What Are The Different Bet Types? Sports Betting Options Explained

With countless varieties of sports bet types available, ranging from betting straight wagers on the moneyline to point spreads and parlays, understanding the process can be overwhelming for newcomers at times.

If this sounds like you, join us as our betting experts explain in depth everything there is to know about the various wagering options and provide examples of sports bets on the most popular US leagues and competitions. This includes extensive research and analysis on sports bet types from our dedicated experts, breaking it down in elementary terms.

Popular Bet Types For US Sports Betting

There are many different kinds of wagers available for sports betting fans in the US. Some are more popular than others, but whether you are backing a team via the point spread or parlays, you certainly won’t be short of options!

Each of the best offshore sportsbooks offers hundreds of different bet types and markets, and this comprehensive guide takes you through the full lineup. Whether that be popular markets that bettors are familiar with, like straight win/loss bets on the moneyline at the US Open, or more obscure and lesser-known betting methods, like Octopus betting on the Super Bowl.

Understanding the most popular wager types is key to understanding sports betting. It will help you find different angles to work with, providing a wider variety of bets and far more markets to choose from.

What Are The Advantages Of Having More Bet Types Available?

There are many advantages of having more bet types available for bettors looking to wager on sports.

Firstly, the variety and choice of betting options and different markets make sports betting even more appealing. There are literally hundreds of bet types to choose from on almost every sporting event, giving gamblers the chance to select a bet that reflects their preferences.

Another advantage of having more bet types is that it means bettors can wager on the same event in different ways. You aren’t limited to one bet per game or match. You could place 100 bets on the same event if you so desire. This, in turn, means finding different betting angles and perhaps new markets. You may even be able to find hidden value somewhere in a market you previously didn’t even know existed.

Another huge advantage of having various different bet types is that some markets provide far quicker payouts. Some markets will be settled early on, meaning if your bet wins on a particular market, your winnings will be credited to your account before the event ends. This is similar to the early payouts often found when soccer betting when your team goes up by 2 goals on a parlay.

Having more bet types also lends itself to in-play betting, which is growing in popularity. Bettors are keen to find value while an event is being played. The more in-play markets there are, the more chance gamblers have at finding a hidden gem and potentially a winner before the match has even concluded.

Advantages Of Having Various Different Types Of Sports Bets

See some of the biggest advantages of having more bet types available on the majority of US sportsbooks:

  • More choice and greater variety
  • Can wager on the same event in different ways
  • Find new betting angles
  • Quicker payouts on some markets
  • In-play betting
  • Easier to find value with extensive markets

What Are The Disadvantages Of Having More Bet Types Available?

Having an abundance of bet types comes with advantages and disadvantages when it comes to wagering on sports.

Depending on your perspective, some of the most obvious advantages of having a wide range of bet types can also be considered disadvantages. For example, at the Super Bowl, the NFL showpiece event each year, the best online sportsbooks have thousands of markets available for bettors, many of which – fun though they are – are highly unnecessary from a profiting standpoint.

The Super Bowl is a good example of how having hundreds of different types of sports bets can become overwhelming for bettors. There is sometimes simply too much choice. As previously outlined, the vast markets can also be viewed as a positive, but in most cases, it can actually be pretty daunting.

In turn, this makes it far more difficult for bettors to pinpoint one market to bet on. The fact that there are so many options available makes it tricky to nail down one type of sports bet. Thus, it is harder to find the betting market you want on a clustered page littered with odds for the potential of a nipple slip during the half-time show and the color of the Gatorade. As there are so many, it might take some time to find your desired wager. By then, the event could have started, and you may have missed the boat.

Another disadvantage of having a wide range of bet types available is that it can become difficult to understand the various types of bets. Some markets may look very similar and have the exact same odds but could, in fact, be complete opposites. It is important to research and know exactly what a particular market means.

Disadvantages Of Having Various Different Types Of Sports Bets

Here are some of the most obvious disadvantages of having more bet types available at a US sportsbook:

  • Too much choice becomes overwhelming
  • More difficult to pinpoint one market to bet on
  • Harder to find the betting market you want
  • More difficult to understand the various bet types

Moneyline Bet Type Explained

Betting straight on the moneyline is arguably the most popular and straightforward type of sports bet.

Moneyline betting is a wager on which team or player will win a game or contest. Total points, winning margin, or any other factors are not considered for moneyline bets, simply just the final outcome.

Quite simply, if you place a straight moneyline bet on the winning side, you’ll cash your ticket. The simplicity of a moneyline bet makes it the easiest bet type and one of the most popular types of sports bets, period.

Due to its simplicity, the moneyline bet is the one that most novice gamblers will start with. You are simply wagering on the outcome of a match or event, which is the only variable that matters. The final outcome of the event is all that matters for the moneyline bet type.


As you can see in the above example, the moneyline bet type is the bet you place when backing a team or player to win a match outright. In this case, the Saul ‘Canelo’ vs. Jaime Munguia fight in boxing is a prime example of a sporting event where moneyline betting is extremely popular.

The fight is -500 in favor of ‘Canelo’, while Munguia is the +350 underdog with the best boxing betting sites. A $100 bet on Munguia here would return $450, including your stake. Backing ‘Canelo’ as the -500 favorite would yield a profit of $20 and thus return $120.

