Sports Betting Basics


Sports betting is a way to place a wager on the outcome of an athletic contest. You can bet on the winner, the total number of points scored, or whether the event will end in a tie. The bet is placed at a sportsbook and is usually paid out once the outcome is known. There are several types of bets, including spreads, money lines, and parlays.

Spreads are the most popular type of bet. A spread is a number assigned by a bookmaker to the favored team. This number must be higher than the number the underdog team is favored to win. For example, if the New York Yankees are favored to win the game by a margin of five points, the spread is -150. That means that you must wager $150 to win $100. However, if the underdog team wins the game by fewer than the point spread, you can cover the spread. If the underdog team fails to cover the spread, you will receive a refund on your bet.

Money line bets are similar to spread bets, but you can wager on a team’s odds instead of its spread. To place a money line bet, you must pick a team and the odds that it will win. You can also choose to bet on the team’s margin of victory. Your choice determines the amount of the payout. In general, the more money you bet on the result, the smaller the odds.

A parlay is a series of bets, such as a baseball or football wager, where you combine several games into one bet to receive a higher payout. Parlays are usually more difficult to place than single bets, but they pay out more. They are most common on pro football. An underdog can cover the spread by winning the game outright. Also, an underdog can cover the spread by losing by a certain number less than the spread. It is important to know the difference between a spread and a money line, so you can make the right decision when placing your bet.

Proposition bets are bets based on a certain player or the outcome of a specific match. Examples include predicting the number of yards an American football player will score in a game. Prop bets are also based on point spreads and totals.

Over/under bets are popular on football and baseball, but are found on a variety of other sports. These bets are typically offered at a fraction of the odds of a money line. Typically, the more points the underdog scores, the more points they must beat the favored team by to cover the spread. Similarly, the more goals the underdog scores, the more they must beat the favored team by to win the bet.

The most common types of bets are spreads, money lines, and parlays. These are the most popular bets because they are the most lucrative. However, there are other types of bets you can make, such as a teaser. Teasers are a type of basketball wager that allow you to gain an advantage at a lower payout. Another type of bet is a round robin, which involves three two-team parlays. When all of the parlays in the round robin win, the bettor will receive a higher payout.