How does Sports Betting work?

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How does sports betting work?

Betting on sports involves putting money at risk in hopes of making a profit by predicting the outcome of a game or specific aspects of it.

There are various types of bets in sports betting, such as moneyline, spread, Over/Under, parlays, props, and futures.

Several factors come into play when determining the potential winnings for sports bettors. Sports betting offers the opportunity for bettors to potentially make a profit by accurately predicting the outcome of a game or specific aspects of it. However, it is important for bettors to understand the various types of bets available, the factors that determine potential winnings, and to gamble responsibly.

There are several factors that come into play when it comes to determining the amount of money that sports bettors can win:

    • The level of risk involved in the wagered amount: The more money a bettor is willing to risk, the higher the potential winnings can be. However, it’s important to remember that higher risk also means a greater chance of losing.
    • The choice of online betting site: Different betting sites offer varying odds and payout structures. It’s crucial for bettors to choose a reputable and reliable site that provides fair odds and timely payouts.
    • The odds set by sportsbooks in legal sports betting states: The odds established by sportsbooks can greatly impact the potential winnings. These odds are determined based on various factors such as team performance, player injuries, and historical data. Bettors should carefully analyze the odds and make informed decisions to maximize their chances of winning.

By considering these factors and making wise choices, sports bettors can increase their chances of winning and potentially earn more money from their wagers.

Sports enthusiasts and sports bettors share a common trait – they are both emotionally connected to the results of sporting events. However, the key disparity lies in the fact that sports bettors have a financial stake in those outcomes.

Pick a online sportsbook

Betting on sports is predominantly done through online sportsbooks nowadays. With just a few clicks on your computer or mobile device, you can easily set up and fund your betting accounts, as well as place wagers. Thanks to its convenience and various promotions, online wagering has taken over the sports betting market in states where it is legal. In fact, some states witness over 95% of sports betting activity happening online.

The popularity of mobile sports betting has skyrocketed following the groundbreaking 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision, allowing states to legalize and oversee this industry.

Numerous top-rated online sportsbooks are available in various states’ betting markets, providing sports fans with the opportunity to compare odds and promotions by opening accounts with multiple platforms. At Price per Head, we offers specialized services for Bookies aiming to establish a strong online presence. And grant access to cutting-edge user tracking and accounting software

Betting Odds: The Cost of Taking a Chance

When it comes to sports betting and gambling, the odds are the heart and soul of it all. If you’re just starting out, the odds act as a guide, showing you the likelihood of a particular outcome and presenting it as a price.

However, the chances presented by the sportsbooks do not accurately represent the actual likelihood of an event occurring.

The leading sportsbooks in the United States utilize American odds, which employ positive (+) odds to illustrate the potential winnings from a successful $100 bet, and negative (-) odds to indicate the amount you need to wager in order to win $100.

For instance, if the Buffalo Bills have +700 odds of winning the Super Bowl, a $100 bet would result in a $700 payout if they emerge victorious. On the other hand, if you choose to bet on the New York Yankees with -150 odds to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series, you would need to wager $150 in order to win $100.

In both scenarios, when you place a winning bet, you not only receive your winnings but also get back your initial stake. However, if luck is not on your side and your bet loses, you will unfortunately lose that initial stake as well.

The scale of positive and negative odds is directly proportional to the amount you bet. This means that you are not restricted to betting $100 or more.

For instance, if you decide to bet $20 on the Bills to win the Super Bowl, you have the potential to win $140. This is because the odds are +700, and your $20 wager is multiplied by seven. On the other hand, if you want to win $20 on the Yankees bet, you would need to place a wager of $30. This is because the odds are -150, and your $20 wager is multiplied by 1.5.

Clash of the Titans: Favorites vs. Underdogs!

If you come across odds with a negative “-” symbol, it signifies that the team is the “favorite” according to sportsbooks. This means they are the more likely team to win, especially when there are positive odds for the “underdog” team on the opposite side.

Example: The odds of -220 for the Golden State Warriors to defeat the Houston Rockets (+190) suggest that the Warriors are the frontrunners in this game, while Houston is considered the less likely team to win.

If there are multiple teams or players with a “+” before the number, the smaller number indicates the favored one, while the larger number represents the underdog.

Example: Among the top contenders for the 2022 men’s World Cup, Brazil emerged as the frontrunner with odds of +350, followed closely by France at +500 and England at +550. Argentina and Germany shared the odds of +600, making the competition even more intense. However, it was Brazil who held the lowest number, solidifying their position as the favorite to win the prestigious tournament.

