15 Different Types of Sports Bets

Posted By: Date: 12/14/2012 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

There are many types of bets that can be applied to different sports, and the way you wish to bet on them. Below is a detailed list of common and less common sports betting wagers. Note that this section does not include Pari-Mutuel Betting, found in horse racing, greyhound racing, jai alai, etc. You will find that information in the proceeding section of this sports betting guide.

Straight Bet

The most common types of bets are straight bets, meaning that the bettor will either win or lose based on a single outcome. There are multiple types of bets that fall within the Straight Bet category. You can wager on the point-spread for a particular event, the money line, run line, puck line or totals.

Point Spread: In teams matches, such as basketball, football, soccer, etc., there is usually a favorite to win and an underdog. The point spread is used to even out the odds of either team winning, and to ensure the sportsbook is getting even action on both sides. The underdog will be given points, just as the favorite has points taken away.

If a basketball team is favored by 5 points, the point spread will be set at either 4.5, 5 or 5.5 to the underdog. Half-points are most often used so that a tie does not occur, but it is up to the linemaker or sportsbook to decide where to set the spread. If you bet on the favorite to win, you are betting with the spread, giving up points. If you bet on the underdog, you are betting against the spread, taking the points.

In order to win a point spread wager, your chosen team must score enough points, plus or minus the point spread. For example, if the point spread is 5 and the favorite wins the game by only 4 points, the underdog team has actually won (not in literal terms, of course, but for sports betting purposes).

Note: It is very important to understand that the point spread set by a sportsbook is not an exact prediction of the outcome of the game. The sportsbook wants to get action on both sides to ensure they cannot lose a large amount of money. Sportsbooks make their money from juice (commission on winning bets). So long as the action is fairly even on both sides, the sportsbook is guaranteed a profit. Thus the point spread is set to entice betting on both sides.

Money Line: A money line wager does not offer points to either contestant. Instead, the bettor must decide whether to bet a high amount on the favorite to win a smaller amount, or bet a low amount on the underdog to win a higher amount.

For example, let’s say the money line is +400 on the underdog, and -400 on the favorite. This means a bet on the favorite will only win 1/4th of the total bet (i.e. $25 win for a $100 bet), whereas a bet on the underdog would win 4x the total bet ($400 win for a $100 bet).

Run Line: A run line is used to depict the point spread on a baseball game. Because all scores are termed “runs”?, rather than points, it is called the “run line”?. For all other intents and purposes, it is exactly the same as a straight bet on a point spread.

Puck Line: A puck line is nothing more than a term that defines the point spread (aka goal spread) in an ice hockey game. See “Point Spread”? above.

Canadian Line: Canadian Lines are a mixture of puck line and money line odds used for Canadian ice hockey games. A half-point goal spread is used to keep the odds fairly even, but a money line is also used to encourage betting on a particular side. There is generally a $20 differential between the money line, based on $100 wagers.

A Canadian line might look like this:
-1/2 -160 Favorite
+1/2 +140 Underdog
If the Favorite wins, a $100 wager gets $160, where if the Underdog wins, a $100 bet would win $140. The $20 differential will be based on how heavily favored one team is over another. The more favored a team is, the bigger the differential will be.

Totals: Totals bets are based on an Over/Under system. The linemaker will set a projected overall score, and you will choose whether to bet that the total will be over or under that mark. The payout is always even money on a totals bet.

Totals can be placed on a wide range of sports betting options. It could be anything from the total score between two basketball teams in a single match, to the total of all goals scored in a full day’s schedule of hockey games.

Parlay

A Parlay is a series of straight bets with a minimum of 2 teams involved. Parlays can have much larger payouts because the bettor must win all picks in order to win anything. A single stake is wagered. If the first bet wins, the wager carries over to the next bet, and so on. If any bet results in a tie/push or cancelation, it is stricken from the parlay, but the bet continues with the next wager in line. For example, a 4-parlay wager pays better than a 3-parlay wager, but if one event ties in a 4-parlay, the payout is reduced to a 3-parlay.

Teaser

A Teaser is just like a Parlay, with a minimum of two picks involved, except that the bettor is able to adjust, or ‘tease’, the point spread. Altering the point spread to your favor decreases the potential payout, while pushing the point spread farther from your favor increases the payout.

First Half Bet

This is a straight bet on the score at the end of the first half of an event. Any points core din the second half of the game have no bearing on the outcome of the bet.

Half-Time Bet

This is straight bet on all scores made during the second half of a contest. The score during the first half is essentially wiped out and has no bearing on the outcome of the bet.

Round Robin Bet

A round robin is a series of parlays that are set up in such a way that if one team loses, you can still win. This is a fairly complicated wager for a sports betting beginner.

Let’s say you have three teams picked out that you think will win. Team A has a point spread of -3, Team B is -5 and Team C is +4. Your wager would be divided into three 2-team parlays, and would look like this.

  Parlay 1 Parlay 2 Parlay 3
Team A  -3 -3  X
Team B -5  X -5
Team C  X +4 +4

You can have anywhere from 3-8 teams in a round robin, with each parlay consisting of 2-6 picks. The example above is the least complex. Essentially, if only two of your three teams win, you still win one of your bets. A more complex round robin, with 5 teams and 3 picks per parlay, might look like this.

Parlay 1 Parlay 2 Parlay 3 Parlay 4 Parlay 5 Parlay 6 Parlay 7 Parlay 8 Parlay 9 Parlay 10
Team A Team A Team A Team A Team A Team A Team B Team B Team B Team C
Team B Team B Team B Team C Team C Team D Team C Team C Team D Team D
Team C Team D Team E Team D Team E Team E Team D Team E Team E Team E

The purpose of the round robin is to still win if one of your picks doesn’t work out, whereas a parlay instantly loses if any pick falters. In the larger example above, as long as 3 of your teams win, you will win at least one wager, which will probably result in an overall loss due to the extent of the total stake. However, if 4 teams win, you stand to make a nice profit, and if all 5 teams win, the payout will be tremendous.

Accumulator

Similar to a parlay, except that the events are processed in a specific order. An Accumulator is a bet that involves 2 or more contests, where the proceeding bet only happens if the previous bet won. The winnings from the previous bet are placed on the next selected event. Accumulators come in two basic types, Single Action and Double Action.

Single Action

A single action accumulator only generates a secondary bet if the primary wager wins.

Double Action

A double action accumulator only generates a secondary bet if the primary wager wins, ties or is canceled.

Proposition Bet

There are a lot of names associated with the Proposition Bet. They are most often stated by their abridge name, “prop bet”?. Other terms include Exotic Bet, Futures Bet, If Bet and, in horse racing, Ante-Post. A proposition bet is a bet on something that hasn’t been scheduled yet, or has been slated, but is not set to occur for some length of time.

Common prop bets include things like what teams will compete in the Super Bowl, World Series, World Cup, etc. The earlier you bet on something of this nature, the higher the payoff will be. For example, if you bet on who will play in the Super Bowl at the start of the playoffs, the odds might be 10 to 1, whereas betting at the start of the regular season might pay 50 to 1. Futures bets are commonly proffered on public elections, elimination-based reality TV shows, Olympics, anything popular enough to attract punters.

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