Sportsbetting FAQ – Get your questions answered

Online sports betting is a lot of fun, but can be confusing for new bettors or bettors who aren’t familiar with all of the terminology that exists out there. For bettors looking to learn about sports betting, or just looking for a refresher on their terminology, this set of Frequently Asked Questions is here to help. Whether you want to learn about common types of sports bets or more exotic wagers, odds are that you will be a better bettor by consulting these FAQ. In detail you will read more about various betting strategies, such as: Against the spread, Moneyline, Buying points, Future betting and Over/Under. If you want to be fully prepared for your next bet, make sure you don´t skip my article that start`s with a table that shows different sportsbooks.

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What is betting against the spread?

Betting against the spread (ATS) is one of the most common forms of wagering. It involves a bettor choosing which team will win a match, only with a twist. Instead of simply having to pick the team that is going to win a game, the bettor also has to factor in a point spread. The point spread is a handicap applied to either team, either in the form of subtracting points from a favorite’s point total or by adding them to an underdog’s total. The bigger the spread, the more points a favorite has to win by to beat the number, and the more points the underdog can afford to lose by.

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What is a betting line?

A betting line or just line, as they are called for short, refers to the set of odds that are available for a given betting market. Whether you are betting on a point spread or any other type of bet, there will be a betting line for you to choose from. Betting lines typically consist of a favorite and an underdog, unless both sides are deemed equal. The goal for sports bettors is to place winning bets on those betting lines to generate profits, which is often done by finding betting lines where one side is overrated or underrated.

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What does buying points mean?

Buying points is a practice that is often done in point spread betting. This occurs when a bettor sees a point spread wager they are interested in, but wants to add a point or two more to their side to give themselves a better chance to win the bet. As a result, the wager will have slightly less profitable odds than it would if the bettor had just wagered on the spread that was given to the game by the oddsmakers. But finding a balance between a more favorable point spread and the most profitable odds is what those who buy points must do.

What is a cover bet?

For point spread bettors, the ultimate goal is to cover the spread. A cover bet refers to a bettor simply winning a point spread wager. Sports betting is fun win or lose, but all bettors go into it with the intention of winning as many bets as possible, which is why the act of covering is seen as so appealing. Someone who is proficient at covering the spread with their point spread bets is typically profitable, as long as they can cover the spread often enough to offset any losing wagers that they incur. Losing bets are a reality of sports betting as well, as even the best bettors in the world cover the spread between 55-60% of the time.

What is a future bet?

For those who see sports betting as a long term investment rather than a short term one, futures betting is a good way to drive that point home. A future bet asks bettors to pick who is going to win a specific league or competition, with the winner often not being determined until the end of the season in a sport.

These bets have the potential to offer huge profits if a bettor is willing to think outside the box and the team they back wins the wager. Of course, some bettors do not wish to have their funds tied up for the duration of a season, but those who don’t mind that might want to consider futures betting. A future bet is sometimes referred to as outright bet and here is an example.

Winning team NBA season 2019/2020Odds
Los Angeles Lakers+360
Milwaukee Bucks+600
Toronto Raptors+700
Houston Rockets+900

Information about in play betting

Live betting is a sports betting product that has really taken hold in the age of online sports betting, as in-play odds could be updated in the middle of a match on the internet. What happens with in play betting is that the odds for a match are changed to reflect whatever is happening on the field during a game. These bets are usually ripe for finding value, as bettors tend to overrate what has happened to that point in the game, allowing bettors to bet on things returning to normal later in the contest.

What does laying the points mean?

Laying the points is the act of betting the favorite in a point spread betting market. Betting on favorites in point spread markets can be somewhat tricky, as it’s human nature to assume that the team that is favored will go on to cover the spread in many cases.

However, bettors should always consider all of the factors that go into a game before betting against the spread. Sometimes a favorite does not have a great matchup going into a game, or they may be dealing with injuries that could make laying the points a tough proposition.

What is moneyline betting?

As opposed to spread betting, where the goal is to pick who is going to win the game when a handicap is applied to either side of the action, moneyline betting consists of answering a much simpler question. Moneyline betting is simply about which team will win the game.

