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 overtime.
- 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 first selection.
- 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 'Exotic' bets.
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