Sports Betting Explained
The short definition of sports betting is placing a bet on he outcome of a sports event. It’s generally considered gambling, but of course it goes much deeper than that. Below we’ll try to explain the different types of sports betting an hopefully teach you how you can uses these to your advantage.
The types of bets that are commonly available at the sportsbooks we promote are:
- Future Bets
- Head-to-Head Bets
- If Bets
- In Play Betting
- Progressive Parlays
- Proposition Bets
- Second Half Bets
- Straight Bets
While all online sports bets are obviously on the outcome of future events, bets listed as “futures” have a long-term horizon. Think about weeks or even months. Example: You can place a bets on who will win the Superbowl, even before the NFL season has started. This is typically a “future bet”.
The odds for this type of wager are generally expressed as a ratio. For example: “30 to 1 the Broncos will win the Superbowl”. This means you will win 30 times your initial bet if the Broncos indeed manage to win the Superbowl.
Sportsbooks love this kind of wager because the chance of people actually winning is very small. In short: The sportsbook is more likely to win.
Our advice: Stay away from futures! You might want to place a small future bet on your favorite team, just for fun, but winning probability is like the lottery: very small!
Head-to-head bets are wagers, placed on competitors battling each other. An example is Nascar Racing. For these races, you would typically place a bet on one or more drivers and their finish-position. Sometimes you can even place a bet on an even outcome, for example when race drivers have a similar time, give up, or get disqualified.
Our advice: Head-to-head bets are great for people that like individual sports and have a good knowledge of the competitors. Try to aim for the most likely winners, even though the underdog will usually pay out more.
An “If Bet” consists of a minimum of two straight bets. These bets are placed in a specific order and will follow up, “if” the first straight bet is a winning one.
Our advice: Although you reduce your chance of winning with ‘if bets’, the returns are higher. These type of bets are not recommended for beginners, but seasoned sports bettors might enjoy these.
In Play Betting
Nowadays, most online sportsbooks, and certainly the ones offering mobile betting, feature a service called ‘in play betting’. This basically means you can place wagers, while the sporting event is in progress.
Our advice: Great service! There’s a lot of fun in placing a bet while you’re watching a game. Note that odds tend to drop as the match develops, since it’s easier to predict he outcome.
Parlay bets are basically multiple bets. For example, a player place 4 different bets on one team or event. If one of the bets loses, he players loses the money for all bets. However, if all 4 bets are won, the payout is naturally much higher than if the 4 bets would have been placed separately.
Our advice: Parlays are a great way to increase the payouts, but don’t forget the bigger risk! If one bet fails, all your money is lost.
In basics the same type of bet as a parlay, but the bet is not completely lost if one of the wagers fails. Because of the dampened risk, payout is not as high as a ‘normal’ parlay bet.
Our advice: If you’re doubting about a partial outcome of your parlay, use a progressive. Less payout, but certainly less risk.
A proposition bet is a wager made on a very specific outcome of a sporting event: For example, the exact final score of a soccer game or whether a player will score yes o no in a basketball match.
Our advice: The best can be a lot of fun, but they are generally high-risk. Only use these bets for amusement and onyl place small bets.
Second Half Bets
A second half (or halftime) bet is usually placed at halftime of a sporting event. Naturally the bet can only be placed on an event that will occur in the second half of the game.
Our advice: Like real-time betting, this can be great fun while watching a game.
The most used betting type of today is a straight bet. These bets are made, based on the “spread”. The line is a number given by the sportsbooks which handicaps one team and favors another. For example: When two basketball teams play a match, the one higher classified is usually more likely to win. In order to favor the underdog, the sportsbook can give them points. Before a certain match; Team A is more likely to beat Team B. The line reads: Team A -3, Team B 3. To find out who wins against the spread, the line is either added or subtracted from a teams final score. In this specific example, if the bettor chose Team A, he would subtract 3 points from Team A’s final score and compare that to Team B’s final score. For him to win his bet, Team A would have to win the game by 4 points or more.
Our advice: Straight bets are not the most popular bets without a reason. Great fun, good balance between risk and payout. Don’t wait, get in the game!
A teaser bet allows the player place best on several different games. The player can adjust the spread fro different games, but must get all of the bets correct to win. Usually these bets pay out less than a parlay bet.
Our advice: Due to lower payouts and not a significant lower risk, we prefer parlay bets over teasers.
Totalizators are also called flexible-rate bets. For this type of bet the odds are changing in real-time according to the share of total exchange each of the possible outcomes have received taking into account the return rate of the sportsbook offering the bet. Example: If the bookmakers return percentage is 90%, 90% of the amount placed on the winning result will be given back to bettors and 10% goes to the bookmaker. Naturally the more money is bet on a certain result, the smaller the odds on that outcome become.
This type of bet is very similar to parimutuel betting, which is often seen in horse and dog racing.
Our advice: A Typical betting type for horse racing lovers, but it’s not very high on our personal preference list.