Sports Betting PicksWhen wagering on sports a bookmaker or online sportsbook will offer various types of ways for you to make betting picks. Sports betting doesn't have to be confusing, so on this page we compiled the different types of bets you can make with the winning odds payouts for football, basketball and baseball.
Basic Wagering and Vigorish - With all bets, the sports book takes a vigorish (or "vig"), which is similar to a commission. The vig is usually around 4.5% or 5% on all money wagered, as long as bettors wager similar amounts on the favorite and underdog.
The vig for each type of sports wager is a little different. As one example, in a straight bet on one football or basketball game, bettors must wager $110 to receive a $100 profit. With equal wagering on both sides, the vig would be the $10 difference on the straight bet. For example, Bettor A wagers on the favorite with a 5-point spread in a football game and Bettor B wagers on the underdog. Both bettors wager $110, for a total of $220. The favorite wins the game by 7 points, and also wins "against the spread" (or ATS) by winning the game by a larger number than the point spread. Bettor A would collect $210 on his winning bet, with the $100 profit and the return of the $110 wagered. Bettor B would collect nothing. The vig is the $10 difference between the money wagered with the sports book and the payout made by the sports book.
Keep in mind that the vig only works for the sports book when wagers are almost equal on both teams. In the above example, if the total wagers on the favorite were $1,100 and the total wagers on the underdog were only $220, the sports book would pay out $2,100 and collect only $1,320, leaving a loss for the sports book.
Straight Bets - The straight bet is the most common type of sports wager, where the gambler simply bets on the team he thinks will win.
In football and basketball, the sports book accepting the wager will place a "point spread" on the game, where the favored team must win by more than the point spread to win the bet. If the underdog team wins the game or loses the game by less than the point spread, the underdog team wins the bet.
In sports without a point spread, such as baseball and boxing, the sports book places a "moneyline" on one team or individual. Bettors then must wager an amount equal to the money line on the favorite to win $100. To wager on the underdog, the gambler bets $100 to win an amount equal to the money line.
Totals - Football and basketball wagering may include a total line, which is equal to the total number of points the two teams will score in the game. Bettors then can wager that the two teams will combine to score "under" or "over" the total.
Parlays - A parlay bet is two or more single-game bets treated as one bet. To win the parlay, the bettor must wager correctly on every game in the parlay.
The lure of a parlay is greater payout odds with larger parlays. For example, a three-team parlay pays at about 6-to-1 odds.
Most sports books allow you to mix sports and types of bets within a parlay. Usually, if there is a "push" (where the game results exactly match the point spread or total) on one of the games in the parlay, that game is eliminated from the parlay as if it was never part of the bet. For example, a three-team parlay becomes a two-team parlay, if one of the games ends in a push.
Teasers and Pleasers - A teaser is a parlay where the bettor is allowed to move the point spread or total a certain number of points in his favor. In other words, the sports book gives the bettor extra points. For example, if you wager on an underdog with a point spread of 3 points, you could apply a 5-point teaser, and the bettor's team now would be an 8-point underdog, giving him a better chance of winning the bet. By receiving teasers, the payout odds drop. For example, a three-team parlay with teasers of 7 points for football would pay a little above 1-to-1.
A pleaser is the opposite of the teaser, where the bettor gives the sports book extra points, thereby increasing his payout odds. Citing the above example again, if you wager on an underdog of 3 points and apply a 5-point pleaser, the underdog would become a 2-point favorite. A three-team parlay with pleasers of 7 points for football would pay about 20-to-1.
Futures - With futures wagering, you can predict something that will happen well in the future, usually with betting odds. For example, you could wager before the season that Team A will win the Super Bowl and receive odds of 75-to-1. You only collect your winnings if Team A wins the Super Bowl a few months later. If Team A won zero games or lost in the Super Bowl, you would lose your bet in either scenario; there's no "partial" payout. Another type of futures sports wagering allows you to wager in the preseason that a team will win "over" or "under" a number of games set by the sports book.