Sports bet types explained

Here we go over the most common sports bet types. Points spread and asian handicaps have their own page.

  1. Money line
  2. Draw no bet
  3. Totals over/under
  4. Futures markets for tournament or season winner

Money line

Money line, also called head to head, match odds or 2 way is simply betting on the outcome of a game. Will the home team win or will the away team win?

In some sports the option of a draw is also included which is sometimes referred to as a 3 way or 1X2.

Draw no bet

A draw no bet market is betting on the result of a game by choosing which team will win. If there is a draw the bet is canceled and your stake is refunded.

Draw no bet is a popular option for games like soccer and cricket where draws are common but this bet type is not offered on games like basketball or baseball where there can be no draw.

Totals over/under

Totals over/under, with “over/under” sometime written as “+/-“,  is betting whether the total amount of points scored in a game will be over or under a number. For example, in an NBA game will there be over 191.5 points scored or under 191.5 points scored?

This can be an exciting bet because it keeps the interest going right till the end of the game even if the game is not close.

You will normally be betting over or under a number of points and .5 to eliminate the possibility of a draw. If a sportsbook took bets on over or under 191 points being scored and exactly 191 points were scored they would have to refund all the bets, this is called a “push”. But there can never be 191.5 points scored. The .5 is called the hook.

Because the over/under total points number usually represents the market’s view of exactly how many points will be scored the odds for over and under are usually 50:50 or pick’em. That is to say the same for over as for under, for example

Bet selection Odds
Over 191.5 points 1.95
Under 19.5 points 1.95

The same bet type can work for over/under anything you can count, not just the score. For example will there be over or under 4.5 quarterback sacks in an NFL game.

Futures markets for tournament or season winner

Futures refers to betting on the overall winner of a season or tournament. New bettors are attracted to these markets because they provide interest for the duration of the season and people think there would be less variance because although the best team can lose on any given day over the course of a season the cream should rise to the top.

This is a classic rookie mistake. If you think a selection will win something that involves them winning a number of individual games you are better off to back them in individual games with a staking plan. Futures markets have higher sportsbook’s overround which means less value for you.

If you are right about that team being the eventual champions you have found an edge. Betting on individual games gives you more chances to take advantage of your edge and to apply a staking plan to it.

This is true for leagues as well as knock out tournaments like the FIFA World Cup or a tennis grand slam. The same applies for “Tournament Goals Per Team” or “Total Tournament Red Cards” or any futures bet type of that kind where you can bet on the same thing in individual games.

Have fun betting, be champions!

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