Basic Types of Sports Bets


So, you’ve signed up with your sportsbook and you’re ready to bet football, basketball, baseball, etc.  Here is a guide and introduction to the basic types of sports bets available.  For the latest sports betting odds for the best online sports betting sites check out

Straight bets – Straight bets are as simple as they sound. One team is favored over the other by a certain amount of points, or the point spread. The favorite team is giving or spotting the underdog team points. The favorite is indicated by a – and the underdog is indicated by a + followed by the amount of the point spread.  Sometimes there is not a point spread on a game and this would be indicated by PK (Pick em) or E (Even money).  Here is an example of a line:

101 Chicago +6
102 New Orleans –6

The numbers to the left of the team identify the team for the sportsbook for the week. The home team is always listed on the bottom. This bet is simple. If you take New Orleans on this game, you must win by more than 6 ½ points. If New Orleans wins 21-17, you would lose. Your team won but they won by less than the point spread that you were given. If New Orleans wins 21-14 you would win because your team won by more than the point spread. If New Orleans wins 20-14, it would be considered a push and neither the player or the sportsbook would win.

Money line bets  Money line wagers don’t use point spreads. With these bets it costs more to bet the favorite than to bet the underdog.

101 Chicago +120
102 New Orleans -140

If you bet on New Orleans, you would wager $140 to win $100. If you bet on Chicago, you would wager $100 to win $120

Over/Under (O/U) Totals – This simple bet is a no brainer and easy to understand.  There is a total number on each game that is set by the oddsmaker of the sportsbook.  For instance, if the O/U is 42, you would bet if the combined score by both teams is either under or over.

Parlay  This is a bet made on 2 or more teams or other types of bets.  You can mix wagers on point spreads, money lines and O/U into parlay bets.  You can even mix different sports into one of these bets. To win a parlay bet, you have to win with all of your picks. If there is a push on one of your picks the parlay goes down to the next lower number. In other words, a 5 team/bet parlay becomes a 4 team/bet parlay. Parlays are high risk, but they are high payout also. Parlay odds vary from sportsbook to sportsbook, but a typical example of the payouts would be:

Parlay Odds

2 Picks 2.5/1
3 Picks 6/1
4 Picks 10/1
5 Picks 20/1
6 Picks 40/1
7 Picks 80/1
8 Picks 100/1
9 Picks 200/1
10 Picks 350/1

Teasers A teaser is a also a wager made on 2 or more picks.  The difference between a parlay and a teaser is that the point spread is moved in your favor, but the payout of a teaser is less than a parlay. If you took a 6 point, two team teaser the point spread would be adjusted for each game in your favor.

For example, you choose New Orleans -7 in one game and Auburn +3 ½ in your second game.  New Orleans would now be favored by 1 point (New Orleans -1) and Auburn would getting 9 ½ points (Auburn +9 ½). It is the same way in teasers that it is in parlays as all picks must win. A tie or a push in a 2 team teaser means that your bet gets refunded. A tie or a push in a three game or more teaser reduces the bet down one. In other words, if you had a 4 game teaser and had a push it would become a 3 game teaser.

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