With more US states legalizing sports betting, and improved mobile access making sports betting more popular than ever in India, the global sports betting market is booming.
From horse racing and motorsports to cricket and baseball, each country has its own most popular sports to bet on. However, for the most part, the types of bets you can make are the same across sports and nations. Here is a quick guide to the most common types of sports bets.
A money line bet or a winning bet is the most popular type of bet and simply involves the bettor betting on the team/player/participant they believe is most likely to win. Generally, the more favored the pick is, the lower the odds and the less money you will win. The strategy here is either to place a fairly safe bet on a favorite in the hopes of increasing your stake by a small amount or to bet on an unlikely winner (known as an underdog) with higher odds to potentially win more money for an equally small stake. Alternatively, you can bet big on an underdog, but this is considered a ‘high risk’ strategy. These kinds of bets are seen in many sports including soccer, horse racing, F1, cricket, and basketball.
Outright/ Future Bets
An outright bet is similar to a win bet but instead of relating to just one match or race, you stake your money on who you think will be the overall winner of a tournament. This could be the Super Bowl winners, the team to win the FIFA World Cup or the winner of an esports tournament such as The International (DOTA 2) or the League of Leagues World Championship. This type of market tends to be open well in advance of the tournament taking place, with the odds fluctuating depending on individual and team performances.
Place a single stake on the outcome of two or three sporting events to potentially boost your winnings. Usually, all of the selections must win to yield a return.
This is the same as a double or a treble, but with a minimum of four selections in one bet. Accumulators or parlay bets are popular with sports fans who wish to have a stake in more than one race or match. Sportsbooks will often run accumulators across multiple soccer leagues, horse races, or other games such as rugby. More experienced bettors are likely to be more comfortable than casual bettors as accumulators require a bit of commitment and knowledge. Similar to a fantasy sports draft, you have to keep track of multiple events to determine whether your choices have proven successful. However, it also gives you more chances to win. Depending on the sportsbook’s terms, if only one of your matches wins, you could still win some money. On the other hand, you could lose a significant amount of money by just one result failing to go your way.
Also known as proposition bets, or prop bets for short, this is a bet which follows specific criteria set by the bookmaker. This could be anything from the first player to score a kill in esports to which team/player will win the coin toss in soccer or a tennis match. Bookmakers like William Hill may offer specials connected to huge sporting events such as the Super Bowl or the FIFA World Cup.
Other Types of Betting
- Point Spread & Handicap – betting along with or against a bookmaker’s assessment of a team or a player
- Totals/ Over/Under Bets – wagering whether the actual score will be higher or lower than the bookmaker’s predicted points score
- Teasers – A combination of parlays/accumulators and point spread betting
- Head-to-Head Bets – Usually linked to a money line bet for competitors in sports such as NASCAR or golf
Be aware that different bookmakers may offer slight variations on these types of sports bets, and some of the bets will only apply to specific sports. If you are new to sports betting, you should start with Moneyline and outright bets with small stakes and only move to more complicated or higher stakes betting if you feel confident to do so.