Moneyline Betting in the NFL


The moneyline bet type is among the three most popular when NFL betting alongside the points spread and points total (over/under).

As you can see in the screenshot above, the moneyline odds for the Los Angeles Rams vs. Cincinnati Bengals show the Rams as -200 favorites, while the Bengals are +165 outsiders with the best NFL betting sites and apps.

Betting straight on the moneyline is certainly one of the most popular bets in the NFL. In this particular example, a $50 bet on the Rams would return $75, with a $50 wager on the Bengals returning $132.50.

Moneyline Betting In NBA 


Like in the NFL, betting straight on the moneyline is one of the most popular bet types in the NBA.

In basketball, betting on the moneyline simply means betting on the winner of the game. In the above example, this would mean either backing the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Indiana Pacers to win the match outright.

A $75 bet on the Cavaliers as the +220 underdogs would return $240 with the best NBA sportsbooks; meanwhile, the same bet on the Pacers as the -260 favorites would return just $103.50.

When betting on the moneyline in basketball, you are simply wagering on which of the two teams will win the match. Period.

Moneyline Betting In MLB 


The moneyline bet type in baseball is also incredibly popular with bettors when placing their MLB bets.

Along with the run line bet type and the overall points total, the moneyline type of baseball bet is among the most popular and easier-to-understand bets in MLB. Again, just like the two previous examples in the NBA and the NFL, when placing a moneyline bet on an MLB game, you are simply wagering on the game’s outcome. Will Team X win, or will it be Team Y? That’s it!

In the above example, the Los Angeles Dodgers are -195 on the moneyline to defeat the San Diego Padres, who are +178 underdogs. This means that a $50 bet on the Padres would return $139; meanwhile, backing the Dodgers with the same $50 outlay would return $75.64.

Moneyline Betting In NHL 


Another popular US sport for the moneyline bet type is wagering on the outcome of a hockey match. Betting on the puck line is the most popular type of hockey bet, but the moneyline bet type and the points total (over/under) are the next two most popular NHL bets.

Like in the previous examples, the moneyline type of sports bet in the NHL simply means wagering on the winner of the match. If you back the winner of the hockey game, your ticket will be deemed a winning moneyline wager.

In this case, the Washington Capitals are the +118 underdogs with the best NHL sportsbooks to defeat the Calgary Flames. Of course, the Flames are the favorites, priced at -133 in this instance.

A $100 bet on the Capitals on the moneyline would return $218, while a moneyline bet type on the Flames at -133 would return just $175.19. All that would have to happen for your moneyline bet to come in would be for your chosen team to win the match and come full-time.

Point Spread Bet Type Explained

Along with betting straight on the moneyline, the point spread bet type is another extremely popular type of sports bet. In some cases, betting on the point spread is actually more popular and common than betting straight on the moneyline.

A point spread is related to the margin of victory for a contest. It is simply a tool US sportsbooks use to level the playing field. If one team is far better than the other, then using the point spread essentially makes the contest more even.

The point spread, often more simply referred to as just the spread, is the expected final score difference between two teams. It is represented as a positive and negative number; if the spread is 1.5 points, you’ll see it as -1.5 and +1.5. The team that is the favorite to win gets the minus number (-1.5); the underdog gets the plus number (+1.5).

NBA Point Spread Betting


The point spread in basketball is usually set between five and ten points, depending on how one-sided the game is. Betting on the point spread simply means you either select one team to win by X amount of points or the other team to lose within the set amount of points or win the game. 

For example, the spread for this Portland Trail Blazers vs. The Chicago Bulls match is set at eight points. As the moneyline favorites, the Bulls are -8 on the point spread; meanwhile, the Trail Blazers are +8.

As you can see in the screenshot, if you back the Bulls at -115 on the spread, they must win the match by more than eight points for that bet to win. This is because you are essentially deducting eight points off their final points total. On the flip side, back the Trail Blazers at -115 on the spread, the bet will be deemed a winner if they lose by no more than eight points or even win the game outright.

NFL Point Spread Betting


Betting on the spread is the single most popular market in all football betting.

As previously explained, betting on the point spread in football means wagering on the number of points set by the bookmaker that Team A must win by or that Team B must stay within (or win the game) for the wager to pay out.

In the example, you can see that the spread is set at—/ +12.5 points for the Florida State vs. Georgia Tech NCAA game. We vouched for a college football betting line here to illustrate that betting on the point spread is exactly the same in the NCAA as in the NFL.

As the moneyline favorites, Florida State is -105 to cover the -12.5 point spread. Georgia Tech is thus -115 on the +12.5 side of the point spread. If Florida wins by 13 points or more, they cover the spread, and your bet wins. If, instead, you backed Georgia Tech as the underdog, and the team loses by 12 points or less, you win.

Point Spread Betting In NHL (Puck Line)


The only difference here is that point spread betting is usually called the puck line in hockey betting. The only reason for the different terminology is the fact that far fewer points are scored in the NHL than they are in, say, the NBA.

