Betting Odds Explained

There are numerous options available when it comes to wagering money on an event with a sportsbook, but it’s not always easy for new bettors to understand the different betting odds and options available. This article will look to explain some of the more popular options.

Moneyline Betting Explained

Moneyline betting is a simple straight bet on who wins any given game, irrespective of the score or margin of victory.

For example:

  • If a bettor was to bet on a team whose Moneyline was +150, they would win $150 for every $100 bet if their bet were to win.
  • If the Moneyline odds were -150, they would need to stake $150 to win $100 if their bet were to win.

Many new bettors will find it confusing when differentiating between Moneyline vs Spread (abbreviation for ‘Point Spread’) or Run Line vs Moneyline, etc. The Run Line is a combination of the Point Spread and Moneyline in baseball). We will cover these later in this article.


Point Spread Betting Explained

Point Spread betting or Puck Line (hockey) or Run Line (baseball) betting is where the sportsbook decides on a theoretical margin of victory for the favorite that will make either team an attractive betting proposition.

With a Point Spread bet, your selection has to win by more than a specified score (or lose by less than a specified score) for it to win.

NFL Point Spread Example

For example, in an NFL Point Spread, were you to select the New England Patriots -3.0 against the Los Angeles Rams, the Patriots must win the game by more than 3 points for your bet to win.

Were you to select the Los Angeles Rams +3.0, then the Rams must win the game or, if they lose, they must only lose by less than 3 points for your bet to win.

If the score of the game ends with a difference of points that is equal to the Point Spread (which in the above example would equate to the Patriots winning the game by a margin of exactly three points), your selection will be marked as a void/push and all stakes are refunded.

Run Line in Baseball Betting

In baseball, the Run Line is set at 1.5. With a 1.5 Run Line the bettor will be able to place a wager on the favoured team to win by two runs or more, or the underdog team to lose by one run or to win the game.

Point Spread betting shouldn’t be confused with Proline Point Spread betting. In Proline Point Spread betting, the bettor has to predict the outcome of at least two events in the same sport. There is no such minimum requirement or limitations when using online bookmakers. With Proline the only sports you can have a Point Spread on are pro football, college football, pro basketball, college basketball, baseball and hockey.

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Over/Under Betting Explained

Totals, or ‘Over/Under’ betting is a bet on the total points or goals scored in a game, irrespective of who wins or who loses.

For example, in an NBA game, the sportsbook may have decided that the Total Points scored in the game will be 220. If the bettor thinks there will be more than 220 points scored in the game, they would bet on the Over.

If the bettor thinks there will be less than 220 points in the game they would bet on the Under. If the Total Points scored is exactly 220, then the bet is deemed a push and all bets would be voided and the stakes returned.

The odds on the above bets might be something like -110 (1.91 in decimal betting) for both Over 220 points and Under 220 points, meaning that the bettor would need to bet $110 on their preferred option in order to win $100 should they be correct with their prediction.

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Parlay Betting Explained

A parlay (or combination or accumulator) bet is a bet on more than one selection (two selections, three selections, etc) in which the winnings from one selection are then rolled onto the next. All the selections in the parlay must win for the parlay to win.

The big attraction for bettors of a parlay bet is that it’s possible to win big for relatively small stakes, although the more selections and the bigger the odds you include in your parlay, the more difficult it is to win.

A simple example of parlay bet would be $1 on a Treble bet at odds of -110, -110 and +110 (-110 x -110 x +110 or in decimal betting terms 1.91 x 1.91 x 2.10) . In this instance, for a $1.00 bet, your return would be $7.65.

Parlay bets are not allowed in related events. A related event is where the outcome of one selection in the parlay contributes is some form to the outcome of another.

For some recreational bettors, selecting their picks and parlays to put them in can be a fun and low-cost way to enjoy following the sporting action over any given day, with the potential of it being highly lucrative too.

Prop Bets Explained

Prop bets or ‘proposition bets’ are bets made on an outcome or a proposition.  These can be anything from statistics in a particular game to possible outcomes in an event, such as which team will score first or last or if a certain film will win an Oscar.

Super Bowl prop bets are always hugely popular, with markets such as which player will score the first or last touchdown or who will win the MVP (‘Most Valuable Player’) award.

There are other events not directly linked to the game itself that can be bet on too, such as what colour clothing will the individual selected to sing the National Anthem be wearing, how many songs will be sung by the headline act at half-time, or what colour will the liquid be that is poured on the game winning Coach at the end of the game and even if there will be a streaker!

Almost any market you can envisage can be covered with a prop bet when it comes to major televised events.

Cash Out Betting Explained

With Cash Out, bettors have the option of being able to cash in early on their bet, whether their selection is winning or losing at the time, before the event in question has been completed.

It’s important to note that the option to cash out isn’t always available under certain circumstances or on specific bet types. All cash out odds are at the discretion of the sportsbook in question and the odds available at which the bettor can cash out will take into consideration a number of factors in the game.

Cash Out basically allows the bettor to either lock-in a winning bet if they are perhaps feeling uncertain that the team or player they have backed will win the game (perhaps due to an injury to a key player), or to cut their losses early if they see a game or event going against them.

Only single bets are eligible for Cash Out, so this option isn’t available for parlays.

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