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The Complete List of the Different Types of Sports Bets

One of the biggest reasons that people lose money with sports betting or choose never to get involved is that they aren’t aware of or don’t fully understand the different types of bets that are available to them. Sports betting can be an amazingly fun past time or a very lucrative endeavor that many people successfully do for a living. Regardless of whether or not your end goal is fun, fame, or the almighty dollar, the key to getting started on the road to success is having a great working knowledge of the different types of bets available.

Many people think that the only thing you can bet on in a game or a match is who is going to win. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Modern sports betting allows you the flexibility to bet on a whole host of different aspects of a game or match allowing you to fully leverage any hot tips or sharp predictions you might have.

Have an idea how a game is going to go but not totally sure how that will affect the final outcome? No problem; you can bet on that now. Have a tip on how an individual player is going to perform? Again, no problem; you can take advantage of that tip now. We could go on and on with examples, but the bottom line is that you have the ability to take advantage of a lot of different bet types for more fun and hopefully a more profitable sports betting career.

In addition to introducing you to the different types of sports bets available, we’re going to walk you through everything you need to know to understand how each one works and how you can start utilizing them. Understanding the bet types fully (even the simple ones) can help you to avoid making mistakes and to better leverage your knowledge base.

Important Note
Complexity does not equal profitability. For some reason, some sports bettors like to make you believe that the more complex your bet is, the better you are going to do. The reality is that no matter how simple or complex the bet is, your chances of success are exactly the same.

Most likely it’s one’s ego or a misunderstanding of how sports betting works that drive these types of thoughts. The takeaway is that you can be a fully successful professional sports bettor if you want without ever deviating away from the simplest of bets. Pick winners and find value and you’ll crush.

Moneyline Bets

Sometimes referred to as win bets, moneyline bets are easily the most popular and simplest bets to make. If you’re brand new to sports betting, this is definitely where you are going to want to start. That being said, simplicity does not mean less return. Many professional sports bettors use moneyline bets as the basis of their winning strategies. In fact, some professional sports bettors ONLY use moneyline bets.

A moneyline bet is as simple as picking a winner of a game, match, fight, or race. You will be paid differently based on how big of a favorite or an underdog the pick is. All of this information will be presented to you on the “board” at the sportsbook or on the dedicated pages of the online sportsbook.

To ensure you don’t get confused and understand all the important nuances of moneyline bets, we’ve put together a more in-depth dedicated page to teach you everything you need to know.

Totals Bets and Over/Under Bets

Over/Under bets (also known as totals bets) are popular bets that allows you to bet on how a game is going to go without having to pick a winner. For example, the most popular over/under bet is on the total points scored in a game by BOTH teams. The sportsbook might offer you the option to bet over or under on say, 43 points. If you bet the over and the combined score of both teams is over 43, you win. If you bet the under and the combined score of both teams is under 43, you win.

Some people love these bets from a fun perspective because it allows you to root for both teams or against both teams. Though the bet itself is very simple, there is a bit more that we can explain and teach you about over/under bets. We’ve put together this dedicated page to teach you everything you need to know and more about over/under (totals) bets.

Point Spread Bets

Though you will find this bet type in a lot of sports around the globe, this type of sports bet is extremely popular in the US, especially with American football. Oddsmakers will in effect try and predict how many points one team will beat the other team by and then adjust the odds accordingly. Confused? That’s ok. This one is best seen through an example.

Let’s say that Team A and Team B are going to play a game and the oddsmakers think that Team A is going to win by 10 points. The sportsbook will allow you to bet on either Team A or Team B and will pay out the exact same for either team if they win. This might sound unfair if you bet on Team B because they are almost surely going to lose.

To adjust for this, the sportsbook adds a point spread to the game. They would “spot” 10 points to Team B and “deduct” 10 points from Team A. So if you bet on Team A to win, they would have to win by MORE than 10 points for you to win your bet. If you bet on Team B to win, you would win your bet if Team B wins the game OR loses by less than 10 points.

They’re effectively trying to level the playing field by adjusting the points instead of adjusting the payouts. We’ve put together a complete breakdown of this with more examples here that will help a lot.

Futures and Outright Bets

A futures bet (also known as an outright bet) is exactly what you probably think it is. It is a bet on the winner of a complete season, tournament, or any other competition for a particular sport. Instead of betting on an individual game outcome, you are betting on the long term outcome. As you might imagine, a correct wager here is usually going to pay out a lot better than picking the winner of an individual game.

To learn more about future (outright) bets, click here to see our dedicated guide that is packed with all the information you need and more.

Prop Bets

Prop bets (also known as proposition bets) are a bit of a “catch-all” when it comes to sports betting options. These are bets that you can make and win on things that happen during games outside of picking a winner. These might be bets on how many strikeouts a pitcher will throw, or whether or not a player will have over or under a certain number of catches, or even something sillier like the outcome of the coin toss at the beginning of the game.

There are endless prop bets to choose from depending on the game and where you are choosing to bet. One of the biggest distinctions you need to be able to make is which prop bets are skill based and which are more recreational. We cover this and a lot more about prop bets on our dedicated prop bets page that can be found here.

Parlay Bets

If you’ve spent any time around a sportsbook, you’ve definitely heard the word parlay tossed around. While they might sound confusing, they are actually quite simple when explained properly. The short version is a parlay is a collection of individual bets that are strung together to make one “big bet”. In order to win your parlay, you must win every single individual bet that you’ve included.

Rightfully so, the sportsbook will pay you much higher for this than if you bet on each game individually. Parlays can be anywhere from 2 games to as many as you’d like depending on the rules of the sportsbook. This, of course, is the abridged version of how parlays work. We’ve put together a dedicated page with much more information that we highly recommend you read if you are interested in getting involved with parlays.

Teasers and Pleasers

Teasers and pleasers are parlay bets with some pretty big differences. Before you start learning about these two bet types, make sure you have a full understanding of parlays and how they work. If you’re brand new to sports betting, we recommend that you stick with simpler bets first before diving into the more complex bets like these.

Remember, complexity DOES NOT mean profitability. You can make just as much sports betting by sticking to the simpler and straight forward bets.

Teasers and pleasers are parlays except you are able to move the point spread on all games a fixed amount of points either in your favor or against your favor. With teasers, the point spreads all move in your favor, and with pleasers, they all move against your favor. As you may well have guessed, when you move them against your favor, the payouts go through the roof.

To better explain teasers and pleasers with examples, we need more space than we have here. For those of you who are ready to learn more and want to check these bet types out, click here and read through our dedicated teasers and pleasers betting page. We have examples and everything you need to know to understand these and get started with them.