Different Types of Sports Bets

While betting operators and bookies are increasing the stakes and many states giving legitimacy to gambling, there’s a need for beginner bettors to equip themselves with the correct information. Interestingly, more and more people are joining the sports betting fray and looking to make some cash off their passion. Here are the different types of Sports Bets.

6 Types of Sports Bets

While some are very common and regular, others rarely feature in most sports markets.

  • Straight bet
  • Over and Under
  • Parlay 
  • Point Spread
  • Props bets
  • Futures 

Others include Ifs and Reverses, robin bets (a subset of parlay), full covers, teasers, and outright. With all this comes an increasing list of terminology and different bet types that rookies must grapple with as they start their betting adventure. Stay connected.

1. Straight Bet

As the name suggests, a straight bet refers to a type of bet in which you predict that a team or party will win a contest. It is also and often called money lines.

This sports wager allows you to stake on either the underdog (+) or favorite (-), predicting which of them to win. You can imagine a fight between Conor McGregor (favorite) and Francis Ngannou (underdog). As a beginner bettor, you’ll need to master the minus-plus format:

  • The underdog Moneyline is a plus (+) sign indicating the amount you can win on the underdog if you wager, say $350 bet. 
  • The favorite Moneyline comes with a minus (-) sign which suggests the amount you’ll need to stake to win $100. For instance, a -300 means that you’ll need to bet up to $300 to be able to win the standard $100.

Note: you can wager more than $100. 

2. Over and Under

Have you heard about a totals bet? That’s another name for the Over and Under bet. The totals bet to the wager you get by combining the odds of two teams in a contest.

All you have to do is to wager against the bookie’s total set. You’re predicting if your total will come under or over the total set by the bookmaker. Typically, the Over/Under is set at -110 to reward you with at least the $100 standard.

3. Parlays

If you’re looking for the fun part of sports betting, parlay offers the opportunity. It allows you to combine all the other types of wagers, including Over/Under, moneylines, and spread.

In Europe, this is called the accumulator bet. You’ll get more money based on how many bets you wager. Note, if any of the teams on your ticket lose, you lose the entire bet. Parlay payouts are usually higher than the jumbo parlay bet, but you’ll have to understand your sportsbook.

Depending on the sportsbook, a parlay will allow you to combine between two to 12 bets. The payout also differs based on the policy of the bookie. The table below shows the team combination, amount won, payout, and odds for a typical William Hill sportsbook:

Parlay CombinationAmount wonPayoutOdds
2-team parlay$300$4003.0 to 1
3-team parlay$500$6005.0 to 1
9-team parlay$24,000$24,100240 to 1
10-team parlay$30,000$30,100300 to 1

4. Point Spread

Also called a handicap bet, point spread betting is the livewire of the sportsbook. Although structured in the (Moneyline) plus-minus format, a point spread bet also requires some research and deep knowledge to win it. It is called a handicap bet because the favored team has a point deficit to fill up.

Generally, the Moneyline system allows players to stake on an overall winner in a particular matchup. However, in a point spread bet, players can wager on the point margin that exists between the two teams in a matchup.

For instance, your point spread is a winner in a game where the underdog keeps the margin close after you’d placed a bet on the underdog to cover the spread. Each betting option features its point spread.

Let’s take a look at this practical example:

TeamsPoint SpreadOdds
Bolton Celtics+8.5-110
Brooklyn Nets-8.5-110

If you have the above matchup between Bolton Celtics and Brooklyn Nets, Brooklyn Nets are the favorites to win while Bolton Celtics are the underdog. If you bet on the favorites, they must beat Bolton Celtics by 8.5 points. However, the underdog must close the 7.5-point gap to eat the spread. Once the game is over, and the addition of the final score to the 8.5 points is more than the final point of the other team, your bet wins. 

5. Prop Bets

Like, parlay, like prop bets when it comes to not acquiring intense knowledge of the game before you wager. A mere understanding of a team or player’s tendencies can be all you need to make your predictions. Second, prop bets rely squarely on chance.

Prop bets allow you to predict which player or team will score first in a match or score the first touchdown in an NFL game. You can also guess the first player to win ahead of a tail coin toss.

Your payout system in prop bets is similar to the Moneyline format. The favorite or more likely occurrences with a minus sign while the underdog or less occurring with a positive.

6. Futures

As the name goes, a futures bet is a type of bet where you wager on an event that will occur in some distant time in the future. Typically, the futures bet is targeted at both individual and team season-long events, including Ballon d’Or, Heisman Trophy, Daytona 500, and more. It’s designed like a Moneyline system. The thing is that the farther your prediction is to the event, the better and more favorable the odds you’ll get.


If you’re new to sports betting, wagering on point spreads can be confusing. But it’s actually easy and without any complications.


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