Sports Betting Basics


Generally, sports betting involves risking money on the outcome of a game or event. You can choose to bet on the favorite or the underdog. The favorite has a higher chance of winning, but the underdog has a lower chance of winning.

The most common type of wager in American sports betting is the total bet. This wager is based on the combined score of both teams. The bettor decides whether the total is over or under a certain amount. If the total is over, the bettor wins and the bookmaker pays. If the total is under, the bettor loses.

Another popular type of bet is the spread. This type of wager handicaps one team by indicating how many points the favored team will win. Typically, the spread is offered at 11 to 10 odds. In a spread game, the bettor will win if the underdog beats the favorite by more than the spread.

Another type of bet is the money line. It is a straight bet without a handicap. The underdog is indicated by a positive value next to the odds. The money line also includes a point spread. The spread represents the margin of points by which the favored team must win to “cover the spread”.

For example, if the favorite is favored by a margin of six points, the underdog is favored by seven. A bettor who wishes to bet on the underdog will want the total to be less than six points.