The most used betting type of today is a straight bet. These bets are made, based on the “spread”. The line is a number given by the sportsbooks which handicaps one team and favors another. For example: When two basketball teams play a match, the one higher classified is usually more likely to win. In order to favor the underdog, the sportsbook can give them points. Before a certain match; Team A is more likely to beat Team B. The line reads: Team A -3, Team B 3. To find out who wins against the spread, the line is either added or subtracted from a teams final score. In this specific example, if the bettor chose Team A, he would subtract 3 points from Team A’s final score and compare that to Team B’s final score. For him to win his bet, Team A would have to win the game by 4 points or more.
Although the potential payouts look tempting - many sports bettors have dreamt of cashing in nearly \$10,000 by nailing a \$10, 10-teamer at 850/1 - they are a bad bet because they are difficult to hit and do not pay anywhere near true odds. This is how the sportsbooks make a lot of their money. For instance, let's say you want to bet a two-team parlay. For two games, there are four different possible combinations of outcomes, thus the true odds are 4/1. However, the sportsbook is only going to pay you 2.6/1 for your efforts, thus giving them a "juice" or vigorish in their favor. However, if you only have \$20 to your name for a football bankroll and really like two games, the two-teamer might be the way to go because you could win \$52 for your \$20 wager.
Favoured in Continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, decimal odds differ from fractional odds by taking into account that the bettor must first part with their stake to make a bet; the figure quoted, therefore, is the winning amount that would be paid out to the bettor.[3][5] Therefore, the decimal odds of an outcome are equivalent to one plus the decimal value of the fractional odds; in the absence of built-in house advantage to cover overhead, profit margins, or (for an illegal enterprise) compensation for the fact that both chances of prosecution and penalties in the event of conviction tend to be higher for bookmakers than for clients, the decimal odds associated with a given outcome would be the decimal expression of the reciprocal of what the offering party assesses to be the outcome's chance of occurring.[6] Thus, even odds 1/1 are quoted in decimal odds as 2. The 4/1 fractional odds discussed above are quoted as 5, while the 1/4 odds are quoted as 1.25. It is considered to be ideal for parlay betting because the odds to be paid out are simply the product of the odds for each outcome wagered on.
Before we start, please be aware that some wagers are referred to differently in different parts of the world. To make things even more complicated, in some cases, the same terminology can have different meanings depending on where you live. Some types of wagers also work slightly different from one region to the next and from one sport to the next.
Financial spread betting is a way to speculate on financial markets in the same way as trading a number of derivatives. In particular, the financial derivative Contract for difference (CFD) mirrors the spread bet in many ways. In fact, a number of financial derivative trading companies offer both financial spread bets and CFDs in parallel using the same trading platform.
Experienced bettors should know this, but beginners obviously don’t. In fact, most beginners often find the wide range of wagers they place quite confusing. This is understandable, but we do recommend that beginners learn all about the different types of wagers as soon as they can. Although some types of wagers are more complex than others, none of them are really that difficult to understand. Not when they’re explained properly, anyway, which is exactly what we’ve done on this page.
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You'll also usually be given the option to wager on the game with the money line in football and basketball. In this case, all you have to do is pick the winner of the contest, but there's one drawback. If you bet on the team that's expected to win, you can find yourself risking much more money than you stand to win. Each team is assigned odds, much like in a horse race where a 2-1 favorite will pay out much less than a 15-1 longshot. This method also evens the playing field for bookies, sportsbooks and other gambling institutions.
An international phrase for what is more commonly known as “money line” in America. Odds expressed in terms of money, with \$100 being the standard. If the odds are minus (–), then that amount of money must be wagered to win \$100. (e.g. –150 means you must bet \$150 to win \$100.) If the odds are plus (+), that amount of money would be earned on a successful \$100 wager. (e.g. +150 means you make \$150 on a \$100 wager.)
Absolutely. When the lines go up for the NFL, or for the first game of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, there are several days in between the open and the game itself where movement can take place. You’ll find that the betting public tends to pile in on their favorite teams once they get home from work on Friday. You can anticipate these line movements and time your bet accordingly to take advantage.
In most cases, the favorite will be the team with a negative moneyline (in some cases both teams can have a negative moneyline if they are both closely matched). A line of -160 means that you would have to bet \$160 to win your base amount of \$100. A team with a moneyline of -130 wouldn't be favored nearly as strongly as a team with a moneyline of -330.
Bookmaker's interest - In order to guarantee a profit for the house, a bookie needs to create even action on both sides of a particular game. In a perfect world the bookie would have 50 percent of the handle come in on the underdog and 50 percent on the favorite. This ensures that the sports books are guaranteed a profit because of the 10 percent commission or "vigorish" charged on most sports wagers. This is why there is "movement" on the point spread. If one side on a game is being bet more heavily, the bookie must move the number in order to attract interest on the other side in order to balance action.
Below, we’ve provided easy-to-understand explanations for each of the main types of wagers, along with some examples. We strongly suggest taking the time to read through this whole page, as you really should know how to use each different type. You’ll probably want to stick with the simple wager types to start with, but there might be occasions when you want to use the more advanced ones. You don’t want to miss out on potentially profitable opportunities just because you don’t how a particular wager works.
The downside here is that the payout is less, even if you do end up getting all your selections correct. If you get any of your selections wrong, the payout is further reduced. The below table shows the progressive parlay payouts at another one of our preferred betting sites. Please note that a progressive parlay must include at least four selections, whereas a standard parlay only requires at least two.

"This is my opinion: You should always keep your bets relatively the same with each and every bet, no more than 5 percent on any one game," Salerno says. "And you should never chase or increase your wagers when you're losing. Saying, 'OK, I can't lose three in a row' and betting four times as much on the next game [gets you into trouble]. And you can lose four in a row, or five or six. So, you can't chase it."
Under or over bets can be related to a number of outcomes including points or runs. For example, you can bet on whether the total run score will be over or under 7.5 in a baseball game. The decimal figure is used to prevent a push result where the prediction is equal to the outcome. The bettor can bet on either outcome depending on their own personal prediction.
Odds from each bookmaker will be displayed in the search terms, which means you’ll be able to see at a glance which odds are the best for you. Each bookmaker will be ranked from best to worst, with bookmaker deals added to make the choice easier for you. Bear in mind that if you’ve not used a bookmaker before there will be sign up offers available which can boost your potential profits from your bets. Be sure not to miss out on those!

Another popular form of golf betting involves matchup propositions, in which two golfers are paired against each other in a head-to-head wager, with a betting line on each golfer set by the oddsmaker. The golfer with the better (lower) score wins the matchup. (If one golfer continues play in the tournament after his opponent misses the cut, the golfer who continues play wins the matchup.)