Basic Guide to Simple Sports Betting

There are no shortages of options for online gamblers to place wagers on their favorite players, teams, outcomes, or events, but what are the most exciting bets out there? Let’s take a look at a quick breakdown of some of the simple favorites for sports betting.


Betting Lines


Individual Bets:

This is pretty much the most basic form of betting. Let’s say that you think one team will win, so you put your money on that team against the other. There are two popular ways to do this: Straight Up (Moneyline) or with a points handicap, in this case referred to as the Run Line (Against The Spread).

A Moneyline Bet does not factor in any sort of points spread into the equation, but it does reflect an accurate picture of which is the most popular bet for a particular match up. The Moneyline bet on the Braves of +162 would earn $1.62 per dollar bet if they were to win by any margin, regardless of run count.

Conversely, a bet on the Orioles would result in a payout of $0.56 per dollar bet. In simple terms – the majority of the money coming in is being bet on the Orioles to win, which is why it is called the Moneyline.

If we were to look at the RunLine in this matchup, take note of the +1 ½ (-140) and -1 ½(+120) numbers. Those are the point spreads and odds (in Moneyline form) for the game.

Assuming you were to place a $100 bet on the Braves (+1 ½) GETTING one and half runs, the Braves would not need to win the game, but merely lose by no less and no more than one run. Now should the final score of the game be Orioles 5 – Braves 4, a bet on Atlanta would still win since the Orioles did not win by at least 1.5 runs as stipulated in the betting line. Since this line involves odds and point spreads, that $100 bet would win $71.43.

A bet on Baltimore to win by at least 1 ½ would yield a return of $120, since the line for those odds is shown by +120.

While it may look confusing at first, these standard ways of betting become second nature to the seasoned online bettor. A quick glance can show the favorite, the odds, and the payouts for someone used to seeing these numbers in front of them –  but for the beginner to online sports betting, brushing up on your arithmetic wouldn’t hurt when starting out.


Over/Under Bets:

An Over/Under Bet is generally the total amount of points scored during a game. Let’s assume that there is a particularly tough matchup on a game that you would like to place a wager on. When gamblers are faced with a situation that could go either way, or are not as knowledgeable about the teams in the contest as they would like, often times they will look at the Over/Under bet.

Using the same example from the Braves v. Orioles game, the column reading Total is where to find the Over/Under. 7 ½ (-120)o, there the “o” indicates OVER would be read as: “Total score of the game added together of AT LEAST 8 runs”. While it is in the same row as Atlanta Braves, the O/U number is in reference to the point total of both teams.

7 ½ (EVEN)u  is the Under for this game, and a winning bet would be total of the team’s scores adding up to NO MORE THAN 7. The “½” helps to ensure action, as well as make some bets a little trickier for close games, which is often times the case. There is a science to these numbers, they’re not simply off the top of someone’s head, and they know exactly where the imaginary “line” is to get action to move in a particular way and keep odds in their favor.


Parlay Bets:

WiParlayth a basic understanding of the simple betting options discussed above, there is often times a chance to combine all of your bets into one bet, gaining better odds in the process. A Parlay Bet is a combination of multiple bets into one. A simple parlay consisting of two bets can increase odds and get a higher payout than any single bet, since BOTH BETS HAVE TO WIN TO WIN THE OVERALL BET.

This means if you have played a $100 wager on the Braves on the MoneyLine AND the Over at 7½, the payout would be $380.30.

On the right you will see that the combination of bets is a higher payout than if the initial hundred dollars was split between them individually. Since TWO things have to happen for the bet to win, the odds have increased, along with the payout.

As more teams and bets are added to the parlay, the odds continue to grow since a greater number specific individual events needs to happen to result in a won bet.

These types of bets are great for when you do not have a lot of money for an initial bet, but are looking for a big payout. They are also fun to do when you have a long day of watching games on your list. As long as a parlay is still alive, the excitement grows with each play in every game. While not a high percentage bet, a multi-game parlay is definitely one of the most exciting.