Although the name is different, the concept is exactly the same. In ice hockey, wagering on the puck line means wagering on the number of points that a team must win by or stay within for the bet on that team to pay out. As you can see in the example of two NHL games, the puck line is always set at +/- 1.5 in hockey. 

For the Calgary Flames to cover the puck line against the Washington Capitals, they must win by two points or more. The same is true for the Seattle Kraken against the Buffalo Sabres. On the other hand, the Capitals/Sabres must lose by no more than one point or win the game outright to cover the puck line.

Totals or Over/Under Bet Type Explained

Another bet type used regularly by gamblers is total or over/under-betting.

The over/under bet type is simply a wager in which a bookmaker predicts a number for a statistic in a given game, and bettors wager on whether the game will have over/under that number. Rather than betting on the moneyline or the spread, over/under betting simply means wagering on how many total points there will be in a game.

One of the most commonly used statistics for the over/under bet type is the combined total score of the two teams, and for this reason, the wager is also often known as the ‘total.’

Whether your selected sportsbooks refer to it as over/under betting or total betting, it is the same. A bettor could wager that the combined score of the two teams would be either more than or less than that of the selected number.

Over/Under Betting In NFL


Over/under betting in the NFL is almost as popular as betting on the moneyline or the point spread.

When placing this NFL bet type, you are simply wagering on how many points will be scored in a football game. This is the combined points total of both teams—you are betting on whether there will be over/under the number set by the individual sportsbook.

In the San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs example, the points total is 53. The over/under line is priced at -110, which is more often than not the case for all football matches, whether that be the NFL or even the NCAA.

Betting on the over/under market means you don’t have a horse in the race. No matter what team wins the game, it doesn’t affect your bet. All you need is for there to be over/under a certain amount of points scored in a game.

Over/Under Betting In NBA


Things are much the same when over/under betting on NBA games, except more points are scored. Bettors still wager on whether there will be over X number of points or under X number of points.

The odds for this bet type are usually priced at -110, no matter the total points number. In the example, the O/U total is 209 points for the Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers NBA game.

This means if you bet on the over, you need 210+ points scored in the game. Similarly, if you back under 209 points, you require there to be no more than 208 points scored in total throughout the entire NBA game.

It is worth noting that the points total varies from game to game. In this case, it was 209 points, but it can be more or less depending on the offensive/defensive power of the two teams hitting the court.

Parlay Bet Type Explained

The term ‘parlay’ in betting is simply a single bet linking two or more individual wagers. Winning the parlay is dependent on all of your selected wagers winning together. If any bets in the parlay lose, the entire parlay loses.

A parlay bet type can combine a whole host of different selections. It doesn’t have to be limited to just one sport all the time. Yes, this can be the case, but you aren’t restricted to building a parlay bet consistent with various selections from the same sport. It can, in essence, be whatever you like.

A soccer parlay is one of the most popular bet types. For example, an individual may select five teams to win a match combined in one parlay bet at increased odds. For the bet to win, all five teams must win. If one leg of the parlay loses, the entire parlay loses.

Multi-Sport Parlay Combos

With the majority of real-money online gambling sites, you can also combine multiple selections from various sports into one parlay. This is less popular but can be done. For example, a three-leg parlay, including an NFL selection, UFC bet, and boxing fight winner bet, can be combined at most sportsbooks.

One reason a parlay bet is particularly popular is the potential winnings. They are seen as high-risk, high-reward bets. The main benefit of the parlay is that there are much higher payoffs. However, the more selections you have in your parlay, the higher the risk and, thus, a lesser chance of winning.

The better the odds, the more selections you have in your parlay. The limit is usually 20 selections. It is worth getting familiar with parlay betting and fully understanding it before placing any wagers.

Parlay Bet Type Examples

Below are two very different examples of the parlay bet type.

Firstly, a parlay bet made up of four different NBA selections. As you can see in the below screenshot, four teams have been selected to win the match straight on the moneyline.

Each single bet is then combined into a four-team parlay bet, generating odds of +1264 in this case. For this particular parlay bet type to win, all four teams selected must win their games. If any of the Warriors, Celtics, Heat, or Hawks lose, the entire parlay loses.


Another example of a parlay bet is combining various different selections from a range of sports into one single parlay wager.

In this case, six selections have been added into one single parlay bet. This six-way parlay includes a boxing bet, UFC bet, soccer bet, NBA bet, NHL bet, and MLB bet. Six different sports with various markets selected have been combined into one +3960 parlay.

As you can see, this parlay isn’t just a combination of moneyline bets. It also includes a point spread bet (puck line in hockey) and a point total (over/under) bet in basketball. The four other selections are moneyline wagers.


Teasers Bet Type Explained

In sports betting, a teaser bet is a type of parlay bet. It allows the bettor to change the point spread for a game, making the bet easier to win on paper. Bettors pay for this increased likelihood of winning at lesser odds rather than actually paying more money for the bet.

In turn, the sportsbooks taking this teaser bet type will lower the payout due to the gambler if, indeed, the wager wins. Teaser bets are most common when betting on football and slightly less so in basketball.

The standard teaser bet type allows you to bet on two games as a parlay bet but adjust the spread of each game to increase your chances of winning. Normally, you can adjust six points for a football game and four points for a basketball game.

