Understanding Basic Sports Betting

5 Common Types of Sports Bets.

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Sports Betting and gambling in general has been around as long as civilazation itself. When it comes to betting on their favorite games, players and teams Punters come in all shapes and sizes and from all countries. The rules of betting differ from one country to another, as do the type of bets that can be placed. If you are in North America and want to bet on your favorite sport or team, you need to learn about the five basic types of bets that can be placed. So here is a note on each one of them - how they work, the risks involved and the probability of wining in each bet.

Straight Bets

Straight betting is the customary type of sports bet placed in football. Be it NFL, NCAA or CFL the straight bet is the mainstay of football betting. With the straight bet when we bet on football we utilize the point spread system. The question becomes who will cover the spread, not who will win the game

The point spread can be likened to the handicap in bowling. It gives the less skillful bowler X amount of points or pins to give him a more promising chance of winning the match. The point spread works the same way football betting except it does not help the team, but helps the bettor have an increased chance of winning the bet if he bets on the underdog.

For example, in a game between the Chicago Bears and the Miami Dolphins, if Miami is the favorite with a spread of 8, then your bet on Miami will fetch you returns only if Miami wins by more than 8 points. If you bet on the underdog Bears, you will get a return if the Bears win the game by any score or lose by less than 8 points. This is what the scenario looks like:

Chicago Bears +8
Miami Dolphins -8

Chicago is listed first because they are the visiting team; Miami is the home team so they are listed below the Bears. You will notice this is the way you will see teams listed on the scoreboard as well, not just in the NFL but all sports, even in Little League sports.

The point spread rule also applies when you bet on an NBA team, in both NBA and NFL, the favorite team is denoted by a (-) sign and the underdog, and opposite team with a (+) sign. Straight bets in MLB baseball however are outright bets on whether or not a team wins, and do not involve a point spread. Even in NHL, a straight bet is an outright bet, which means that you will get your bet plus returns only if the team wins.

Totals

Totals or over/under betting is one of the main bets in sports betting. This is a simple bet wherein the punters will have to say whether their team will score over or under the posted deal. If the prediction is correct, they win. For example, if the U/O is 40 and you believe that the teams, say Chicago Bears and the Miami Dolphin are going to score over 40 together, then you bet $110 to win $100. Likewise, you bet Under 40 if you believe that the total score between the two teams will be under 40. The same rule usually applies in NBA betting too. However, as the total score does not often move in baseball, the payoff for the bet depends on the moneyline moves. In NHL, for a bet posted "5, Over 110, Under 120", the players who bet over 110 will get $110 for every $100 they wager if the total goals scored by the two teams exceed 5. If the goals are less than 5, the players wager 120 win $100.

Parlays

Parlays or accumulator bets are those that allow you to bet on multiple games. A punter can bet on any number of games between 2 and 8, or even 14 depending on the sportsbook. To win returns on the bets, the bettor has to be right on all the bets he has placed in the parlay. So even if he loses one of his bets, he loses the entire thing. But if he does win all, he gets to take home a decent amount as profit. Another advantage of this parlay bet is that you can bet on multiple sports through it. So the bets could be on a certain number of NFL games, NBA games, MBL or the NHL games. Or it can be on different games in the same sport. Unless you get it right, parlays or accumulator bets may be a little confusing to understand.

Teasers

Teasers are similar to parlays, in a way that you bet on 2 or more picks in one chance. However, in the teaser bets, the spread is adjusted in your favor and the payout is much less than what it is in a parlay. For instance, if you are betting on the New York Jets, favored by 8 points in one game and the Carolina Panthers by 6 points in another, then at 5 point, you will win the bet if the New York jets win by 3 points and the Carolina Panthers win by 1. Teaser bets can be placed in basketball too, but not in baseball or NHL.

Pleasers

A pleaser is a series of side bets which is combined into a single bet. Unlike in Teasers, the line bets you place against each individual team or player is moved against you anywhere between 6 and 71/2 points. So for example, if you place a bet on the favorite Dallas (-3) over Washington, and Pittsburgh (-8) over New York, a 6 point pleaser would be Dallas (-9) and Pittsburgh (-14). Similarly, a 6 point pleaser on Washington would be (-3) and New York would be (2). This kind of bet is available in basketball also, and the payoffs depend on the number of wagers you have combined into one. In the parlay, the teaser and the pleaser bets, if any of the games end in a tie, it will be removed from the parlay, the teaser or the pleaser bets. In that case, the wager becomes a push or cancellation or no action.

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