Betting types are a lot like ice cream flavors – sure you can stick to straight wagers, but that’s like going to Ben and Jerry’s and always ordering vanilla. All major online sportsbooks will offer many bet types, ranging from Straight wagers to Exotics and Futures. Learning to master different betting types and taking advantage of favorable odds can be the difference between winning money and losing money.

Depending upon the event, there could be dozens of potential wagers to make, but if you don’t understand what you’re betting on, or how to take advantage of a favorable line, you might as well be handing your money over the bookmaker. Continue reading to learn all about odds.

Online Sports Betting Odds: How To Compare

In the world of online sports betting odds, there are leaders and there are followers. Certain sportsbooks post their odds based on their own formulas and research, just like the master Las Vegas oddsmakers.

However, some sportsbooks follow those books who post their own odds, and adjust them based on the action they receive. Regardless of the differences between how sportsbook set their odds, the odds work the same way on every site.

Moneyline vs Pointspread

By far the two most popular wager types, Moneylines and Point Spreads, are closely related. A Moneyline wager is a bet on who will win any given event, while a Point Spread wager is a bet on the margin of victory. For example, say there is a game featuring Team A and Team B. If you make a Moneyline wager on Team A, you are saying “I think Team A will win.

Period” If you however see that Point Spread of this game is Team A +/- “X points”, you are betting that Team A will either win or lose by at least X points. Since a Point Spread is harder to predict, the payouts for Point Spreads are usually higher than Moneylines.


The third wheel of Straight wager betting types, Over/Under wagers (or “Totals”) doesn’t involve who wins a game, they are concerned with the points put on the board. There are two possibilities: (1) Game/Event Totals or (2) Team/Player Totals. When you choose an Over/Under, you are wagering on if the entire number of points for the game will be more or less the number the bookmaker predicts.

For example, if you choose a game to go “Over” 50 points, and the final score is 33-20 (33 + 20 = 53) you win this wager. If the final score was 33-10 (33+10 = 43) then you lose. Similarly, if you choose a team total, you are saying “Team X will score at least this many points.  


Parlays are the riskiest bet you can make as you need several results to go your way, but also perhaps the most potentially profitable. By choosing a Parlay you pick a combination of straight wagers together as one bet. Instead of betting on one Moneyline/Point Spread or Over/Under, you add many together.

Now since winning one wager is tough, winning many together is even harder. For this reason, Parlays are harder to win, and the more events you add to one lowers your chances of winning.

At most major Sportsbooks, you can make a parlay between 2 – 17 events and will offer a parlay payout board so you can see how much you’ll win as the events pile up. If you have a good feeling about several events, parlays could be your ticket to a big payday.

Pleasers vs Teasers

Pleasers and Teasers are exciting options for sports bettors, if you’re lucky enough to wager at a sportsbook that offers this bet type. A “Pleaser” is a Point Spread parlay where you change the odds in the House’s favor, in return for a bigger potential winning amount. Basically, you are making your wager riskier, and as a trade the House will give you more if you should win. A “Teaser” is the exact opposite:

a Point Spread parlay where you get better odds of winning, but also will receive less money if you win. While not as common as the above methods, Pleasers and Teasers can be a lifesaver if you are looking to change the Point Spread.


More sports betting tips:

Picking a Sportsbook

Managing Your Bets

Understanding Bonuses

Drinking and Betting