Teaser Bet Type Examples

Below are two examples of teaser betting from an NFL game and an NBA match. With each game, we’ve stated how a hypothetical 5.5 spread affects the total and the points spread line.

Game 1: Detroit Lions vs San Francisco 49ers

  • Original Point Spread: Lions +4.5
  • Original Total: 48.5

Game 2: Golden State Warriors vs Milwaukee Bucks

  • Original Point Spread: Bucks -7.5
  • Original Total: 220.5

Teaser Points: 5.5 Adjusted Point Spreads:

  • Lions +4.5 adjusted to +10
  • Bucks -7.5 adjusted to -2

Adjusted Totals:

  • Total of 48.5 adjusted to 43
  • Total of 220.5 adjusted to 215

Odds: -120

Payout: $250 for $300

In this example, you have two picks from an NBA and NFL game that you want to include in your teaser bet. The original point spreads and totals for the games are adjusted using a teaser line of 5.5 points.

For Game 1, the Lions were originally underdogs at +4.5, but with the teaser points applied, they are now adjusted to +10. For Game 2, the Bucks were originally favored at -7.5. However, with the teaser points applied, they are adjusted to -2.

Similarly, the original totals for both games are adjusted. The total for Game 1 is adjusted from 48.5 to 43, and the total for Game 2 is adjusted from 220.5 to 215.

The odds offered for this teaser bet are -120. This means that for every $120 you wager, you stand to win $100 if your teaser bet is successful. The payout ratio -120 means you would receive your original stake back ($120) plus $100 in winnings.

Please note that the specific odds, teaser points, and payouts may vary depending on the sportsbook and the specific sports games being bet on. This example is for illustrative purposes only.


Prop Bet Type Explained

In sports betting, a prop bet (proposition bet in full) is a wager on the occurrence or non-occurrence of an event during a game not directly affecting the game’s outcome. Proposition bets are increasingly popular bet types, as it means bettors don’t necessarily require the final result of the match to go in their favor. Instead, they are betting on different parts of the game that may have nothing to do with the final outcome. It is a type of side wager.

Prop bets are traditionally made on outcomes such as the number of passing yards a quarter-back will accumulate in a football game. Or the number of points a player will score in a basketball game or the number of strikeouts a pitcher will accumulate in a baseball game.

Further, proposition bets also include markets such as the timing of certain events, such as which team will score the first points of an NFL game or which player will score the first goal in a soccer game. In essence, prop bets can be placed on almost any statistically discrete event in a match or event.

Prop bets can take various forms. The most popular types are game props and player props. A player prop is a specific bet on an individual, e.g., Patrick Mahomes’s passing yards in a game. A game prop is a bet on something game-wide, e.g., which team will score the first goal in an MLS game?

Prop Bet Example In NBA

Regarding NBA betting, both game props and player props are popular markets for bettors to explore in basketball betting.

Two examples of popular prop bets in NBA betting are game props, such as which team will score the first points, or player props, such as LeBron James’s total points in a game.

In the below example, you can see that there are vast prop bets for the Houston Rockets vs Washington Wizards NBA game. Below the standard game lines, you can see all of the prop bets.

Some of these include whether or not there will be overtime, whether both teams will score 100+ points, or whether the largest lead in the game will be over/under 17.5 points. These are just some examples of popular game props. There are also tons of player props too. The amount of props on an individual NBA game will depend on the sportsbook you use.

As previously outlined, prop bets don’t necessarily impact the final outcome of the game. This makes the prop bet type in the NBA an increasingly popular market for bettors.


Prop Bet Example In NHL

Prop betting in ice hockey is also possible with most of the best online sportsbooks. As previously stated, prop bets can be player props or game props. 

In the example below, you can see a list of player props for the Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Philadelphia Flyers hockey game. These player props are solely based on the over/under points market for individual players and how many points they will score in the game. You can also wager on player assists, saves, time on ice, blocked shots, and much more. In addition, during the playoffs and Stanley Cup Finals, you can place series props, too. 


Prop Bet Example In NFL

When NFL betting, you’ll often have access to a vast array of props, none less than when the Super Bowl comes around, and there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of prop betting options available.

Prop bets in the NFL could include the first touchdown scorer, the team with the most rushing yards, or total team receiving yards, to name a few. Other examples of prop bets in the NFL could be pre-game or more obscure bets at the Super Bowl. For example, the first celebrity to be shown on the broadcast, Gatorade shower color, national anthem length, or first song played during the half-time show. You can even wager on the coin flip!

In the below example you can see a list of player props for the New Orleans Saints vs Chicago Bears. One of the most popular player props in football is betting on touchdown scorers. Here, you can see odds on four players to score the first touchdown, last touchdown, or score a touchdown at any point during the game.


Prop bets appeal to bettors due to their unique nature and lucrative odds. Betting on who will score the first touchdown, for example, will reward bettors with far better odds than just betting on the moneyline or the spread on the NFL game as a whole.

Futures ‘Outright’ Bet Type Explained

A future bet, also often referred to as betting outright, is a type of sports bet made on a long-term outcome. A futures bet usually plays out over the course of several days, weeks, or months and pays out in the future – hence, the name.

