Sports Betting 101 – Understanding Odds and Betting Types

sports betting

Sports betting is a popular activity around the world, with wagers placed on a variety of different sports and events. It is one of the fastest-growing entertainment markets, and is now legal in many states. But for new sports bettors, understanding the basics can seem like a daunting task, especially when it comes to odds and betting types.

Odds (aka moneylines)

The first step to learning how to bet on sports is understanding how odds work. The odds are a key factor in any sports betting strategy, as they determine how much you stand to win. There are three major types of odds: American, decimal and fractional.

Moneyline bets

A moneyline bet is the most common type of sports wager, where you place a bet on a team or event to win. You can also place bets on totals, which are a combination of runs/goals/points that both teams will score in a game or event.

Bettors can also wager on futures, which are bets on the outcome of a specific sporting event in the future. These can include league championships, MVP awards, total points scored by a team, and more.

Developing a sense for value bets

A key component to any successful sports bettor is finding a value bet. While there are many factors that contribute to a bet’s price, a strong sense for value can make a big difference in your winnings.

The best way to develop a sense for value bets is to focus on a specific sport, league or tournament that you have experience with and are familiar with. You can then build on that knowledge when you expand your horizons to other areas.


Bookmakers are the middleman between the sport and the bettors, taking a cut of the action and dividing it up. They are the ones who set odds, and they use their vast experience to create a line that is difficult for most bettors to replicate with similar accuracy.

Using odds to your advantage

If you have the ability to spot a team or player with hot and cold streaks, you can often bet on them more quickly than the bookmaker’s lines. These streaks can be the difference between a huge win and a huge loss, so it’s important to pay attention to them when you’re betting on a particular matchup.

In-play betting

In-play betting is a form of sports betting that’s becoming more and more popular because it allows you to place multiple bets in a single game or event. This allows you to take your chances on more teams than ever before, which can result in bigger profits if the outcome goes your way.

Ultimately, sports betting is a fun and exciting way to enjoy the excitement of any sporting event. It is a great source of entertainment for all, but it can also be profitable for those who are willing to put in the time and effort to learn how to bet on sports.