From time immemorial, where there has been sport, there has been sports betting. The temptation to spice up watching a sport by making a small bet is almost irresistible. If some people bet as a profession, lots of people such as yourself simply bet for fun. If you are betting on sports in the USA, you have a wide variety of betting options ranging from your friends to your local illegal bookmaker. The best option is, however, to use an online sports book for the following reasons:
1. They are far more flexible than land-based sports books
2. They often offer better odds and post their odds earlier
3. Their minimum and maximum bets suit most bettors. For many of them, the minimum bet is as little as one dollar.
If the majority of sports betting in the USA revolves around the four major sports of football, basketball, baseball and hockey, there is plenty of action available on other sports such as horseracing and boxing. Apart from the USA, the online sports books also allow bets on different sports in different countries so you are sure of making the bet of your choice. If you are betting on US sports, you will generally find the odds displayed in what the bookmakers call lines. If you look at the line for any game, the favorites will have odds displayed with a + sign in front of the number while the underdogs would have a – sign. The + number is the amount that you would have to bet to win $100 while the – number is the amount that you will win if you bet $100. For instance, +130 means that you bet $130 to win $100 while -130 means that you win $130 for a $100 bet.
Here are the more popular forms of bets that you can place:
Moneyline bets. These are the simplest bets where you simply pick the team that you think will win. The line for this kind of bet looks something like this:
Team A -330
Team B +150
This means that Team A is the favorite and you need to bet $330 to win $100. A bet of $100 on Team B to win will fetch you the return of $150.
Point spread bets. In order to encourage people to bet evenly on both teams and thus balance the risk, bookmakers have invented the point spread. They decided on a point number which they believe will equalize the scores of the two teams and this number is added to the underdog and subtracted from the favorite. In this case the line will look something like this:
Team A -10 +110
Team B +10 +110
This means that if you bet on the favorite Team A and they are ahead even after you subtract 10 points, you win. If you pick the other team and they lose by less than 10 points, you win. Because the two teams, at least in theory, are equal, you will receive the same odds. In games like baseball, the point spread is called the run line.
Betting the under/over. In case you do not wish to choose either team, you have an alternative. The book makers will post a number which they think will be the total score by both teams put together. If you think that the total is going to be less, you would bet the under and if you think that the total is going to be more, you would bet the over.
These are the most common forms of betting but you can also choose from a variety of other bets such as parlays, progressive parlays, teasers and futures.
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