Sports Betting 101 – Understanding the Different Types of Bets

There is no doubt that sports betting is a popular pastime for millions of people. It is also a profitable one when done correctly. However, there is a learning curve when it comes to understanding the different types of bets that can be placed. The more knowledge a bettor has, the better their chances of making money. Some of the more common bets include straight bets, point spreads, over/under bets and prop bets.

Point spreads, which are also known as lines, are a way for oddsmakers to make uneven games more fair. The number is determined by how much of a difference there is between the teams’ expected performance. The favorite “gives” points while the underdog “takes” them.

Over/Under bets are wagers on whether the two involved sides will combine for more (over) or less (under) runs, goals, points and other game-related statistics than the total amount posted by oddsmakers. If you expect a defensive slugfest that will end with fewer than 42 combined points, then place your bet on the under.

Prop bets are wagers that are based on information not found in the boxscore or official stats. These bets can be as simple as betting on the color of Gatorade that douses a team’s coach at halftime or as complex as betting on how many touchdown passes a quarterback will throw in a game. Prop bets can have a huge impact on your bankroll, so they should be placed with careful consideration.