For example, you might bet on who will reach the Super Bowl ahead of the first game of the NFL regular season, or you might make a bet just ahead of the Conference Championships—it’s up to you, but remember that you will generally (not always) get better odds the earlier you bet.

In golf, a future bet type could be wagering on the outright winner of The Masters before the first round has begun. Again, you could back Scottie Scheffler to win at any point ahead of or during the tournament. Still, you will generally get better odds ahead of the opening round, especially if Scheffler gets off to a fast start on Day 1.

As future bets are placed well before the outcome of a particular event, the odds will often be far more lucrative. Of course, this means your money can be tied up for longer. But it could be worth it in the long run, as you’ll likely have the best odds.

Examples Of Future Bets

Future bet types usually come in three forms – team futures, individual futures, and novelty bets.

Team Futures

Team futures are the most widely offered futures bets available at online sportsbooks. These future bet types involve betting on long-form events, such as a team winning a tournament, competition, or group.

For example, betting on whether a team will make it all the way to the World Series is an example of an MLB future bet type. Another example of a team future would be wagering on who will win the Eastern Conference of the NBA or even make it all the way to the NBA Finals.

Individual Futures

Individual futures relate to wagering on the outcome of an event where players play as individuals. This also includes betting on individual players in a team sport.

A prime example of individual futures is golf. As golf is an individual sport, any outright wager on a specific player is considered an individual futures bet.

Another example of a popular individual future would be betting on the Golden Boot winner at the World Cup in soccer. Although the World Cup is a team event, betting on which individual player will score the most goals throughout the tournament is a great example of an individual future bet type.

Novelty Future Bets

Novelty future bets are lighter-hearted and fun types of sports bets. Many sportsbooks now offer a variety of novelty bets that are also types of futures. Novelty bets are bets on non-sports-related outcomes.

Popular novelty bets are available on things like political events, the winner of entertainment shows like X Factor and The Voice, award ceremonies such as the Oscars, and events in popular culture like which sports league Logan Paul and KSI’s drink brand Prime sponsor next.

Best Sports For Future Betting

Futures bets can be placed on any competitive sport, but certain sports have more opportunities and are more popular amongst sports bettors.

Below are three examples of the future/outright bet type. Future betting is increasingly popular and gives bettors better odds than betting in-play or closer to a match/event.

The three examples below are popular examples of outright bets in golf, football, and tennis:

Golf Futures

Future betting in golf is the single most popular bet type. With multiple major events taking place across the calendar year, plenty of golf futures betting markets are on offer.

Betting on future golf events such as The Masters, The Open, US Open, PGA Championship, and the Ryder Cup are just a few popular golf events with outright odds listed at the best golf betting sites.

Futures in golf often provide bettors with particularly good value. This is because the starting field for each tournament has over 100 players. Although this does make it more difficult to pick an outright winner, the odds are almost guaranteed to be well into the plus numbers.

Below is an example of golf futures at The Open Championship:

The Open betting odds

NFL Futures

NFL futures allow fans to bet on conference and division winners and the team that will win the Super Bowl. Individual futures such as MVP, rookie of the year, comeback player of the year, and coach of the year are also widely available at betting sites.

Football futures aren’t just limited to the NFL either. NCAA football offers many future betting opportunities, such as championship and Heisman trophy winners. Betting on who will go first in the NFL draft is also essentially an NFL future bet.

Below is an example of the most popular NFL future – the Super Bowl winner:

super bowl odds

Tennis Futures

Like golf, tennis lends itself well to futures betting. Four Grand Slam events take place worldwide each year, as well as several other high-profile tournaments and leagues. The best tennis betting sites usually offer odds on the most popular events months in advance.

The most popular form of tennis future betting is on the men’s singles market for Wimbledon, US Open, French Open, and Australian Open – these four tournaments make up the ‘Grand Slam’ in tennis.

As well as men’s singles, other markets such as women’s singles, men’s doubles, and women’s doubles are readily available for bettors to wager on with tennis futures. However, it is the four Grand Slam events that draw the most future bets on tennis.

Below is an example of tennis futures at one of the biggest tournaments each year – Wimbledon:

wimbledon lines

Points Bet Type Explained

Points betting is a totally unique type of wager. It is a high-risk, high-reward sports betting option in which the margin of victory or loss determines how much you win or lose.

The general idea of the points bet type is that your profit or loss on a game is based entirely on how many points your wager wins or loses by. For example, if your bet wins by three points, you win triple your bet amount. Win by 15 points, you win 15 times your bet.

Although this sounds very appealing, the process is the same for losing points bets. If your bet loses by five points, you lose twice your bet amount. Lose by 10 points, you lose 10 times your original outlay amount.

Not all sportsbooks offer this type of bet, but a few do. Depending on your bet type, you get a maximum win and loss number. This way, you can set a limit to avoid losing too much. However, it is worth noting that your winnings will also be limited.

These bets are one of the lesser-known bet types and aren’t as popular as you need a reasonably large sum of funds in your account to make these bets. Even at small stakes, you can lose a lot. For example, a $5 bet with a max loss of 20x your stake means you must have $100 in your account for that game.

Points Bet Type Example In NFL

Hypothetically, let’s say you points bet $20 on the Green Bay Packers -2 against the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl. For every point the Packers cover or don’t cover the spread by, you’ll be up or down $20.