In the world of sports betting, when you see multiple teams or players with a “-” in front of their odds, it means that the bigger number is the one favored to win.

Example: The Atlanta Braves have a -150 odds to win the National League East division in baseball, whereas the New York Mets have -120 odds. With the Braves having the higher number, they are considered the favorites to clinch the division title. 

Different Types of Sports Bets


Betting on a straight bet is the most popular form of sports wagering. It involves predicting the outcome of a single event.

Example 1: With the highly anticipated UFC heavyweight bout between Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane on the horizon, your confidence in Ngannou’s skills leads you to place a straight bet on him. You firmly believe that he will emerge victorious in this thrilling showdown.

Example 2: The NBA game between the Toronto Raptors and the Boston Celtics is about to begin. With full confidence in the Raptors’ abilities, you decide to place a straight bet on Toronto, believing they will emerge victorious.


Spread bets in sports betting are all about predicting the margin of victory. You can either “give away” or “take” a specific number of points, goals, runs, etc. This number is set by the sportsbook and represents the anticipated margin of victory.

Gamblers decide whether to “give” the spread (betting on the underdog) or “take” the spread (betting on the favorite).

Example: In the upcoming match between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles, the Cowboys are favored to win by a margin of 5.5 points. If you believe that the Cowboys will triumph by at least six points, you would give 5.5 points. On the other hand, if you have faith in Jalen Hurts and the Eagles’ ability to either win the game or lose by five points or fewer, you would take the 5.5 points.

Point spread lines come with odds, typically set at -110 for both teams. This means that in order to bet on either the Cowboys -5.5 points or Eagles +5.5 points, you would need to bet $110 to potentially win $100 (or $11 to win $10). The price you pay includes the vig.


Total or Over/Under

Over/Under betting, also known as totals betting, involves predictin whether the final score of a game will be higher (Over) or lower (Under) than the total set by oddsmakers. You’re not betting on the winner, but on the total combined points, runs, goals, etc. scored by both teams.

Example: In a clash between the Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks, the total points predicted is set at 42.5. If you believe that both teams will score a minimum of 43 points by the conclusion of the game, then you should place your bet on the Over. However, if you anticipate a defensive battle resulting in a total of 42 points or less, then the Under would be the wager for you.

If you want to try your hand at Over/Under betting, keep in mind this well-known phrase in the world of wagering on totals: “It’s not over until it’s over.” As long as the game is still in progress, there’s always a chance to come out on top with your Over bet (or end up on the losing side with your Under bet). As many are aware, sports can be full of surprises.

On the flip side, if you placed a bet on the Seahawks-Rams game to go over 42.5 points and the score is 24-21 at halftime, you’re already a winner and can relax for the rest of the game.


Parlays offer an exciting opportunity to merge multiple individual wagers into a single bet. They are favored by many due to the potential for larger payouts with a smaller investment. Consider it as the sports betting equivalent of a thrilling lottery ticket.

The number of bets involved in a parlay, along with the odds associated with each bet, ultimately determine the potential winnings for a bettor. The larger the parlay and the higher the bet amount, the greater the potential payoff.

Keep in mind that parlays can be quite challenging to win, especially as you add more selections. The difficulty level can skyrocket if just one selection doesn’t come through, causing your entire parlay to be unsuccessful. For instance, going 6-1 on a seven-team parlay is essentially the same as going 0-7.

    1. Single-game: A parlay made up of several bets from a single game or contest.
    2. Cross-game: A parlay created with wagers from different games or contests.

You can mix and match legs from different sports in a multi-game parlay.

Another type of parlay is the “teaser” bet, a favorite among football fans, especially in the NFL.

Check out this exciting six points NFL  teaser featuring four teams:

    • Pittsburgh Steelers (-4.5) taking on the Cleveland Browns
    • Miami Dolphins (-2.5) facing the New York Jets
    • Arizona Cardinals (+7.5) challenging the Los Angeles Rams
    • Las Vegas Raiders (+3.5) battling the Denver Broncos

By including the Steelers, Dolphins, Cardinals, and Raiders in your teaser, you can shift the point spread by six points to your advantage. So, your teaser point spreads would look like:

    • Pittsburgh Steelers (+2.5) versus Cleveland Browns
    • Miami Dolphins (+3.5) versus New York Jets
    • Arizona Cardinals (+13.5) versus Los Angeles Rams
    • Las Vegas Raiders (+10.5) versus Denver Broncos

When bettors adjust the point spreads, they end up with lower payouts on teasers compared to parlays.

