With more and more states approving online sports betting, it has only become natural for new players to join the fray and see what this is all about. But if you have never participated in sports betting before, it can seem like a confusing world.
One of the best ways to get started in the world of sports betting is to understand each of the different wager types. Here are four of the basics and how they can impact your bets going forward.
The simplest bet type you will find in football betting is the money line. Compared to other bet types, you really don’t have to consider much other than who will win the game. No point totals, no spreads, and no complications. Pick the winner and your bet will cash.
There is one major downside to betting on the money line. Like any other form of entertainment, the goal is to stretch your budget as far as it will go. Betting on the money line keeps it simple so that you can get the most out of your betting bankroll. If there is one downside to betting on the money line, it is that the odds on favorites aren’t going to give you the best return.
The point spread is the bet type that brings everything back to even money. Where you may have a substantial favorite – a pick that is -150 or better – you have odds that make the risk less worth it. That’s where the spread comes into the equation.
The spread indicates how much a team must win or lose by in order to cash the bet. Let’s look at Buffalo vs. New York. In this game, the Bills are 2.5-point favorites. They must win by 3 or more to cover the spread whereas New York must lose by less than 3 or win outright in order to cash the bet. Things get a little tougher here, but the odds are much better, creating a better payout than you will likely find on a money line.
If you aren’t totally certain about the outcome of the game, there is another way to go. The points total is a number that designates how many expected points will be scored by the two teams. In the aforementioned Bill vs. Jets game, the over is set at 46.5 points.
The bettor would then wager whether the final score will cumulatively be more (over) or less (under) than the point total dictated. If you can’t find yourself taking a team heads up, the next best thing to do is place a bet on the game and hope for one side of the ball to have more success than the other.
Getting even more granular, bettors are able to wager on individual player outcomes. This is a relatively new feature but one that shows a lot of potential. Choose a player and their statistical outcome – a running back to hit x rushing yards, a quarterback to throw for x yards, etc.
There is nothing quite like wagering on a player to hit a specific milestone rather than having to bet on the game as a whole. For instance, perhaps you wish to bet on Josh Allen in the Bills vs. Jets game. His passing prop may be set at 269.5 yards. The bettor would then wager on whether his total passing yards for the game will be more (over) 269.5 or under that amount. It is a quick way to get in on the action and make the game more interesting without having a stake in either team.