Say the final score is 33-21 in favor of the Packers, meaning they won the game by 12 points. Since they were -2 on the point spread, this means the Packers covered the spread by 10 points. In this points betting scenario, you’d win $200. This is because your stake was $20, and your bet won by a comfortable 10 points, meaning you won x10 your stake.

Alternatively, if you had wagered $10 on the Broncos at +2, you would have lost $100 because they lost the game by 10 points (relative to the spread).

Points betting can be difficult to understand at first, so it is certainly worth doing your research before you consider playing a points bet type.

Same Game Parlays Bet Type Explained

Same-game parlays (SGPs) are self-explanatory. They are a parlay bet, but rather than a parlay of multiple different games, a same-game parlay combines multiple bets within the same game.

As previously explained, a normal parlay bet type is one of the most popular in sports betting. This often consists of combining a number of selections from different games into one bet, e.g., backing five teams to win their respective NFL matches into one parlay.

The process is similar to a same-game parlay, but there is one big difference. Rather than combining multiple bets from different games/markets into one bet (parlay), a same-game parlay is a number of different selections from the same game in one bet.

Like a regular parlay bet, all legs of a same-game parlay must win for the entire parlay to cash. Essentially, a same-game parlay is betting on multiple outcomes from the same game.

A same-game parlay bet results in higher odds and a potentially larger payout. Unlike traditional parlay betting, which combines bets across multiple games, same-game parlay bets focus on a single game. These also allow you to bet on various outcomes, including the point spread, moneyline, over/under totals, and team/player props.

NBA Same Game Parlay Example

Same-game parlay bets are a popular bet type in the NBA. This involves selecting one NBA game, picking multiple bets from different markets in that chosen game, and combining them into one same-game parlay wager.

As you can see in the below example, a three-leg NBA parlay in the Houston Rockets vs Washington Wizards game has given odds of +1350. For that same game parlay to win, all three legs of the bet must win. Should one leg of the bet lose, the entire bet loses.

The example below assumes the Washington Wizards will win, over 227.5 points will be scored in the match, and Amen Thompson will score 14+ points throughout the game. Those three different bets combined in one same-game parlay yielded odds of +1350.


MLS Same Game Parlay Example

The bet slip below is an example of a same-game parlay bet in an MLS match between New York Red Bulls and Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami.

This is an example of a two-leg same-game parlay. As you can see, this hypothetical parlay assumes the match will be a draw at halftime, with Inter Miami going on to win the match come full-time.

These two outcomes combined into one same-game parlay produce odds of +545. The odds for an MLS same-game parlay like this are far more appealing than regular moneyline wagering.


MLB Same Game Parlay Example

Los Angeles Dodgers vs San Diego Padres is the chosen game here, with four different legs combined into one bet. This same game parlay has yielded odds of +1001 from four different selections in the same MLB game.

For this same game parlay to win, all four legs of the bet must come in. This means that the first innings result must be a draw. There must also be over 17.5 total hits, the San Diego Padres must be winning after five innings, and they must lose by no more than a point come full-time.

Same game parlay betting is very straightforward and gives bettors an opportunity to put their expertise to the test on games they feel they are more knowledgeable on.


Round Robin Bet Type Explained

Round-robin betting allows you to create multiple smaller parlays within a single wager, offering the potential for significant returns with a reduced risk of total loss.

Unlike regular parlays, round-robin bets can still be profitable even with some unsuccessful selections, making them a unique and attractive betting type. The core principle of round-robin betting involves pairing each bet with every other bet to create smaller parlays. Three picks are the minimum number of selections required to create a round-robin bet.

Essentially, round-robin betting is a combination of bets. Suppose you have a selection of six bets that you like equally and want to combine them. The probability of winning a six-team parlay is relatively low, typically around 60-70/1 for evenly matched bets.

However, the chances of winning a two-team or three-team parlay are significantly better, usually at 3/1 or 7/1. By putting six bets into a round-robin, you can create fifteen two-team, twenty three-team, fifteen four-team, or six five-team parlays.

Round Robin Betting Options And Wager Amounts

It is worth noting, though, that the more selections in your round-robin bet, the more you will be staking.

Take a six-selection round robin, for example, with the safest choice, a two-pick round robin, the one you opt for. You would enter the amount you want to wager on each parlay, such as $10. You may see a number, such as x15, next to the wager amount.

This is because you are essentially placing 15 separate two-pick parlays (if you have picked six selections) for $10 each, totaling a $150 wager. For argument’s sake, say four of the six picks are successful. This would result in six of the 15 possible parlays being winners. Thus, the payout would be the sum of what those six parlays pay out individually, resulting in a nice return.

Round Robin Betting Example


Above is an example of a round-robin bet. In this particular round-robin bet, there are four selections. This means there are six possible two-leg parlays, four possible three-way parlays, and one four-leg parlay.

In this case, the bettor has opted to back six two-leg parlays from the four selections with a $10 stake. This, in essence, means placing six different two-leg parlay bets, hence why the stake is now $60.

Should all four selections win, the above bet slip will pay $157.44. Should three of the selections win and one loses, that would mean three of the bets have won and three have lost. If two selections win and the other two lose, just one parlay is a winner.