Remember these two important tips when placing football teaser bets. First, never tease through zero. Second, try your best to tease through key numbers in the NFL, like three, six, seven, and ten.


Prop bets offer a unique twist to the traditional focus on the final outcome of a game or event. Instead, they allow you to bet on an individual athlete’s performance or even something that may not be reflected in the box score.

For instance, let’s take the example of Joe Burrow’s total touchdown passes in a game. You can place a prop bet on whether he will have over or under 1.5 touchdown passes. It adds an exciting element to the game, as you’re not just rooting for a team’s victory, but also for a specific player’s performance.

Imagine placing a bet that has absolutely nothing to do with the thrilling action happening on the field or court. One such example is wagering on the color of the Gatorade that will be poured over the victorious coach of the Super Bowl-winning team. It’s a fun and unexpected way to add some excitement to the game!

Here are some of the most popular types of prop bets:

    • Player prop: This type of bet focuses on an individual player’s performance. For example, you can bet on the total number of points a basketball player will score in a game, the number of goals a hockey player will score, or the rushing yards a football player will gain.
    • Game prop: This type of bet revolves around a specific game. You can make predictions on various aspects, such as which player will hit the first home run in an MLB game or which team will have more passing yards in a football game.
    • Novelty prop: These bets are usually associated with major events like the Super Bowl. They add an element of fun and excitement to the game. Novelty props can range from predicting the color of the Gatorade shower after the game to guessing the outcome of the coin toss before it.


Instead of placing bets on a game happening today or this week, futures bets are exactly what they sound like: wagers that will be settled in the days to come.

Some examples of betting scenarios are placing a wager on a particular team to emerge victorious in the World Series, predicting a country to triumph in soccer’s World Cup, betting on a golfer to clinch the Masters golf tournament in the upcoming year, or placing a wager on a player to be crowned NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Futures bets are known for their higher odds and the possibility of bigger payouts compared to straight bets. Let’s take the NHL as an example: it’s much more challenging to predict the Stanley Cup winner at the beginning of the season than guessing which team will win a regular-season game out of the blue.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that futures bets come with a twist: the odds are ever-changing. Take the Los Angeles Lakers, for example. On the opening day of the NBA season, they might have +1500 odds to win the championship. However, it’s highly unlikely that these odds will remain the same over the next seven months. In fact, they are bound to fluctuate.

The beauty of placing a wager lies in the fact that once you lock in your odds, they remain constant throughout the entire season. So, if you decide to bet on the Lakers at +1500, those odds will stand firm, regardless of any injuries, trades, or unexpected performances that may come their way.

If the Lakers’ performance leads to a drop in the betting market, with odds shifting to +400, then you’ve made a smart bet, at least for now. However, if the Lakers encounter difficulties and their odds plummet to +5000, well… unfortunately, your bet has lost its value.

Make sure to do your homework on a team or player before placing any bets. It’s also a good idea to compare prices. Why risk betting on the Lakers at +1500 at one sportsbook when you could get better odds at +1800 elsewhere?

Sports Betting Payouts

Sports betting payouts are calculated based on the odds of your bet and the stake you put down. The potential payout is clearly displayed on your betting slip, whether you place your bet online or in person.

Sometimes, the displayed payout already includes your initial stake. For example, if you bet $10 to win $50, the payout would be shown as $60. If not, simply add your stake to the potential winnings to find out the total payout.

Enhance your chances of winning by calculating potential odds and payouts before placing your bet. You can achieve this by familiarizing yourself with different odds and payout formulas or utilizing a betting odds calculator.

Get ready to maximize your winnings with payout bonuses offered by select online sportsbooks. Whenever these exciting bonuses become available, you’ll be promptly notified as soon as you log into your online betting account. Stay ahead of the game and make the most out of your bets!

Bettors have the flexibility to cash out funds from their betting accounts whenever they choose. The timeframe for the money to reach your bank account can differ depending on the sportsbook and withdrawal method, typically ranging from 2 to 5 days.

Is it possible to earn money by betting on sports?

Making money through sports betting is possible, but it’s not easy, especially in the long run.

Don’t dive into sports betting thinking you’ll win every time and become rich overnight (that rarely happens).

Keep a record of your bets (even a simple spreadsheet will do) to track your progress. It’s also wise to bet on sports you understand well and follow closely for updates.

Sportsbooks may lag in updating lines, particularly props, following player and coach news. This presents an opportunity to spot favorable bets.

You can enhance your profitability by exercising discipline (e.g., avoiding betting beyond your means) and delving into statistics and trends.

While there’s no foolproof method for success in sports betting, identifying certain angles can boost your odds.

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