Sports betting has become a regular pastime for many gamers. If you want to know the benefits and drawbacks of mobile vs sports betting, check out our breakdown of how sports gaming works, what makes it so incredibly popular, and why it might be worthy of your attention.

What is Sports Betting?

Sports betting is the act of attempting to predict a sports result. By placing a wager on the outcome of a sports game, bettors have the chance to win cash prizes and other forms of remuneration. One could win a car, for example, or perhaps even a holiday trip. It all depends on the amount of betting involved, who organizes the bets, and which sport is being wagered upon.

Nowadays, many sports support a wide range of sports betting types. The most popular sports are football, soccer, basketball, baseball, and hockey. Track cycling, motorsports, MMA, and boxing are also becoming mainstream sports betting options. Bets cover both amateur and professional levels of the aforementioned sports.

Sports betting also extends to non-athletic events, such as reality shows and political elections, as well as non-human competitions like horse racing. Many sports betting websites go as far as offering wagers for entertainment events, such as awards ceremonies and other celebratory events.

It’s important to differentiate between legitimate sports betting and illegal wagers. Legal wages are placed through licensed bookmakers (also known as sportsbooks), while any non-licensed ‘bookie’ will not have an official relationship with any regulatory bodies. Generally, it’s unwise to pursue illegal avenues of sports betting. Rather keep yourself (and your money) safe by only betting via proven, legally sound methods.

Many sports betting scandals have occurred throughout history, which has negatively affected the integrity of a number of different sports. Things like point-shaving, spot-fixing, and match-fixing are all more common than we would like to believe. At the end of the day, if you want to win fair and square, avoid any form of betting that could potentially get you into trouble with the law.

Types of Bets

Regardless of the sport in question, whether it’s online, mobile, or otherwise; there are more than 10 different types of bets that can be made. Below you will find the five most well-known betting types.

Moneyline Bets

Betting on the moneyline means you bet on the outcome of a match. More specifically, you bet on which team will win the game. Sportsbooks decide on a favorite and an underdog, subsequently dictating the odds of winning for each team. The favored team will usually pay out lower odds than the underdog, making this type of bet very popular amongst fans of underdog teams.

Spread Betting

Spread betting, otherwise known as line betting, is an extension of moneyline bets. Instead of a win or a loss deciding the odds, bookmakers assign a number to each team. That number is the difference by which a team must win or lose for a successful wager. For example, if the Miami Heat are favorites to win an upcoming game, and they have a spread of -4, they would need to win by at least 4 points for a spread bet to pay out any winnings.

Total Bets

Total bets are based on the total score between two competing teams. Over bets wager on the total score is less than what they predicted, while under bets wager on the total being more than the actual final score. For example, if a match between Manchester United and Liverpool FC ended on 2-2, an over bettor would ideally want to have a wager of 5 or more, while an under bettor would be happy with any number below 4.

Proposition Bets

Proposition bets focus on specific match outcomes unrelated to the final score. They will often be based on statistical performances, such as the number of successful passes made by a quarterback, or the number of home runs a specific baseball player will make. These are nuanced bets that require a great deal of statistical knowledge. One could of course place proposition bets without prior technical knowledge, but the odds of winning anything at all are significantly lower.

 

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Parlays

A parlay is basically any combination of two or more bets. The amount of bets doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s two or more. What matters is that every bet needs to win for any payout to come your way. So, in other words, let’s say you win 4 out of 5 parlay bets; that means you don’t win anything. Only by predicting all 5 correctly will a parlay payout. For this reason, the returns on a parlay bet are often the highest you can get.

Odds

Understanding how odds work can be quite challenging for a sports betting novice. There are three formats of bets at present, namely European format, UK format, and US format. European format uses decimal odds, the UK uses fractional odds, and the US uses moneyline bets. However, with the advent of online and mobile gaming, these geographic distinctions don’t really matter as much as they used to.

The main factor to consider is what type of bet you prefer. From that point on, it’s simply a matter of knowledge and timing. Like any other form of betting, knowing when to hold and when to fold are the key to gaming successfully. 

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