Sportsbetting 101

Sportsbetting is a fun and rewarding way to enjoy your favorite sporting events. It is not without risk, however, and it’s important to understand how different wager types work before placing your bets. Moneylines, spreads and totals are the three main types of bets.

A moneyline is a simple bet on which team you think will win a game. You’ll often see odds like -150, which means the favored team has a 60% chance of winning. A spread, or handicap, is used to make uneven games more interesting by forcing the bettor to decide how much stronger one team is than the other. For example, a line might say the favorite is -14 points against the underdog, which forces the bettor to bet more than they would on a straight bet.

Totals, also known as over/under bets, pay off based on the total number of points scored by competing teams. These bets are popular because they don’t require a specific side to win and can pay off if the game ends with a high or low score, respectively.

Props, or proposition bets, are any wagers that don’t fit into the categories of moneylines, spreads and totals. These bets typically have a higher payout than standard wagers, but they come with a bit of a learning curve. Some props are based on player performance, but others are more general in nature and may even involve something that isn’t shown in the boxscore (like how many TD passes Joe Burrow makes). Regardless of the type of bet, it’s important to shop around for the best lines, as the odds vary among sportsbooks.