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Sports Arbitrage (Homepage)Betting Advice & GuideTypes of Bets

Types of Bets

There are many types of bets, but the most common are: moneyline bets, spread bets, total bets, parlays, teasers and futures. In the beginning we will explain how to read betting lines and then we will deal with different types of bets.

Betting line

Betting line usually shows current odds or moneyline, point spread (handicap) and total for a particular event. For example we can have a line like this:

Example of Betting Line
Bet Number Team Moneyline Spread or Handicap Total Points
461 Bengals +150 +6 over 44
462 Patriots -170 -6 under 44

Sportsbooks can stuff a lot of numbers in a betting line and sometimes even don't indicate what they mean. When you learn what all these numbers mean you won't be confused any more.

The -170 and +150 are money lines which are used in moneyline bets.

The -6 and +6 are the point spread which are used in a spread bet.

The over 44 and under 44 are the total points which are used in the total bet.

The minus sign (-) always indicates the favorite. The plus sign (+) always indicates the underdog.

Moneyline betting

Money line bets are on the winner of the event. In the example the -170 for the Patriots means that you have to risk $170 to win $100. The moneyline on the Bengals is +150 which means that a $100 bet on the Bengals would win $150, if the Bengals win the game. Of course when you bet $100 on the money line bet and win $150, you will receive $250 on payout.

Spread betting or point spread betting

Spread bet is a bet on score difference between two opponents. In the example above the Patriots are favored to win by 6 points and that is marked with -6 next to their name. So you can make two spread bets: 1) that the Patriots will win by 7 or more points or 2) that the Bengals will lose by 5 or less points. If the Patriots win by exactly 6 points, then the spread bets would be a push and the initial stakes would be paid back to the bettors. Usually with a spread bet the bettor stakes $110 to win $100.

Total bet

These are bets on the number of points scored in the game by both teams combined, including points scored in the overtime. In the example above the bettor bets whether the total points between the Bengals and the Patriots will be over or under 44. Like in the spread betting the odds are -110, that means risk $110 to win $100.


The parlay is a bet on multiple sports events in which all teams must win or cover for the bettor to win and yield huge payout. If just one game doesn't win you lose the entire bet. If one or more games end push then these games are ignored. If you win all other games you get paid according to the games you won.

Teaser bet

A teaser is a special type of parlay in which the point spread on each game moves a particular number of points in the player's favor. Price of moving the point spread are lower odds.


Futures are bets on future events. At the beginning of the season, the bookmakers give odds for teams who will win the championship. Futures are really difficult type of bet just for wise guys.

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