Bets are a way to put money on an outcome, either for a profit or a loss. Betting can also take place in other forms.
Sports betting can be done on the internet or at various legal, licensed sportsbooks. In some cases, sports bettors can place wagers through illegal bookies, however.
Bets can be placed on an individual team, a total score, or the margin of victory. For example, a bettor might choose to bet on the Miami Heat to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Finals.
In addition, sportsbooks offer spread bets and accumulator bets. These types of bets are commonly found in football. A spread is a number of points assigned by the bookmaker. A bet on a spread is typically an underdog bet. A bettor can make a parlay, which is a multiple bet that pays out if all of the bets win. A parlay is typically more difficult to hit than a single wager.
Other types of bets include “pick ’em” and teasers. Pick ’em bets are usually the same amount as a straight bet, but require picking two or three players in the correct order. A teaser is a bet on points, which gives the bettor an advantage at a lower payout. A teaser can be as many as the bookmaker allows.
The most common margin of victory is three or seven. This can be expressed as -110, which means the underdog has to win by more than a certain number of points to break even.