This article is going to lay out the main style of bets that you can make at any online sportsbook. Depending on the sport you want to bet, there is going to be some different types of bets that you can make. We are going to outline the more popular bet styles, give you examples, and explain the pros and cons of making these types of bets. First let us look at the actual odds and what they mean:
What do the Odds mean?
There are a few different ways of reading odds on a sportsbook board so let us go over how to read them.
- Decimal odds:These are the most mathematical odds as they are directly proportionate to the amount you bet. If you bet $100 at 2.00 odds you will win $200. If you bet $100 at 3.00 odds you will win $300.
- American odds:Not as clear on the surface as decimal odds, but if you bet enough, you will definitely start learning how to read these. You will notice that American style odds use (-) or (+) symbols before their numbers. The (-) and (+) refer to how much return you will get from a bet. American odds revolve around how much you have to bet to make $100 in profit. If a line reads (-120) you have to bet $120 to make $100 profit. If the line reads (+120) then you win $220 if you bet $100
- Fractional odds:These are probably used the least and work the same was decimal odds but are written in fraction form.
1. Moneyline: Quite simply the easiest and most straightforward bet to make for any sport. When you bet on the moneyline you are betting on who you think the winner of the game, match, or fight will be. Some sports are catered to moneylines like baseball, hockey, or MMA. You will notice that the more lopsided a game is perceived to be, the lower the odds are for the favorite to win the game.
- In the above example Green Bay is favored over the 49ers by 6 points. The odds tell us quite a bit about who is favored in the matchup. We know that with sports like football and basketball, the point spread is a more popular way to bet on games, but this example is on monylines so we'll go with it. In the moneyline you're only betting on your team to win; the Spread and Over/Under will not be a factor. If you bet $100 on Frisco to win and they do, your profit will be $195 plus you get your hundred back. If you bet $200 you double what the moneyline is and in this case you'd win $290, plus get your $200 back. Flip it around and you bet the moneyline ($245) on Green Bay to win. If they do you would have to bet $245 to win $100. It's much more profitable to bet the underdog, but your chances are slimmer.
Moneyline Example for MLB
- Baseball is a moneyline sport where most bettors will just bet on who they believe will win the game outright. As you can see, the Cubs are favored here, but sharp bettors will always look to which underdogs have value, because public bettors will almost always side with the favorites. This example is like the one above. If you bet the moneyline for Chicago to win you have to bet $105 in order to win $100. however if you bet St Louis to win you would Profit $105 for every $100 you bet.
2. Moneyline Parlays: Exactly what this sounds like, these parlay tickets are becoming increasingly popular amongst bettors. Combining two or more moneyline odds on the same bet will net you a higher payout than if you just bet on one game. Novice bettors will often string together several big favorites on one bet to increase the odds and payout.
3. Point Spread: Point spreads are probably the most popular way of betting Football and Basketball because of the high payout it offers. They are also among the most difficult bets to make and get correct. Let’s look at an example:
- The (-6) indicates that bettors believe the Packers will win the game by 6 points or more. But if you want to bet on the 49ers they would be read as (+6) which means they need to finish the game within 6 points of the Packers, or of course they can win the game outright.
- The same rules apply for basketball, if you bet on Chicago you think they will beat Oklahoma by at least 2 points and if you like the the Thunder you expect them to lose by less than 2, or win the game outright.
4. Over/Under or Total Points: Another popular way of betting games, especially for Football or Basketball. Your sportsbook will provide a total points number and you can bet that the total points scored in the game will be over or under that number. Bettors can also bet on the total points by quarter, half, inning, or individual team total points as well.
- If you think both teams will combine to score more than 49 points you would bet the over, but if you think they will stay under 49 points, you would of course bet the under. The over/under is a near universal bet as it can apply to goals in hockey, runs in baseball, goals in soccer, or points in football or basketball.
5. Player Props: Player prop bets are a great way to bet on individual player performance where you do not have to worry about the team performance. Sportsbooks make player props for anything these days but some popular ones can be receiving yards, rushing yards, total rebounds, total assists, or player to score a goal or touchdown.
6. Futures Bets:A type of bet that is growing in popularity, a lot of professional bettors get futures bets in before the start of the season. These are long term bets on who will win the division, conference, or even Championship. Bettors like them because they pay high odds and can easily be hedged to gain a profit. The only downside is that the sportsbook will hold your money until the end of the season.