“Sports betting” is the activity of predicting the outcome of sports games by
making a wager on the results of a sporting event. The legality of sports betting
tends to vary from country to country. In the United States, for example, “sports
betting” is only legal in casinos in Nevada, while in many European countries
sports gambling is legal though highly regulated. Sports betting is generally
regarded as a hobby for fans of sports, increasing their interest in particular
sporting events which can benefit the teams, the leagues and the players by
creating higher attendance levels to the actual games, and larger television
audiences.
Aside from the simplest wages, most sports betting is done through a book
maker. There are legal sports bookmakers all over the world, and in the United
States they can be found in Las Vegas. There are also opportunities for online
sports betting, although there is some ambiguity attached seeing as the
bookmakers or “bookies” are generally operating outside of the country and
there are some unresolved legal issues surrounding whether foreign bookmakers
should accept bets from the United States.
Bookmakers earn commission known as the vig or the take. by regarding the money at
risk as less than the amount of the bet that was placed A common line is a $110
bet placed on a fair coin, paying $210 to win and $0 to lose. On this line, it will
cost the bettor $220 in order to bet both sides of the same coin at the same
time, but the combined bet will always pay out $210. The $10 loss is constituted
by the vig.

Bookmakers traditionally offer two different types of wagers on the winner of a
sporting event, straight up or money line bets, and point spread wagers. Money
lines and straight up bet prices are generally used to set the odds on events
such as association football, hockey and baseball, individual vs. individual
matches like boxing, and so on.
For these sports, straight up odds are usually offered by bookmakers in Europe
and Asia. These bets are quoted based on a payout for a single unit, such as a 2
to 1 favorite for example, that would be listed at a price of 1.50, whereas an
underdog that returns twice the amount wagered would be listed at the price of
3.00.
American bookmakers are much more likely to use money lines, which tend to
be quoted in terms of the amount that is required to win $100 on a favorite, or
the amount that is paid for a $100 bet that is placed on an underdog. The
amount that is won in a bet like this is the net amount over and above the
amount of the initial bet. If a person happens to win $200 dollars on a bet of
$100 dollars, then the bookmaker will actually pay $300 to the winner, which is
the $200 dollars plus the initial bet amount of $100.
Bookmakers may use a dime line with money lines as a way to calculate the
vig that they will receive on any wager that is losing.
Unlike with point spread bets, money line wagers require only that the team that
is being wagered upon wins the match. In sports like baseball, where there are
specific teams that can be heavy favorites against opponents that are
considered to be weaker, sometimes by as much as -350 or more, the money
line system normally requires that hefty sums be risks on the favorite team
while enticing the underdog players with a higher potential payout.

In sports like American football or basketball, betting on the point spread is a
much more popular option, though money line odds are also typically offered.
Point spread wagers typically require that bettors risk $110 in order to win $100
because the extra $10 goes to the bookie’s vig should the wager lose.
However, bettors who back the favorite team can only connect if their team
should happen to win by more than a specific margin, which is set when the bet
is originally placed.
This bet is known as covering the spread. Underdog bettors can collect even if
their team should happen to lose, but only if they win against the spread by
losing by fewer points than what the bookmaker originally quoted. For example,
if a college football game between two teams has a 27 point favorite, the
favorite bettor only wins if the favorite team wins by 27 or more, and the
underdog only wins if the underdog team loses by less than 27 points.
Another common wager that is available for many types of sporting events
involves the prediction of the combined total score between both of the
competing teams in a game. Such a wager is known either as a “totals” bet or
an “over/unders” bet. So let us say for example that a football game has a total
of 55 points. A bettor could wager that both teams will combine for more than
55 points, playing the “over”, or he could predict that the score will fall under
this amount, playing the “under”. Bookmakers tend to set the totals at numbers
involving half points, such as 55.5, in order to reduce the possibility of a push.
There are also a number of other types of alternative bets that bookmakers may
or may not be willing to offer –
– Proposition Bets – These are wagers that are placed on very specific outcomes
of matches. For example, guessing how many goals a soccer team scores in a

particular match, or betting whether a wide receiver in a particular football game
will net more or less than a specific total yardage total. Another example is if
you were to wager that a baseball player from one team would accumulate more
hits than a player from the opposing team.
– Parlay Bets – Parlays involve multiple bets, with as many as twelve in some
circumstances, rewarding successful bettors with very large payouts. Bettors
could include four different wagers in four team parlays for example, where
the bettor is wagering that all four of the bets will win. If any of the four bets
fail to cover, then the bettor will lose the entire parlay, but if all four of the
bets win, then the bettor receives a payout that is substantially higher,
sometimes even 10 – 1.
– Teaser Bets – Teaser bets allow the bettor to combine bets on two or more
different games together. He can adjust the point spread for both games, but
in the event of a win he will realize a much lower return.
– Run Line, Goal Line, Puck Line Bets – These are wagers that are offered as an
alternative to straight up or money line prices for baseball, soccer or hockey
respectively. These bets feature a point spread that is fixed, offering a higher
payout for favorites and lower payouts for underdogs.
– Future Wagers – these bets predict a future accomplishment by a player or a
team. For example, one might bet that a certain team will win the National
Football League’s Super Bowl in the upcoming season. The odds for bets like
these are generally expressed in a ratio of units paid to those that are wagered.