In some sports like soccer, there is also the possibility that a game ends in a draw, but most sports see moneyline bets that can only go one of two ways. For bettors who don’t want to navigate the point spread, moneylines may be the way to go and here is an example of the attractive moneyline betting odds.

Golden State Warriorsvs.Los Angeles Lakers

What is an over/under or total?

You may hear about the over/under or the total when consuming sports content, but wonder what it means. Well, the over/under (total) bet is one where a bettor has to decide if the total for a team or for both teams combined will go over or stay under a predetermined number set in the betting line for a game.

There are a lot of factors that go into betting on totals, such as the pace at which the two teams play and what kind of matchup advantages or disadvantages exist for each squad. The following table shows an example of over/under odds in the context of a soccer game. The question is whether or not two or more goals will be scored.

Total goalsOver 2,5Under 2,5

What you need to know about parlay betting

The idea of the parlay bet leading to a huge payout is one that is romanticized throughout the sports betting world. Parlay betting is where a bettor can combine multiple selections into one wager, with additional selections making the odds more profitable for the ticket as a whole. Naturally, it is harder to pick all of a five game ticket completely correctly than it is to pick one game correctly. Therefore, the odds are higher in a parlay.

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What is point spread betting?

Point spread betting is the same as betting against the spread, where bettors are tasked with picking the winner of an event with a point handicap applied to the side that they select. When point spread betting, critical thinking is so important, as bettors need to analyze why a point spread is where it is and what types of scenarios that can play out to both help and hurt whichever side of the spread they end up betting. This is why point spread betting is often thought of as the true test of a handicapper’s abilities.

What is a sports betting push?

Similar to a tie in a sport like soccer or hockey, a push is when a bet doesn’t win or lose. This can happen in point spread bets when the margin of victory for the winner is equal to the point spread, or the amount of points scored in a game is exactly the same as the total that was offered. A sports betting push isn’t as satisfying as wins, of course, but they do mean that the bettor gets their original wager amount returned to them, which they can then use as they please.

What is a teaser bet?

A teaser is similar to a parlay, where bettors can choose a number of bets to add to their ticket with the hopes of winning all of them to cash the ticket. The difference between a parlay and a teaser, though, is the fact that a teaser bet allows bettors to add or subtract points from a spread or total to make them more favorable. An underdog, for example, will have more points added to their handicap, while favorites would have fewer points to overcome against the spread. The odds for a teaser ticket are less profitable than those of a parlay, due to the higher probability of winning the bets.

What is vig or juice?

Vig or juice is what bettors have to pay when they place a bet, which serves as something of a commission for the sportsbook. Even when things are considered equal on both sides, bettors still have to pay a little more than even odds to allow the sportsbook to take a cut of the action on both sides. As a result, bettors are required to win more than 50% of their wagers to break even when betting on spreads and totals.

What are sports prop bets?

Sports prop bets are a fun way to get more involved in betting on games that a bettor cares about. Rather than the typical spread, moneyline, and totals bets, prop bets cover an immense number of different topics and can range from individual performance questions to wacky and bizarre bets on things announcers will say during a game. These add to the number of options bettors have to choose from in a big way and here are some examples in the context of the super bowl.

Who will the Super Bowl MVP mention first in his speech?Odds
Family or Family members400

What is an odds boost?

Sports betting is all about finding value to make bets more profitable in the long run, and one of the many things that can help make bets more profitable over time is the odds boost. An odds boost is when a sportsbook offers enhanced odds on an event or a group of events, with those enhanced odds paying out more than those bets normally would. Bettors should read the terms and conditions for boosted odds, but these offers are typically great for building a bankroll.

Short summary

As a whole, sports betting is not as difficult as all of the terminology surrounding it makes it seem. If you remember the answers to these Frequently Asked Questions (faq), you will have a better understanding of sports betting (which I have discussed on the this page and will be able to use that understanding to generate more money and higher profits throughout your time betting on sports.

James Cooper, Editor-in-Chief
This page helps you if you have any questions with regards to sports betting. We covered the most important bets so you can focus on what´s important.

James Cooper, Editor-in-chief

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