How To Bet On Sports: Spread, Money Line And Game Totals

One of the most confusing and challenging tasks you will face as a novice bettor is learning the numerous types of betting odds. Sadly, if you want to have an enjoyable and profitable betting experience, you have no choice than to learn how to bet on sports, which means learning how different odds work. However, you do not need to master everything at once. It is probably wise to stick to a few basic odds at first, and then work your way to the rest when you get the hang of it. That said, below are three main betting odds all beginners must understand before venturing into betting:

The Spread


When it comes to betting on sporting events, the point spread or simply “the spread” is among the most common bet. This is mainly because it is designed to put the two playing teams on an even playing field using a handicap installed by the odd makers. Playing the spread enables bettors to bet on the difference in score between two teams. For example, if the spread is 5, and you choose the favorite to win, that team must win by 5 to push (a bettor’s way of saying it’s a tie, in which case you get your money back), or by 6 to win.

In other words, when betting against the spread, you wager on a team that will cover the betting line but not necessarily win that game. Clearly, by picking the favorite, you believe that team will not just win the game but also win by the number of points required to cover the betting line. However, when betting on the underdog, that team does not have to win to cover the betting line.

A great strategy begins by knowing when to bet against the spread. You will have several opportunities and different ways to put action on the spread of a given matchup. Obviously, it begins with action prior to the game. Spreads before a game will be available right until the game begins. Depending on the type of sport, league and online sports betting site you consulted, point spreads can be up even several days before the game kicks off. The wonderful thing about online betting is that you can still bet your spread after the game starts. Live betting is periodically adjusted depending on the flow of the game.

Moneyline Betting


A moneyline bet is simply a wager on which team will come off victorious. It is offered as the primary wagering option for baseball and hockey but serves as an alternative to the point spread in football and basketball. Unlike in the spread, there are no propositions in moneyline – the odds are just based on a team’s chances of winning clear. The underdogs are listed as a positive underdog, which means you will gain more if you are betting on them to win. The favorites are listed as negative underdogs, which mean you will not get much for your money if you are betting on them to win.

Moneyline works very differently from other forms of bets because you will have to know how much to bet on each game to win a certain amount. For instance, if you want to win $100 and the odds of the game are -160, you will have to bet $160. To get better odds, you have to bet on teams that are not favored against the spread. You can become quite a profitable bettor if you know how to look for good underdog bets.

You need a great plan to make gains with moneyline bets. One of the greatest strategies professional bettors use when it comes to moneylines is to stay clear of teams with odds that are simply too much to lay. It is best to set up some kind of system to follow when wagering teams on the moneyline. For example, some folks stick only with a particular number and will bet on teams with these odds or better straight up. Moneylines are a great way to take full advantage of odds of an underdog team you like.

Game totals (over/under)


In simple terms, over/under betting depends on the total points scored by both teams in a game. The concept of this form of betting is simple. You bet on what you think the total points will be for a given game. In most sports, there is no push or draw possibility for this bet, which means you will win or lose your stake at the conclusion of the game. The betting slip lists a number, normally accompanied by a decimal or fraction, and you get to decide if the game total will be over or under the posted number.

For instance, in soccer, the bookmakers generally set 2.5 goals as the betting line, and participants have to pick over 2.5 goals (Meaning 3 or more goals) or under 2.5 goals (which can mean no score, 1 goal or 2 goals). The lines and terms are slightly different in each sport. In NBA, extra time also counts for this bet, and it is possible to have a push and get your stake back. Nevertheless, some bookies do not count the extra time especially for European basketball games. Hence, make sure you read the rules of a bookmaker carefully rather than jumping to conclusions.

Over/under betting is not necessarily simple as it sounds. You need to make plenty of considerations before you decide to play at all. The over/under sportsbooks publish are based on plenty of investigation. Handicappers break down team defenses, offenses and club matchups. If you compare different over/under bets at several sportsbooks, you will notice that they are very similar. The handicappers try to get as close as they can to the total points, and make it tough for you to pick the winning side of the wager. To get it right, you need to do your homework. Rather than betting over/under on every opportunity that presents itself, make a reasonable determination and select the games that provide you with the clearest choices.