Seven Types Of Sports Bets That Can Be Played

Sports betting is growing in popularity world wide, as more countries embrace the concept and betting sites prop up on what seems like a daily basis. There’s no question that sports betting has gone mainstream. Just check out the many betting companies listed at a site such as and you’ll quickly realize exactly how popular wagering on sporting events has become.

Sports leagues, who once fought tooth and nail to try and prevent the advent of gambling on sports, now embrace and support the concept. They’ve lobbied governments in order to convince them to permit the legalization of sports betting and they are partnering with online betting sites, recognizing the value of this business association in terms of generating new and lucrative revenue streams.

For those unfamiliar with the concept of betting on sports, but curious to learn more about it, there are seven basic types of wagers that can be placed on a sporting event.


The most basic bet of all, a player is asked to make a call on which team or player is going to win a game or match. Favorites are indicated with minus odds, while underdogs are assigned positive odds.

Advantage: It’s a simple call between two entities as to which one will win.

Disadvantage: Unless you’ve got a wad of cash to wager, the profits on moneyline wagering are limited.

Point Spreads

Betting sites assign a number to the favorite and underdog. In this instance, the favorite gets the negative number and the underdog the positive number. If for example, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are -4, that means they are 4-point favorites. To cash a bet on them, they’d need to win by five or more points.

By contrast, if the New York Giants are +7, they are 7-point underdogs in the game. Bet them and you’ll get seven points. If the Giants win, or if they lose the game by less than seven points, your bet is a winner.

Advantage: If betting an underdog, a bettor is supplied a cushion. It’s like starting the game already in the lead.

Disadvantage: Betting favorites on the point spread is more lucrative than via the moneyline, but also comes with the additional risk of needing the team to win by a certain number of points.


The total is also often referred to as the over/under, because that basically describes how the bet works. A betting site assigns a number to a game. That number is a projection of the total points that both teams will combine to score.

The bettor is left with the choice of deciding whether the team will go over or under that total.

Advantage: It doesn’t matter which side wins as long as they cover your play.

Disadvantage: Profit margins on this type of betting are slim.

Future Book

With this wager, bettors are asked to look into their crystal balls and determine which player will lead the league in scoring, who will win individual awards like MVP and which team will win the championship.

Advantage: Even if you pick a relatively high favorite, the return on investment tends to be significant.

Disadvantage: You can wait a long time, up to months in certain situations, before knowing whether you’ll cash your bet.

Seven Types Of Sports Bets That Can Be Played


Props are bets on outcomes that occur as part of the game but in general the final outcome of the event has no bearing on them.

Game props can include strikeouts by a pitcher and yards gained by a running back. Event props can cover things like the length of the national anthem and result of the coin flip.

Advantage: You don’t need to be a sports expert to play some prop wagers.

Disadvantage: Many props are basically crap shoots. There’s little skill or knowledge involved in determining an outcome.


The parlay has become a popular form of wager. It entices bettors in with its potential for the big score from a minimal investment. Bettors are picking the outcomes of several games in combination and must hit on every one of them to cash.

Advantage: Parlays are the lottery of sports betting. Hit one and you’ll be in the money.

Disadvantage: The chances of hitting a multi-leg parlay fall somewhere in between slim and none.

Live Betting

The newest form of wagering, live betting is wagering on outcomes that will occur during the course of a game. Who’s going to make the next strikeout, net the next goal, or score the next touchdown.

Advantage: There are numerous opportunities to wager.

Disadvantage: With so many betting opportunities in one game, a bettor can lose a lot of money in rapid-fire fashion.

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