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Basic Types of Sports Bets

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Here is a general guide and introduction to the basic types of sports bets available to the sports gambler.

Straight Bets
One team is typically favored over another by the pointspread; for betting purposes, the favorite spots the underdog points. Favorites are indicated by a minus sign (-) and the underdog by a plus sign (+) followed by the spread amount. Sometimes there is no spread on a game which the oddsmakers have deemed to be even money. This may be indicated by a PK (Pick) or an E (Even). For example, a line like this:
401 Philadelphia Eagles –3
402 Kansas City Chiefs
(The arbitrary numbers to the left of the team identify that team for the sportsbook for that week. Home team is listed on bottom.)

If you bet on KC (+3), and the final score ends up to be Philly 21, KC 19, you won your bet since KC covered the spread by 1 point. If the point differential of the game equals the pointspread (i.e.: Philly 21, KC 18), this is a push (tie) and your original bet on this game is refunded, regardless of which team was wagered on.

Money Line
Money Line bets on a game don’t use pointspreads. If a game is determined by a money line, then it will cost more to bet on the favorite. For example, a line like this:
401 Dallas Cowboys -140
402 Washington Redskins +130
If you bet on Dallas, you’d pay $140 in order to win $100. If you bet on Washington, you’d pay $100 to win $130. The money line may be represented to 2 decimals. In this case, substitute $100 for $1.

Over/Under (O/U) Totals
You can bet whether the total number of points scored by both teams in the game will be over or under the total set by the oddsmaker. For example, if the O/U is 38.5 and you believe that the combined points scored by both teams will exceed this number, you would bet over. You’d bet under if you believe the total points score will be less than 38.5.

Parlay
A wager on 2 or more teams or any other bet type. You can combine bets on games, pointspreads, O/Us, and money lines into a parlay bet. To win your parlay, you must hit all your picks. A single miss and the whole parlay loses. In the event of a push, the parlay drops to the next lower number, i.e. a 4-team parlay becomes 3-teams. Parlays are the high risk/high payout bets. Some sportsbook parlay odds may vary slightly on the higher number of selections, but the following is a typical example of payouts:
Football Point Spread Parlay Odds
2 Picks 2.5/1
3 Picks 6/1
4 Picks 10/1
5 Picks 20/1
6 Picks 40/1
7 Picks 80/1
8 Picks 100/1
9 Picks 200/1
10 Picks 350/1

Teasers
Like a parlay, a Teaser is a bet on 2 or more picks. The difference between the two is that in a teaser, the spreads are adjusted in your favor, but the teaser payouts are less than in a parlay. A 6 point, two team teaser would adjust the pointspread 6 points in the your favor for each game. For example, you choose both of the favorites in the following: Carolina Panthers are favored by 7 points in one game and the New England Patriots are favored by 8 in the other. You would net the spreads of each game against the 6 points. Carolina would now be favored by 1 point (7-6=1) and New England would now be favored by 2 points (8-6=2). In this case, you are betting that Carolina will win by >1 point and New England will win by > 2 points. Like parlays, all picks must be correct to win. In the case of a tie in a two team teaser, your bet is refunded. A tie, or push in a three or more team teaser will reduce the wager to the next lowest level. i.e. a 6 team teaser with a push becomes a 5 team teaser.

Football Teaser Odds
-----------6 Points - 6.5 Pts - 7 Pts
2 Picks 10/11 - 10/12 - 10/13
3 Picks 9/5 - 8/5 - 3/2
4 Picks 3/1 - 5/2 - 2/1
5 Picks 9/2 - 4/1 - 7/2
6 Picks 7/1 - 6/1 - 5/1
7 Picks 8/1 - 7/1 - 6/1
8 Picks 9/1 - 8/1 - 7/1
9 Picks 12/1 - 10/1 - 9/1
10 Picks 15/1 - 13/1 - 11/1

Futures
The Futures odds are set at the time of the bet. These odds are adjusted throughout the season. The Futures odds are the odds a particular team will win the SuperBowl, or win their division or conference, etc.

If you like the open line for a game and think the subsequent action will follow your opinion (injuries aside as announcements aren’t official until Wednesdays), this is a great time to jump in. Also, sportsbook lines may vary slightly. Compare the Vegas Line with other books that are different to find one that’s most favorable. The Stardust line is widely considered to be synonymous to the Vegas Line.

Cheers to a great sports betting season!

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