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What are the different types of sports bets?

US Betting Report

Sports bettors are spoiled for choice when it comes to placing different bets at online sports betting sites, so much so that it can become confusing to chose the correct bet type or understand the terminology relating to different types of bets.

William Hill Online Betting
What an online betting site often looks like

If this describes you, fear not because you’ll be armed with all the information you need by the time you finish reading this article.

Next time you see a tweet like this one from William Hill, you’d have a better idea of what they are talking about:

Tweet From William Hill at the #NFLPlayoffs
Tweet From William Hill at the #NFLPlayoffs

What is a moneyline bet?

A moneyline bet is a sports bet in its simplest form.

Often called a “straight bet”, a moneyline does NOT have a handicap nor spread and requires your chosen team or individual to win the game outright in order for the wager to payout.

The team or person that is a favorite to win will have lower odds than the underdog, making it enticing to bet on the underdog for a potentially bigger payout.

What is meant by a run line, puck line, or goal line bet?

While these bets sound complicated, they are essentially moneyline bets with a handicap in place.

Run lines are related to baseball bets and see the favorite team start with a run deficit that they have to make up before your bet wins.

For example, the run line in a game between Chicago Cubs and the Kansas City Royals may see the Cubs start with a -1.5 run line, meaning they have to beat the Royals by two clear runs for your bet to win.

In this last game on March 19, 2019, Royals beat the Cubs with 8 runs against 6:

Royals beat Cubs 8-6 runsThe same rules are in place for puck lines, which are in relation to ice hockey goals, and the goal lines, that are in relation to soccer matches.

These bets hand an advantage to the underdog, shortening their betting odds and lengthening the odds of the favorite.

How do I win a futures bet?

Futures bets are exactly what they sounds like: you’re betting on an outcome that will not be decided for weeks or even months into the future.

SI.com outline these regularly, and you’d see something like this, talking about future bets on the NCAA tournament:

Future bets discussion on si.com

Betting markets such as the team to win the Super Bowl, who will be the Stanley Cup champions and similar are the more traditional futures bets.

Usually, you must place your futures bet before the competition begins and you will not receive your winnings until the competition concludes, unless the sports betting site decides to settle wagers early, such as if a soccer team has an unassailable lead in their respective league.

Can you win big with parlay bets?

The term parlay bet refers to a bet where there are at least two selections that have to both win for the bet to be paid out.

Parlay bets can be extremely lucrative, but bear in mind that they are a high-risk high-reward sports betting type. Punters use calculators like this one to get a better view of exactly what’s at stake.

Parlay Bet Calculator

Bookmakers will often limit the number of selections you can make in one parlay bet, although there are some bookies, particularly those operating online, that will not cap your action.

This bet type is popular during the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB seasons where several games take place simultaneously.

You may believe that all the NBA teams playing at home that week will win so select them all in a parlay bet. Should your prediction come true, you will likely win a substantial amount. If only one selection, or leg, lets you down, your bet is ruined.

What are Total or Over/Under Bets?

These bets relate to betting on a number that is higher or lower than the actual score.

For example, in an MLB game, the over/under for total runs may be 10.5. If you bet the over in this example, the game needs to have at least 11 runs for you to win your bet. Should you choose to bet on the under, there can be no more than 10 runs scored for your bet to win. Bookmakers often put 0.5 onto the over under market to prevent your bet being a tie.

Over/Under bets can be made on a wide variety of sports where points are scored. It is common for over/under or total bets to be made in MLB, NFL and NBA games on outcomes such as total point or runs scored.

Can you make money from prop bets?

Prop bets can be made on a wide range of outcomes that are not usually related to the outcome of the sporting event.

This can be markets such as the number of passing yards or touchdowns a quarterback makes in a game, the goals scored by an individual in a soccer game, or three-pointers scored by one player in a basketball game, etc.

Here is an example of Super Bowl prop bets from CBS Sports: first player to touchdown, head or tails on the coin toss, and so on.

Super Bowl Prop Bets

Some people believe proposition bets, or prop bets, are bets made between friends for a bit of fun but they can actually be serious bets where you can make considerable money.

What is Live Betting?

As the name suggests, live betting is a bet you can make while the sporting event is taking place.

Live betting is a relative new sports betting type and is rapidly becoming one of the most popular available in the online sports betting world.

Here is an overview of available live betting at 888:

888 live betting

A perfect example may be in an NFL game, instead of betting before kickoff, you place your bets during one of the quarters. This is a great bet if you are watching the sporting event take place because you may be able to see one team growing stronger and be able to place a bet on them while their odds are still quite long.