A round-robin bet allows bettors to win bigger, but it is a far riskier type of bet. The stakes are higher and winning requires multiple selections to receive a payout.

Ladder Bet Type Explained

In its simplest form, a ladder bet combines multiple linked bets, hence the name. Each of the multiple bets is placed at different odds to start off with. If the first bet wins, then the winnings are used to place the next bet, and so on and so forth.

The simple objective of the ladder type of sports bet is to take advantage of the changing odds and thus maximize your winnings by placing wagers at the best odds possible.

The principle of ladder betting is fairly straightforward: Place a bet and roll the winnings onto the next wager, continuing to do this with the same tactic until you decide to stop.

Ladder betting doesn’t always have to be on the same market, either. It can be across various different markets. For example, your first bet could be on the point spread, your second could be straight on the moneyline, your third on the over/under total, and your fourth on a same-game parlay.

To place a ladder bet, you’ll need to place multiple wagers and use the winnings from the previous bet to place the next one until you have made a satisfactory profit.

By choosing the right sport and identifying the right betting market, you can increase your chances of success with ladder betting. With the correct approach, ladder betting can be a fun and profitable way to bet.

Example Of Ladder Betting In NBA

Below is an example of a ladder bet type in the NBA. The good thing about ladder betting is that you can begin the process with a small initial outlay. In this case, the first step is to place a $10 stake. As you can see, $10 is being wagered on the Milwaukee Bucks to beat the Boston Celtics at +320 odds on the moneyline. Say the Bucks win, and thus your bet wins, you have won $42 ($32 winnings plus $10 initial stake).

nba ladder bet

For your second ladder bet, you are then staking the full $42 dollars. In this case, backing the Utah Jazz +15 on the point spread against Oklahoma City Thunder at odds of -110. Should it win, you will win $38.18 plus your $42 stake back, meaning you will now have $80.18 to play with for your next bet.

nba ladder bet 2

The winnings from the above bet are then placed on your next selection.

This third ladder bet is on a future NBA market. As previously explained, ladder betting can be done on any sports market. You aren’t limited to just betting on the moneyline or the spread.

Now, for the third ladder bet type, $80.18, your winnings from the last bet are placed on the next bet. In this case, backing the LA Clippers to win the 2024 NBA Western Conference at +250 odds.

Your stakes are now much higher, and so are the potential winnings. Should that bet come in, you will have $280.63 to play with for your next ladder bet.

conference futures NBA

Of course, you can stop ladder betting anytime and withdraw funds when satisfied with your winnings. The more bets you place and the longer your ladder is, the higher the risk and the higher the reward.

If you’re happy with your profits, then feel free to stop. If not, keep going until you are. It is worth noting, though, that if you lose one bet, all of your previous winnings are lost, and you are right back to the beginning.

Is In-Play or Live Betting a Bet Type?

In short, no. In-play or live betting is not considered a bet type. Nowadays, however, most bet types will support in-play betting. For example, betting in-play or live is available to bettors on most NFL markets.

This could involve betting on the next touchdown scorer and who will win the game, which team will score the next touchdown, or who will record the next sack, among many other in-play markets. All of these markets are open in play and during a game.

The same goes for other popular US sports, such as the NBA, NHL, MLS, MLB, boxing, UFC, and tennis.

What Is In-Play Betting?

In-play betting, also known as live betting, is simply the process of placing a bet during an event. Live betting allows bettors to gamble after an event has begun and prior to the event ending.

Of course, pre-game bets are submitted before the beginning of a match or event. In-play bets, however, are placed throughout the contest.

In golf, this could mean placing a bet during the tournament, boxing during the fight, the NBA at half-time, or horse racing during the race—you get the idea.

Pros of In-Play Betting:
  • No pre-match research needed
  • Lets you decide on the spot what you want to wager on
  • Enables you to stay engaged during an event
  • Hedging bets
  • Instant gratification
Cons of In-Play Betting:
  • Betting on impulse and without research
  • Technical issues with sportsbook
  • Volatile odds and markets
  • Limited analysis time
  • Dependency on live streaming

Most Popular Bet Types In NFL

Below are five of the most popular types of NFL bets:

  • Moneyline
  • Point Spread
  • Total (Over/Under)
  • Prop Bets
  • Futures (Outright)

Although there are hundreds of different markets to bet on in football, if you are looking to learn how to bet on the NFL, the above are five of the most popular bet types that you will need to know.

The most popular bet type in the NFL is wagering on the point spread. Second to the point spread is betting on the moneyline. This is no better evidenced than by Super Bowl LVII betting trends from Statista, in which spread/moneyline wagers were the go-to lines for US bettors.

Betting on the over/under market also remains one of the most popular types of football bets. Prop betting is also increasingly popular, including team props, player props such as passing/alternate passing yards, and novelty props. Not to mention betting outright with NFL futures. Future betting in the NFL includes betting on the Conference winner and the eventual Super Bowl winner.

