In a nutshell, sports betting is a two-pronged activity. The first part is predicting the result of a sporting event. And the second part is placing a bet on the outcome of said event. The vast majority of wagers are placed on soccer, American football, basketball, baseball, hockey, track cycling, auto racing, mixed martial arts, and boxing. At the amateur as well as the professional level. Sports betting can also include non-athletic events, like reality show contests and political elections. Additionally, it can cover non-human competitions such as horse racing and greyhound racing. It is common for sports betting websites like Cash Bet to offer lines for entertainment events, for example the Grammy Awards, the Oscars, and the Emmy Awards.
Sports bettors place their bets legally through a licensed online sportsbook such as Cash Bet, which takes bets up-front. That is to say, the bettor must pay the sportsbook prior to placing the wager. This stands in stark contrast to illegal bookies, who only require money from losing bettors and don't ask the wagered money up front. This creates the possibility of debt to the bookie from the bettor, leading to further illegality and, possibly, to the breaking of legs by hired goons.
These do not have a point spread or handicap. The only requirement is that the chosen team win the game outright. The favorite team pays lower odds than the underdog. This is an incentive to take the underdog for a bigger payout. Sometimes a gambler may pair this type of bet on the favorite team to increase the payout of a parlay.
These are wagers made against the point spread. The spread is a number established by odds-makers which handicaps one team and favors another. Especially when two teams play each other and one is considered to be more likely to win. The favorite ‘takes’ points from the final score while the underdog ‘gives’ points. This number can be an increment of half-a-point, although very few sports have .5 point scoring (a rare example is The Ryder Cup), in order to avoid the possibility of a draw. For instance, before game 5 of the 2012 NBA Finals, the Miami Heat were expected to defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder. The line was Miami −3, Oklahoma City +3. To determine which team wins against the spread, the line is either added or subtracted from a team's final score.
In this example, if the bettor picked Miami, he would subtract three points from Miami's final score and compare that to Oklahoma City's final score. If taking Oklahoma City, he would add three points to Oklahoma City's final score. For the bettor to win his bet, Miami would have to win the game by four points or more. And if the gambler took Oklahoma City, they would have to win straight-up or lose by fewer than three points. If the final adjusted score is a draw, the bet is a push. This is the most common bet in American sports betting.
These are wagers based on the total combined score by both teams. For example, if an MLB game’s total is 10.5, an over bettor will want the combined total to be higher, and an under bettor will want it to be lower. If the combined total equals the proposed total, the bet is a push.
Prop bets are wagers made on a very specific outcome of a match not related to the final score. It tends to be of a statistical nature. Examples include but are not limited to predicting the number of goals a player scores in a soccer match, whether a player will run for a certain number of yards in an American football game, or whether a baseball player on one team will have more hits than another player on the opposing team.
This involves a string of multiple bets that give bettors a greater payout but only if all bets in the parlay are successful. A parlay is made up of at least two bets, but can contain as many as the bookmaker allows. The possible payout of a parlay is determined by the combined likelihood of all bets placed. A parlay of riskier bets (more underdogs) will pay greater than a one of likelier bets (more favorites). In a parlay, all bets need to win in order for the parlay to be a winner. If one of the bets loses, the entire parlay is a loser. If one of the bets is a push, that bet would be excised from the parlay and the parlay would be taken down to a set of odds without that bet.
A teaser is a parlay that gives the bettor an advantage at a lower, but still positive, payout. The bettor selects the sport(s), number of games, and number of points given. If the bettor takes two NBA games at +6.5 it will adjust the individual bets at that rate. So a bet on a 3-point underdog at +3 will become a bet at +9.5 points, and for favorites, it will change a 3-point favorite at −3 to +3.5 points. The rules to win such a bet are the same as a parlay, but the bettor is paid less than a regular parlay because of the increased odds of winning.
All sports betting is by definition concerned with future events. However, futures betting usually involves something that will happen in weeks or months. For example, that a given NFL team will win the Super Bowl for the upcoming season. This kind of a bet must be placed prior to the start of the season. A winning bets will not pay off until after the Super Bowl in January or February.