When you are first learning to bet on sports, it can be like learning another language. You may not be able to even understand all the betting options that are available to you.
Sometimes, sports bettors never grow out of that infantile stance, and perform only the simplest bets over their betting lives. We’ve all met people who only bet spreads or money lines, right?
Sports betting does not have to be so boring. here are many different kinds of bets that can spice up your sports betting life, such as Parlay betting, and hopefully enable you to win more games as a sports bettor.
Here are some of the bet types that we discuss in our “Different Kinds of Bets” section:
Point spread bets are a classic bet. You bet on a team either to cover the point spread, or not cover the point spread. If a team is -9 points, that means the team must win by at least 10 points in order for you to win your bet on that team.
Money line bets offer you the chance to avoid a point spread entirely, and simply bet on the team you think will win the game. If that team is an underdog, you will receive a more “leveraged” or higher payout than if the team you’re betting on is a favorite.
Moneyline betting is the best choice if you are picking upsets because you can get payout odds such as 3-1 or even 5-1.
Proposition bets, also known as “prop betting,” occur when you bet on a specific, and often quite random, event within a sporting event. For example, if you bet that Albert Pujols will hit the first home run in a particular game, or that Pujols will get a hit off a certain pitcher.
Online sportsbooks may offer proposition bets as fun promotions. A popular prop bet year after year is who will score the first touchdown in the Super Bowl.
Teasers are bets where the sports bettor can have some input into what the line or point spread is for a sporting event. Teaser bets are used by many experienced sports bettors.
The bettor can “buy” points, moving the point spread closer to where he or she wants it but “paying for it” by getting lesser odds on a winning bet. Or a bettor can “sell” points, moving the point spread in the other direction and getting “reimbursed” by receiving better odds on a winning bet.
Teasers are extremely popular with NFL football games. For example, a sports bettor might choose to “tease” the line of a game from -3.5 to -2.5, in order to ensure that if the team wins by only a field goal, the bet is still successful.
Parlay bets enable a sports bettor to combine multiple bets into one bet or one “ticket.” For instance, a three team parlay would mean that you were betting on three teams and all three bets would have to win in order for the ticket to be a winner.
Parlays, due to the increased difficulty of hitting multiple bets, offer better payout odds than straight wagers.
Betting the “over” or the “under” is a great choice in many cases because you don’t have to bet on a particular team, you can bet on the game itself in terms of how high scoring or not high scoring you think it will be.
How over/under bets work is that the bookmaker sets an over/under number, for example in an NBA game it might be 210, and then if you bet the over, you are saying that the total score for both teams will exceed 210, if you bet the under you are saying that the total score will be less than 210.
Most experienced sports bettors use over/under bets with regularity.
Sometimes you may not have a feeling for how a whole game will turn out, but you have a strong feeling about the first part of the game. This is one instance where you might consider a first half bet.
A first half bet can be a point spread bet or an over/under, but instead of the lines being set for the whole game, they are only set for the first half. So when the first half is up, you will know whether your bet has been won.
There are also more and more quarter bets being offered by online sportsbooks. First half and quarter bets are great if you like immediate gratification.
Futures bets are placed on events that are farther in the future than the next game or the next week. For instance, you might place a futures bet on the Baltimore Ravens to win the Super Bowl before the season begins, or on the Louisville Cardinals to go to the Final Four before the NCAA Tournament has begun.
Futures bets give odds like 3-1, 10-1, and 20-1. These bets can be fun and profitable if you pick a dark horse team that nobody thinks has a chance, and then that team surprises everyone.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
So these are just some of the different kinds of sports bets that are available. Not every type of bet will fit with your skills and personality, but at least when you know what your options are, you can try to make the best bets possible, rather than just sticking to the same old, same old.
All too often the same old, same old has not been working. If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut betting the same type of bet over and over again, consider trying a different bet type.
Just make sure to do your research ahead of time so that you understand your bets at all times.