Here, we’ll list the most common types of wagers that you could engage in when sportsbetting. Know that all of our recommended sportsbooks – chosen because of their honest reputation and integrity, above par betting flexibility, and huge range of sports events to choose from – offer up all of the wager types listed below, as well as offering up many other unique betting options.

Straight Bets
The most common type of sportsbetting bet is a straight wager, meaning the final score of a single game. One team is typically favored by a point spread where, for betting purposes, the favorite gives an underdog points kind of like a head start. The favorite is always indicated by a minus sign (-2) whereas the underdog is indicated by a plus sign (+2). When it comes to betting, the result of a game is determined by taking the actual score of the game, then subtracting points from the favorite’s score or adding points to the score of the underdog. Therefore, a favorite can win the game but actually lose the bet if it doesn’t cover the spread; as well, an underdog can lose the game but win by covering the spread.

Totals Bet
A punter can bet whether the combined number of goals or points scored by two teams in a game will be over or under the total set by the sportsbook. For example, if a sportsbook announces that the total is 42, and you believe that the combined total points scored by the teams will exceed that number, you would bet over. You would bet under if you thought the total combined score would be less than 42.

Money Line Bets
In addition to, or instead of, a point spread on a match up between two teams, a money line is used. In the case of a money line bet, a player must bet more to place a wager on the team favorite. For example, if the Yankees are a -150 favorite over the Angels, a punter needs to lay $150 down in order to win $100. If the Yankees loses, the punter loses $150. However, you could bet on the underdog, the Angels, in which case you would lay down $100 in order to win $140 (10 cent line). If the Angels loses, you’d only lose $100 – if the Angels wins, you would win $140. All of the sportsbooks that we recommend above offer both money line and point spread options on sporting events.

Parlay Bets
A parlay is simply a bet on two or more teams or selections, which is a great way to combine different sports, money lines, and point spreads. Parlays offer higher odds than if you were to bet on individual games – but that’s only because it’s more difficult to predict the outcome of several games, rather than to predict the outcome of one single game. Your winnings on one game rolls over into the next, and remember – all of your selections have to be right – just one wrong, and you lose the parlay.