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Types of Bets

Sports Betting Options: Different Types of Bets

By Loot, Sports Handicapper,

Sides: The term “sides” refers to sports bets where there are two choices, whether it be two teams or two fighters. In all games or matches in sports, there are two choices. Picking one is referred to in sports betting as a “side.” Naturally, picking “sides” is the most popular form of sports betting. A “side” can be expressed in one of two ways--a point-spread or a money line. Here is an example of each:

New York Giants (-4) vs. Carolina Panthers (+4): In this example, you pick a side on the point-spread. For a bet on the Giants to win at -4, they must win by more than 4 points. A bet on the Panthers can win if they win the game or lose by under 4 points. You see point-spread wagers like this in football and basketball.

Los Angeles Dodgers (+140) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (-150): This is a money line wager. There are no point-spread concerns. The “side” you pick merely needs to win for you to collect, but instead of a point-spread, you have odds. The Dodgers at +140 means they are the underdog and if you bet $100, you win $140. With St. Louis, the favorite, you would need to bet $150 in order to win $100. Money line bets are standard in picking “sides” in baseball, boxing, and MMA.

Totals: A “total” is also known as an over/under bet, where you merely bet if the total combined score of both teams will be “under” or “over” the posted total. The book puts a total on a game and you make your decision. Here is an example:

San Diego Chargers vs Miami Dolphins
Over 45.5 (-110)
Under 45.5 (-110)

In the above example, the total is 45.5. For an over bet to be a winner, both teams would score a combined number of points that exceeds 45.5 and those who make an under bet would be hoping the total score was under 45.5. Generally, you will be betting $110 for every $100 you hope to win, though a little research can help you get a better price.


Parlays: Parlays are when you pick multiple sides or totals and put them on the same bet. In order for a parlay to be a successful wager, all of your bets must win. It’s harder to do, but the payouts are pretty big. On a parlay, you can choose anywhere from 2 sides or totals all the way up to 15 sides or totals.

Teasers: Similar to parlays, being that you pick multiple sides or totals and they all need to win for you to be successful. The one perk that gives the teaser appeal is that you are able to move the point-spread in your favor. It pays much less than a parlay, as you will pay for the privilege of moving the point-spread in your favor. Nowadays, there are so many different teasers, you can move the points by virtually any number you choose. Teasers are only available in basketball and football.

Pleasers: A teaser of sorts, except more of the daredevil variety. With pleasers, you move the points against you, as opposed to in your favor. The payouts can be gigantic, but it’s hard enough to win multiple games with just the normal point-spread. Moving it 7 points, for example, against you makes hitting multiple sides or totals downright difficult.

Prop Bets: A sporting event has many details within it and prop bets are wagers that focus on those things. In baseball, it might be which pitcher will have the most strikeouts. In basketball, a prop bet could be whether a player scores a certain number of points. In a football game, a prop bet could be something like which quarterback will throw for the most yards.

First Half Bets: A lot of bettors will often have a better read on the first half than the whole game. And all of us have surely wished our bets ended at halftime before. First half betting allows you to pick a side or total with the first half of play being the only relevant action and the second half not counting towards your bet.

Second Half Bets: In second half betting, your action is restricted to the final half of play. These bets are made during the halftime period, meaning that the window in which you have to act is short. Nothing that happened in the first half counts toward your bet.

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