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Understanding the Types of Sports Betting Available at Regulated Sportsbooks in the USA

In May 2018, the United States Supreme Court struck down the federal law known as PASPA, which had placed a blanket ban on all online sports betting in the US. With that ruling, each state now has powers to set rules governing how online sports betting will take place within their jurisdictions.

Many sports bettors wonder whether the ruling entitles them to bet on all types of sports, including college sporting events. Will they be liable for legal action by betting on whatever they want? What penalties or punishment will they be exposing themselves to?

As legal sports betting grows, players have more choice than ever when it comes to the number of bet types available. Gone are the days when a simple sports bet on the winner of a game was the only choice. With the addition of prop bets, parlay bets, futures bets, and more, sports wagering has become a whole lot more exciting.

This article seeks to provide a better understanding of the types of sports bets available at regulated sportsbooks in the USA. If you want to see all of the options available to you before betting on that NFL game, we’ve got you covered.

Where is Sports Betting Legal?

Before delving into the types of bets available, we thought it would be good to mention the states with a legal online sports gambling industry. The list below includes all of the states where you can place a money line bet, a straight bet on the game outright, or more exotic bets depending on the betting site you are using.

The following states offer online and mobile sports betting:

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

Some of the states above offer more regulated sportsbooks than others. For example, you will find plenty of options in New Jersey while New Hampshire is restricted. However, sportsbooks operating in these states will cover all of the significant sports so you can place horse racing bets or participate in NFL betting.

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Money Line Bets

With moneyline bets, you don’t have to worry about spreads and handicaps. These are the most straightforward type of wager and are ideal for an ameteur grasp and one of the most popular Super Bowl wagers. Essentially, a moneyline bet is an old-fashioned bet on which team will win in a sporting event. Usually, when you place a moneyline wager on the team favored to win the game, it will “cost” you more than when submitting any other type of bet.

All of the favorites have a three-digit number with a “minus” sign next to it. This number shows how much you would have to wager on that team in a moneyline bet to win $100. The minus sign represents the fact that when placing money on a favorite in a moneyline wager, you will have to bet an amount greater than the one you could potentially win. Underdogs have a three-digit figure with a “plus sign next to it.

Let’s take a look at an example:

Seahawks -150: This means that if you want to bet on the Seahawks to win the game outright, you will have to bet $150 to win $100. Consequently, if the Seahawks win, you will get your original $150 back, plus $100, for a total of $250.

49ers +180: This means that if you want to bet on the 49ers o win the game outright, you will win $180 if you bet $100. If the 49ers win, you get your original $100 back, plus $180, for a total of $280.

Point Spread Betting

Point spreads are the most popular form of sports bets and possibly the most well-known to a sports wagering novice. Point spread bets are defined as a projected margin of victory or defeat for the two teams in any match.

For example, if the Packers and Cowboys face each other and the spread is Packers -3, Green Bay is expected to win by at least three points. If you bet on the Packers, you are “giving up” those points as you are hoping Green Bay will outscore the Packers by at least that much in that game.

Conversely, if you bet on the opposite sides – the Cowboys at +3-you are hoping that it will be by less than three points even if the Cowboys lose. If the Packers only win by three points, then the line is considered a “push.” This means you will get your bet refunded.

The payouts on spread bets depend on the odds assigned to either side of the bet. Point spread bets are set by the operator with the idea of getting bets to come in on both teams as evenly as is possible. Betting sites naturally want to avoid being “overexposed” to one side of a bet as much as possible.

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Total or Over/Under Bets

Totals, also referred to as over/under bets, are another pretty straightforward type of bet to understand, even for the inexperienced bettor. In a totals bet, you are putting money down on whether or not the total points or run total f the two teams in a game will be more or less than the number set by the sportsbook.

Totals bets are typically set with odds of -110, meaning you must bet $110 to make $100.

Prop Bets

A prop bet focuses on the specific events that you propose to happen during the course of the match. You cannot come up with your own proposition. Instead, you can only choose from any of the betting lines already pre-determined. Examples of the types of events that fall in this category include:

Player props: A quarterback throwing over a certain number of yards or an NBA player scoring a certain amount of “three-pointers.”

Team Props: You could bet on a team scoring the first goal in soccer or which team you think will be winning at halftime.

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Parlays

A parlay bet can see you win big from a small outlay. They must involve at least two games, and there are various forms of parlay bets based on the different bet types already mentioned above. So, you can place point spread parlay wagers, totals parlay wagers or moneyline parlay wagers.

There cannot be one leg that loses for a parlay bet to payout. The more teams or legs of a parlay, the more you could potentially win. Some sportsbooks offer parlay insurance, which means that if one leg loses, you will still get some money back.

Teaser Bets

A teaser bet is like a parlay bet that excludes moneyline bets. In teasers, you can manipulate a point spread or total within a specific set range in order to improve your odds of winning the wager. A teaser won’t payout as much as a parlay because of the greater probability of you winning.

The one thing that is necessary with a teaser bet is that the movement of the line or total must be applied to every team within that parlay. However, it can be used in different “directions.”

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Futures

A futures bet is any wager made for an event that won’t be determined until some time in the future. Most futures bets involve odds for a team to win a cup, league, or championship, but other futures wagers are available for different sports.

For example, in golf, you could use a futures bet to wager on a player you think will finish in the top 10 or top 20 in a future tournament.

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