Types of Sports Betting

sports betting

Sports betting has exploded since 2018, when the Supreme Court opened the floodgates to state-level legalization.1 Now, you can gamble on just about anything during a game, from how many home runs will be hit to how many points will be scored. This kind of gambling is incredibly addictive and can be very dangerous for those who aren’t careful. Whether you’re a fan of a certain team or just looking to make some extra cash, sports betting can quickly turn into a dangerous addiction that destroys your relationships, health and finances.

Before you place your bets, it’s important to understand the types of sports wagers available. This will help you make more informed decisions and improve your chances of winning. Here are the most common types of sports betting:

Straight bets are wagers on a single outcome of a game. For example, if the LA Rams and Seattle Seahawks are playing each other, the total will be listed as 42.5 points. If you think both teams will score a combined 42 points or less, you would place an Over bet. If you believe both teams will score 43 or more points, you would place an Under bet.

Spread bets involve handicapping one team and favoring another by “giving away” or “taking” a set number of points, goals, or runs. These bets can be placed on individual games or on multiple events in a parlay. Spreads are often shown with a plus (+) or minus (-) in front of them, and they can be either American or British (fractional) odds.

Props are wagers that don’t fit into the standard moneyline, point spread or over/under bets. Examples of props include how many home runs a player will hit, how many rebounds or turnovers a player will have, and the amount of time a team will spend in the penalty box. Props are available for almost every type of sport, and can be extremely profitable if you know what you’re doing.

Pools and fantasy leagues are popular forms of sports betting among friends and coworkers. They can range from simple pick-em pools based on a week’s roster of games to complex lotteries that determine winning numbers by selecting players based on certain statistics. Some of these bets can even pay out before the game has ended!

The best way to increase your profits is to focus on the sports you know the most. Wagering on a sport you know well will give you the advantage of having superior knowledge about the teams and players involved, which is essential to making smart bets. Additionally, studying the history of a sport and learning its rules will help you identify trends and patterns that can be used to your advantage. Line-shopping is also key, as finding the best prices on sports lines can drastically improve your bottom line.