Types of Sports Bets – Looking Through the Different Bet Types

If sports betting is about to become legalized in your location, then you’re probably excited about all the great platforms that you’ll be able to place bets on: Fanduel, DraftKings, BetMGM, PointsBet, etc.

All of these sportsbooks have a variety of free bets, promotions and sign bonuses; they also all have a variety of different types of wagers that you can bet on. In this blog post, we will cover a few different types of sportsbook bets that you may be interested in.

What are the Different Types of Sportsbook Bets?

We’ll begin by going through the threef main types of sports bets: moneylines, spreads and totals. These three markets collectively are known as “mainline” markets in sports betting, as they’re the most popular bet types.

Moneyline

A moneyline bet is the most common bet in sports betting. It is just a standard wager on who is going to win the game.

In the example above, we see that the moneyline odds from DraftKings for Phillies vs. Braves is +125 odds on the Phillies and -145 on the Braves. This means that, in order to win $100, you would have to wager $145 on the Braves moneyline (they are the favorite).

On the other hand, if you bet $100 on the Phillies at +125 odds, you would win $125 if they win the game (the Phillies are the underdog). It is also common to see moneyline wagers for specific time periods. For example, “1st half moneyline” for NFL is simply who is going to be leading at halftime. If the game is tied at halftime, then the 1st half moneyline bets will be a push.

A push refers to when your pick neither wins or loses. In this instance, you’d receive your stake back but no earnings. This occurs if a team ties or sometimes if your spread or total bet is the exact number you placed it on.

As a sharp sports bettor, you should always be line shopping. In this example above, even though DraftKings is offering -145 moneyline odds on the Braves, WynnBet is offering -133. Of course, it’s much better to only need to risk $133 to profit $100 on the Braves moneyline on WynnBet, as opposed to risking $145 to profit $100 on DraftKings. The best odds for every wager are always highlighted in green on OddsJam and shown under the “Best Odds” column.

Point Spread

Point spreads are known as “equalizers” in the world of betting. They’re the second most popular type of sports bet.

As an example, in the screenshot below (from DraftKings), we see that the Philadelphia 76ers are large favorites to win their NBA game against the Hornets. You have to bet $365 on the 76ers moneyline to win $100 in profit.

However, you’ll notice that the Philadelphia 76ers point spread is only -110 odds at -8.5. In other words, the 76ers need to win by over 8.5 points to “cover the spread.”

If you bet on 76ers -8.5 at -110 odds, then you only need to wager $110 to profit $100, but this bet will only cash if the 76ers win by nine or more points. If the 76ers win by 1-8 points (or lose the game), then 76ers -8.5 would be a losing wager.

Spreads are commonly an alternative when betting on a large favorite. In this example, an upset loss on the part of the 76ers would mean a $365 loss when the maximum profit you could have made is $100. Alternatively, betting on the spread in this example would only result in a $110 loss.

Similarly, if you bet on the Hornets +8.5 at -110 odds on DraftKings, then your bet will win if the Hornets either win the game or lose the game by less than 8.5 points. These props are good if you feel an underdog is being overlooked, but aren’t quite willing to bet on such high odds for them to win the game outright.

Many sportsbooks also offer alternate spreads, which allows you to bet on different “equalizers” (e.g. the 76ers to win by 4.5 or more points).

As a note, in hockey, point spreads are known as puck lines. In baseball, point spread bets are known as run lines. Nearly all puck lines and run lines are set at 1.5. It is very rare to see an MLB team favorite by 2+ runs or an NHL team that is favored by 2+ goals.

What is a Point Spread Bet?

Totals

The total for the game is pretty similar to point spreads. Betting on the total is simply wagering on whether there will be above or below a certain amount points in a game (or goals for NHL, runs for MLB, etc).

Similar to spreads, many books have alternate total markets, which allows you to bet on a wide variety of outcomes. For MLB, this would be total runs. For UFC, this would be total rounds, etc.

Similar to point spread and moneyline wagers, most sportsbooks offer “Total Points” betting markets for quarters & halves. Below, you’ll see an example from Caesars sportsbook. They have the 1st quarter total points market set at an over/under of seven points in the Commanders vs. Bears NFL game.

Game Props

Game props are very open ended and the markets offered by different sportsbooks vary greatly. A few examples of game props that you can wager on are below.

  • “Odd or Even” points in a game for NBA (it’s always a thrill until the end!)
  • “First Team to Score” in MLB, NBA, NFL. You’re quite simply betting on the first team to score. Remember, for MLB games, the away team will always have a large advantage since they are up to the plate first. In NBA, the team with the taller center will typically be favored to score first, since they are more likely to win the tip and have 1st possession. In NFL, it may depend on whether or not a coach typically decides to kick off or receive the ball in the 1st quarter if they win the coin toss.
  • In the UFC, there are a variety of other game props, such as “Will the fight go the distance?”

A few more game prop examples are above. This screenshot is from DraftKings sportsbook. DraftKings is offering MLB betting markets on “Team Total Runs” and “1st Scoring Play.” The options are practically limitless in terms of prop bets!

Player Props

Similar to game props, these vary greatly from sportsbook to sportsbook. Here are a few examples.

  • NHL: Player Points, Player Saves (Goalie Prop Bet!), Player Goals, Player Assists, Player Shots on Goal, Player Blocks
  • NBA: Player Points, Player Assists, Player Rebounds, Player P+R+A (Points + Rebounds + Assists), Player 3 Point Field Goals
  • NFL: Player Passing Yards, Player Passing Touchdowns, Player Rushing Yards, Player Rushing Touchdowns, Player Receiving Yards, Player Receptions
  • MLB: Player Strikeouts, Player Hits Allowed, Player Pitching Outs, Player Hits, Player Player Singles, Player Doubles, Player Home Runs, Player Total Bases

Once again, the options are limitless. Since sportsbooks want to offer as many markets as possible, there’s constantly new prop bets that are available to bet on.

Futures

These are markets that settle, unsurprisingly, in the future. Who is going to win the Stanley Cup? Who is going to win the World Series, the NBA Championship or the Super Bowl? What teams are going to make the playoffs? Sportsbooks offer markets on all of these wagers.

Above, you can see NFL Futures that are being offered on DraftKings.

  • Super Bowl 2023 Winner
  • Conference Winners
  • Divison Winners
  • Regular Season Wins
  • To Make the Playoffs

Once again, futures markets will vary from sportsbook to sportsbook. Not all sportsbooks offer the exact same futures be

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