What is sports betting and how does it work?
You’ve probably dipped a nose into the waters of sports betting whether you’ve ever played in a props pool for “The Big Game” or a college football pick’em tournament. Legalized sports betting in the United States is now free and affordable to every state that wishes to sell it, thanks to the Supreme Court’s repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in May 2018.
In 1949, Nevada turf clubs started accepting wagers on the four major professional sports. Legalized sports betting has now expanded from betting parlors to casinos, the internet, and mobile apps. You’re still not restricted to the four main professional sports any more. Betting on everything from college football and basketball to cricket, golf, car racing, and international soccer is now accepted by the majority of bookmakers.
Moneyline bets, spread bets, totals bets, futures bets, and parlay bets are the five basic categories of sports betting wagers. We’ll get into what any of these terms means in a moment.
How do you place online sports bets?
Online sports betting regulations differ from state to state and each state sets its own laws. For example, regardless of whether you are a Nevada native, you can place sports bets anywhere in the state, but your account must first be established and sponsored at a brick-and-mortar sports book. Oregon currently only has one online sports betting application, which is operated by the state lottery. While Delaware was the first state outside of Nevada to offer sports betting, it does not currently offer online betting.
It’s important to understand what the state and neighboring states have to do, as well as what bills are currently being considered. Are you interested in finding out more about sports betting in your state? For more detail, see our ‘Where is Sports Betting Legal?’ guide.
What is the betting line?
When you bet on the moneyline, all your team has to do is win the game. There aren’t any point spreads in this game. On a $100 scale, moneyline bets are shown with a minus in front of the favorite’s number and a plus in front of the underdog’s number.
If you want to bet on the favorite on the moneyline, you’ll need to lay the amount in order to win $100. If you bet on a -200 favorite, you must lay $200 in order to profit $100 and earn $300. If you bet on the loser, the number you see represents the money you will gain if you bet $100. You will lay $100 to profit $175 and collect $275 if you were to field a +175 underdog on the money line. Again, no point spreads are involved; you are actually choosing the game’s winner.
What does the term “over/under” imply?
You’re betting on the cumulative number of points all teams will earn in the game. In a professional baseball game, the average run total is about 9 runs. The average point count in professional basketball is around 210. The average number of goals scored in a professional hockey game is about six. The average pro football total is in the mid-to-upper 40s. You’re betting on whether the cumulative amount of points earned by all teams in the game would go above or under that number.