In sports betting you will often come across terms such as ‘plus/minus’, ‘over/under’ and ‘moneyline’ that can be a little overwhelming.
In general, ‘1-to-1′ betting means that you will stake either 1 dollar or 1 euro on each outcome.
Some books will even give you a rule of thumb on how to use this type of bet.
For example, if you have determined that the spread between two teams is 3 points, you can bet on either the New York Jets and the Chicago Bears to win the game with the following guidelines:
- Bet on the underdogs. The over/under usually helps you here.
- If you win, you will win 1 dollar. If you lose, you will lose 1 dollar.
- If the game goes over you will get your money back (plus a little bit).
- This is a good bet for players who like to stay in the game.
- For those who wager a little less than 1 dollar to 1 dollar, you can use the moneyline (the ‘Moneyline’ bet).
While this might seem like a lot of information to take in at once, once you get used to it you will wonder why you didn’t do this sooner.
It is a very good idea to learn the terms used in betting, but above all, it is important to understand what they mean and how to make the most of them.
The spread is the amount of points that will separate the two teams in the match.
For example, if the spread is 5 points, you will need to stake $5 or €5 to win $1.
The advantage of using the spread is that you will always know how much you have to stake, regardless of whether the team you are supporting is a big underdog or a big favorite.
In some instances you might also get a free bet if the spread is large enough (usually bigger than 7 points).
The disadvantage is that if the spread is small enough (usually smaller than 3 points), you will be losing a lot of money.
In addition, many sportsbooks will not offer much in the way of value on small spreads.
For instance, if the spread is 3 points, you will be better off using ‘1-to-1′ bets or the over/under method.
Whether you are backing a team or an individual player, odds are you will come across the over/under somewhere in your studies of sports betting.
This is a betting method where you will stake either 1 dollar or 1 euro on whether the score of the game will be higher or lower than a certain mark.
For example, if the over/under is 49 goals, you will need to stake $1 or €1 to win $1.
If the over/under is 48 goals, you win $1.
In case the score is exactly as predicted, you lose your money ($1 or €1).
If the score is less than what was predicted, you lose your money.
If the score is more than what was predicted, you win your money.
The advantage of the over/under is that it is easy to use and understand.
Many people new to sports betting will find it easier to use than the other betting methods mentioned so far.
In general, over/under betting is used where the odds of one team being better than the other are not available.
For instance, if there is a small window for a football game and you do not want to bet on the spread, you can use the over/under.
Another advantage of the over/under is that, since it is a parlay bet (multiple outcomes), you can put a limit on how much you are willing to lose.
Say you decide to bet $10 on three basketball games and the over/under for each game is 150 points, you will only need to lose $30 in total to break even – your $10 will cover the $30 loss from all three games.
In this way, the over/under limits your losses. While this seems like a good idea, keep in mind that it also limits your wins.
The disadvantage of the over/under is that, like the spread bet, if the over/under is small enough (usually smaller than 7 points) you will lose a lot of money.
Also, since it is a combination bet (multiple outcomes) it is more complex than the simple moneyline bet.
If you are looking for an easy way to bet on sports, the over/under is a great option.
However, if you are looking for value or need help understanding all the various betting methods, use the moneyline.
Straight up betting is when you bet on the outcome of a game without taking into account who you think the winner will be.
For instance, if the game is between the New York Jets and the Chicago Bears and you think the final score will be 42-40 in favor of the Bears, you can put $5 on the Bears to win outright.
If the game ends up being closer than forecast you will lose your stake, although you will get back half of it (the other half goes to the opposing team).
The advantage of the straight up is that you do not need to look up the odds of the game.
You do not need to search for a number that will tell you how much you should stake.
As a result, this is the easiest method to use if you are looking for a way to bet on sports.
The disadvantage of the straight up is that if you are backing an underdog you will never know if you are going to win or lose money.
You might simply bet on the favorite and end up winning. This is why it is not advised that you use the straight up when backing an underdog – it is always good to back a winner.
Another disadvantage of the straight up bet is that if the game ends up being close, you might stake more than you want to win.
In case of a lopsided game (one team is way ahead of the other), you will lose a lot of money.
For example, if you bet $100 on the San Francisco 49ers and they win by 23 points, you will lose your $100 bet, even though the 49ers are a favorite in this example.
This is because the spread will be so large that you will not be able to beat the odds.
Finally, keep in mind that since the straight up is a parlay bet (multiple outcomes) it is more complex than the simple moneyline bet.
If you want to make the most of this method you will need to learn to calculate the parlay bet – chances are you will not do this by heart!
In multiple-outcome bets you will find the term ‘Combinations’.
For example, if you are backing a team in the World Cup and you decide that you are going to bet on the result of the quarterfinals, you will need to stake $10 for each of the next games you bet on.
To make the most of this method you need to have a specific strategy in mind when placing your bets.
Let us say that you decide to bet on the result of the match between Portugal and Spain in the World Cup.
Spain will be a big favorite in this game, so you might want to avoid placing a bet on Portugal – it is not worth it in this case.
However, if you want to diversify your bets and take a chance on Portugal, you might want to bet on both games together (Portugal against Spain and Nigeria against Croatia).
In this way, you will get the best of both worlds: you will be betting on a large favorite (Spain in this case) and will also be increasing the odd on Portugal.
If you are looking for an easy way to make money in sports betting, the combinations are a great option.
However, if you need help understanding the various betting methods or need value help, use the moneyline.
Keep in mind that, like the other parlay bets (the vertical and the horizontal), the combinations also become more complex as you combine more outcomes together – something to chew on if you are looking to use this method to its fullest potential!