that particular team has of winning, meaning there is less reward if they do win.

Point Spread

The point spread is the most common type of bet used in sports betting. It is also called the “line” or “spread.” The point spread is the number of points that the oddsmakers feel a team will either win or lose by. The point spread is used in nearly all sports including football, basketball, baseball, and hockey.


A handicap is a head start that is given to the weaker of two teams in a match in order to equalize the chances of winning. This allows for more balanced and interesting betting odds. In football (soccer), for example, if team A is much stronger than team B, bookmakers may give team B a head start of two or more goals. This means that team B would effectively start the game with a 2-0 lead. In order for team A to win, it would need to score at least three goals.

If you bet on team A, then your bet will only be successful if team A wins by three or more goals. If team A only wins by one or two goals, then your bet will be lost. If the match ends in a draw, then all bets on either team will be lost.

The size of the handicap (the number of goals given as a head start) depends on how big the difference is between the two teams. The bigger the difference, the bigger the handicap will be.

Handicaps can also be applied in other sports such as rugby and American football.

Puck Line

In hockey, the puck line is 1.5 goals. This means that you need the favorite to win by 2 goals or more, or the underdog to lose by 1 goal or less in order for you to win your bet.


Sports betting is an activity where people bet on the outcome of a sporting event. The most common form of sports betting is betting on the final score of the game, called the “spread.” Another common form of sports betting is betting on the “total” – that is, the number of points scored by both teams combined.


In Over/Under sports betting, you are wagering that the total score of the game will be either over or under a certain number. The sportsbook sets a line, and you can bet either side. If you bet the over, you are predicting that the two teams will score more points combined than what the sportsbook is predicting. Likewise, if you bet the under, you are saying that the two teams will score less points combined than the sportsbook’s prediction. Let’s take a look at an example:

The New England Patriots are playing the Miami Dolphins, and the sportsbook has set the total at 45.5 points. If you think that the Patriots and Dolphins will combine to score more than 45.5 points, you would bet on the over. Conversely, if you think that they will score less than 45.5 points combined, you would bet on the under.

The Pats end up winning 31-24, so those who bet on the over cash their tickets, while those who wagered on the under lose theirs. In order for there to be a winner in Over/Under betting, one team must score more or less than what was predicted by oddsmakers. In our example above, as long as one team scored 46 or more points (combined), or 44 or fewer points (combined), there would have been a winner.”


A parlay is a single bet that links together two or more individual wagers for a high potential return. For a parlay to be successful, all of the bets must win. If even one of the bets loses, the entire parlay loses.

Round Robin

In sports betting, a round robin is a way to create multiple small parlays out of a series of bets. A round robin bet can be constructed with 3-8 betting lines, and is usually used for moneyline or spread bets in football or basketball.


A teaser is a type of bet that allows the bettor to combine his bets on two or more different games. The bettor can adjust the point spreads for the games in his favor, but in exchange for this adjustment, he agrees to take on a lower payoff if he wins his bet. For example, if a bettor wants to bet on two games and both point spreads are in his favor, he can “tease” the lines and bet on both games at once. If both teams win, he will receive a lower payout than if he had simply bet on each game separately.


Futures are wagers on an event that will take place in the future. The most common type of futures wager is on a team to win a championship. Other examples include wagering on the winner of an upcoming election or the Academy Awards. Futures are usually offered on events that will occur a long time in the future, such as the Super Bowl, the World Series, or the Stanley Cup.


An outright bet is a wager on the eventual winner of a competition or tournament. In order to win an outright bet, you must correctly predict which team or individual will win the event outright. This type of bet is often made on sporting events, such as the Super Bowl, World Series, Kentucky Derby, and Stanley Cup Finals.

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