Wagering on the outcome of sporting events has always been one of the most popular forms of gambling. From the basic straight bet to exotic bets there are a huge variety of ways to play the odds.

The internet has led to an explosion of online sports betting sites and also provides unparalleled access to information for bettors to use in deciding what bets to place.

With so much information and so many options available it can often be challenging to make considered choices. Here at Bloguin, we would like to introduce to you the most common types of sports betting.

Having an understanding of the different types of bets available will enable you to make a more informed choice and to stake your claim to part of this $83.65 billion market . Improving your knowledge will improve your edge. So, let’s take a look at various types of bets that are normally available through legal bookmakers.

Straight or Moneyline bet

This is the type of bet that most of us are probably familiar with and it is also the most common form of bet. With a moneyline bet you are betting on who will win. Moneylines are normally the first bets listed in a sportsbook for any particular game.

How much you win is determined by the odds that are offered. The favorite in a competition provides what is termed short odds and offers a lower payout if they win, while the underdog provides long odds with a correspondingly higher payout.

Point Spread

This is another very popular type of bet. With this type of bet you are betting on the margin of victory instead of the final score.

Point spreads are designed to even the odds. This is done by boosting the underdogs score by the spread number and reducing the favorites score by the same amount. What this means is that the favorite must win by more than the point spread for your bet to also be a winner. Conversely the underdogs may actually lose, but you can still win your bet if they lost by less than the point spread. The results of a game including the spread is called against the spread.

If the point spread results in a tie, referred to as a push, then you get your bet back.

Total Line or Over/Under

Instead of choosing a winner, total line bets are a wager on whether the final combined total score will be over or under a specified number that is set by the sportsbook.

The odds on over/under bets are normally close to even so the payouts are generally lower than moneyline bets, but they are a good option if you aren’t sure which team will win.


Parlays combine two or more bets into one, up to the sportsbook’s limit. To cash a parlay bet, all legs of the parlay must win. Because of this, parlays provide increased odds than the individual picks that make up the parlay.

Normally the odds offered also increase with the number of picks that are combined. Because of this, parlays are an attractive choice for the stout of heart.


A variant on the parlay bet where the bettor changes the spread of multiple bets. Teasing in favor of the sportsbook provides increased odds but makes the pick harder to hit. While teasing in your favor decreases the odds.

If Bet

An If bet is similar to a parlay, but each subsequent leg of the If bet is only placed if your bet won in the previous leg.


A head-to-head bet is a wager on the results between two competitors of many where you are betting on which competitor will achieve the higher position. This is a popular type of wager in events where there are a large number of competitors and it can be hard to pick the event winner.


A proposition bet is a wager on a specific aspect of the match or tournament that isn’t directly connected to the final outcome. There are hundreds of different possible prop bets. If a sport tracks a specific statistic, there is probably a prop associated with it. Examples of propositional wagers include the first team or player to score, the first team or player to score a specified number of points, or the score achieved by a particular player.


Middling is a type of arbitrage betting where you utilize the difference in point spreads between sportsbooks and place bets on both sides of a game so that one or both of your wagers win.

At first glance, middling might seem like a sure-fire strategy for hedging your bets. But be advised that because of increasingly intense competition between bookmakers, middling is a very time intensive exercise with narrow margins.


Futures are a bet placed on the future outcome of a sports season or tournament. The further into the future the final outcome, the better the odds. The current odds are locked when you stake your wager.

Futures also include props, such as the total points scored by a particular player over the course of a tournament.


Live betting is a bit like the live dealer games you’ll find at sites like Bella Vegas casino as it takes place in real time. But in this case, this type of betting involves the placing of bets after a game has already started. This fast-paced wagering increases the excitement as the odds are constantly changing as the game progresses.

Live betting is enjoying increasing popularity with mobile access to the internet making it easier than ever before. You can place your bets and watch the event live with no need to miss any of the action by physically going to the bookmaker anymore.

Wrapping Up

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the different types of sports bets, but these are the types that are most commonly available both offline and online.

Knowing the difference between the different types of sports bets will enable you to find value in whatever type of wager you decide to stake and limit your exposure at the same time.

Keep on learning and developing your betting strategy to move from being a square to a sharp.