Sports Betting 101

sports betting

Sports betting involves placing money on the outcome of a sporting event. It is an exciting and profitable hobby for many people, but it can also be a risky one. The best way to avoid losing money is to make sure you understand all of the different types of bets available and how they work.

Bet Types: Straight, Teaser and Spread

A straight bet is the most common sports wager and is the simplest. This type of bet is simple to place and offers a payout that is equal to the amount of money you bet.

The payout for a straight bet will be listed on your bet slip, which is also available online at most sportsbooks. A bettor can then input the amount of money they wish to wager and click “Confirm” to send the bet through to the sportsbook.

Other types of sports bets include teasers, parlays and futures. Each of these types of bet has its own rules and limitations, so it is important to understand them before you begin placing wagers on your favorite team.


A teaser is similar to a spread bet, but it has a lower payout. These bets allow a bettor to choose whether they are going to take the spread (bet on the underdog) or give the spread (bet on the favorite).

Linemakers establish these lines in a variety of ways, including by setting the total number of points that both teams will score in a game. Typically, the total will be set as a percentage of how many points each team should win.

Oddsmakers also mark favorite and underdog teams with signs that indicate how easy it is to win a bet on them. Favorites are marked with a negative sign and underdogs with a positive sign. This means that a team with a higher negative odds is more likely to win than a team with a lower positive odds.

Usually, the oddsmakers will set the lines at a reasonable range that they feel will allow bettors to make a profit without risking too much of their own money. However, there are exceptions to these rules.

Understanding the Juice

When betting on an NFL game, the oddsmakers will usually set a line that is -110 for the favorite and +110 for the underdog. This is known as the juice, and it’s a huge factor in determining which team will win the game.

The juice can be significant, but it’s important to remember that it’s still just a percentage of the total amount of money you’ll bet. The juice in an NFL point spread is almost always -110, but it can vary depending on how close the two teams are to each other.

It’s also important to remember that the juice in a moneyline bet is much larger than it is for a spread bet. This is because moneyline bets are based on a single game, while spread bets are based on multiple games.