The Most Common Types of Bets in Popular Sports

Sports betting is an exciting way to engage with your favorite sports and make money from your predictions. However, if you are a new bettor, you may be confused by the wide range of betting options available on online gambling websites. Understanding the various types of bets is critical for choosing the ideal betting strategy and increasing your chances of placing winning bets. In this article, we’ll look at the most popular wagers in major sports, such as football, hockey, cricket, and basketball, to explain how they work and help you make informed betting decisions.

Moneyline Bet

A moneyline bet is a type of bet in which you wager on the outright winner of a game. In this case, the player only needs to predict who will win a particular sporting event and need not worry about the winning margin. The team favored to win is known as the favorite, while the team believed to be less likely to win is referred to as the underdog. For example, if you think LA Galaxy will beat Atlanta United in a football match, you can make a straight bet on LA Galaxy. If the match ends in favor of LA Galaxy, you win the bet; if it ends in a draw or a loss for your pick, you lose. Moneyline bets can be very rewarding if you know how to spot upsets and take advantage of underdog odds.

Spread (Handicap) Bet 

Another common type of sports bet is a spread bet, also called a handicap bet. In spread betting, the player predicts the difference between the scores of both teams. The spread can be about the number of goals, points, runs, and more, depending on the sport. The match favorite gets a negative spread, while the underdog receives a positive spread. To win, your selection needs to win (or at least not lose) by the number attached to the spread. For example, let’s say an NHL game reads New York Rangers (-2.5) and Buffalo Sabres (+2.5). If you choose to “take” the spread (bet on the underdog), you will win if the Buffalo Sabres prevail or lose by less than three goals. Alternatively, you can bet against the spread by picking the favorite. In that case, the bet wins if the New York Rangers beat the Buffalo Sabres by three or more goals.

Total (Over and Under) Bet

A total bet, also known as an over and under bet, is a great betting option to consider if you are unsure of the possible outcome of a sporting event. This type of bet focuses on the total number of points, runs, or goals scored in a game rather than the final result. When you place an over or under bet, you’re predicting that the combined score of both teams will be higher (over) or lower (under) than the total set by the bookmakers. Let’s say you bet on over 200 points for an NBA game between the Celtics and Mavericks. The wager wins if the total points at the end of the match are above 200 and loses if it’s 200 or below.

Proposition Bet

A proposition bet, or props bet for short, is when you wager on the occurrence or non-occurrence of a certain sporting event that does not directly affect the final outcome. In other words, the bettor predicts whether a specific event will happen or not happen during a game. For example, you can place a bet on which player will score the first basket in an NBA game, hit a home run in an MLB match, or score the first touchdown in the Super Bowl. A props bet is an excellent option to consider when you don’t know how a sports event will end. 

Futures Bet

This is a type of bet where you wager on the outcome of an event or tournament that’s taking place in the future. Instead of predicting the result of a particular match, winning margin, or other options, you simply bet on who the eventual winner of the entire tournament or event will be. Futures bets are usually made in advance and could be placed almost a year before the event begins. A good example of a futures bet is who will win the World Series, Super Bowl, the UEFA Champions League, or even the next US presidential election. 

Parlay Bet

Also known as a combo or accumulator bet, a parlay bet combines two or more wagers in one single bet. In this case, you need to correctly predict the outcome of each bet in the parlay to win. For example, if you bet on Team A to win, Team B to lose, and Team C to draw their respective football matches, all your predictions must come true to win. You lose the bet, even if only one of your selections fails. While parlays offer bigger payouts, they also carry the biggest risk, as there’s no margin for error.


There is a diverse range of options you can consider as a sports bettor – and the best one to choose will depend on your betting style, preferences, and knowledge of the game. We recommend extensively researching each of the betting options mentioned above to determine which is ideal for you. You may also want to look for online gambling websites where you can find offers similar to a $200 no deposit bonus. This will allow you to try out different bet types and strategies risk-free before putting real money on the line.

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