Most Popular Bet Types In NBA

Here are the five most popular types of NBA bets:

  • Moneyline
  • Point Spread
  • Total (Over/Under)
  • Prop Bets
  • Futures (Outright)

The most popular NBA bet types are wagering on both the point spread and the moneyline. The third most popular NBA bet type is betting on under/over the points total. It’s the same story for NCAA basketball – the same lines are popular and the handle is just as high, with an estimated $2.72 billion spent by US bettors wagering during March Madness in 2024.

Prop betting is also popular, especially player props, team props, and game props. Similar to NFL betting, futures are also a popular bet type in basketball. The majority of outright bets in the NBA involve backing a team to win the NBA Finals or which team will win their respective conference/division.

Most Popular Bet Types In MLB

Five of the most popular types of MLB bets include:

  • Moneyline
  • Run Line
  • Total (Over/Under)
  • Same Game Parlays/Parlays
  • Futures (Outright)

MLB betting lends itself to moneyline wagering. For those looking to learn how to bet on baseball games, start with this line. After that, betting on the run line (MLB version of the point spread) is the next most popular bet type. Then comes the points total and wagering on over/under a set number of runs scored by each team.

Parlays, both standard and same-game parlays are further options, as is betting on future markets, such as who will win the World Series outright or who will win the American League or National League.

Most Popular Bet Types In NHL

Below are five of the most actioned NHL bets:

  • Moneyline
  • Puck Line
  • Total (Over/Under)
  • Prop Bets
  • Parlays/Same Game Parlays

NHL betting isn’t dissimilar to baseball betting because straight moneyline wagering is the go-to bet type. This simply means betting on a team to win the game outright. Puck line betting, hockey’s version of the point spread, is also increasingly popular. The puck line is always set at +/-1.5 in hockey.

Prop bets have become more prevalent in NHL betting over the past decade. These include bets on the number of goals a player will score in a match or the number of sin-bins a team will get during a game. In addition, parlays remain widespread due to their high-risk, high-reward nature. Betting on over/under a set points total also remains one of the most popular bet types in the NHL.

Most Popular Bet Types In Soccer

The most favored soccer bets include:

  • Moneyline
  • Goal Handicap (Point Spread)
  • Total Goals (Over/Under)
  • Parlays
  • Futures (Outright)

Soccer betting takes many forms, but the most popular bet type remains moneyline betting. This simply means betting which team will win the match within 90 minutes (remember this since if the game goes to extra time/penalties, your bet is usually void).

The goal handicap remains prevalent – this is just European terminology for soccer betting’s version of the spread. It simply means adding or subtracting a goal (or multiple goals) from the full-time score. Betting on over/under the total number of goals remains a popular bet type in soccer, too.

Parlays are another option, with bettors regularly adding multiple selections to a parlay in the hope of big wins. Future bets are very popular too in soccer, including betting on the outright Premier League, World Cup, Champions League or Copa America winners pre-tournament.

Most Popular Bet Types In Golf

When it comes to golf, the most popular bet types are:

  • Futures (Outright)
  • Parlays
  • Props
  • Round Leader
  • Top 5, 10, 20

Futures are the most customary bet type in golf betting. This is because betting on the tournament winner is an outright bet in golf.

Props such as the number of birdies a player will have in a round or wagering on which individual player will win a major in the next year are examples. Betting on parlays is also a popular bet type in golf, as is wagering on who will be leading a tournament after Round 1, Round 2, etc. Betting on a golfer to finish in the Top X number of players has grown in popularity over the past decade.

Most Popular Bet Types In Boxing and MMA/UFC

Below are five of the most popular types of boxing and UFC betting:

  • Moneyline
  • Method Of Victory
  • Total Rounds (Over/Under)
  • Parlays
  • Prop Bets

Both boxing betting and MMA wagering are very similar. As both are the two most popular fight sports, their markets are fairly similar. The most popular bet type for boxing and MMA/UFC is straight moneyline betting. Aka, betting on who will win the fight.

Betting on the method of victory in a boxing/MMA fight is also customary. This means betting on your selected fighter to win the bout via knockout or decision in boxing, and either knockout, decision, or submission.

Boxing/MMA parlays are also prevalent, with bettors selecting a four or five-leg parlay bet. This mainly involves betting on the outcome of multiple fights on the same night or from the same card. For example, a UFC 300 parlay bet on multiple fights featuring on the preliminary and main card.

Betting on the over/under market is a further option. For boxing and MMA, this means betting on the total number of rounds. Boxing and UFC are also popular sports for prop bets, such as how many knockdowns there will be in a fight. They also offer novelty props such as ‘Fighter X to win a world title by the end of 2025’ etc.

Most Popular Bet Types In Horse Racing

The five most popular types of horse racing bets are listed below:

  • Futures (Outright)
  • Parlays
  • Round Robin
  • Moneyline
  • Prop Bets

Horse racing is a sport widely bet on worldwide. It is most popular in the UK and Ireland. Still, it is also gaining traction in the US these days as legal sports betting rolls out nationwide. In fact, in a recent survey, about eight percent of American respondents claimed to enjoy horse racing.

The big races, such as the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes, draw in the most cash from hopeful bettors, with millions of dollars wagered on racing all around the US.

The two most popular types of horse racing bets are future/outright betting and straight moneyline betting. Betting pre-race on the moneyline is the obvious one, but futures are also incredibly popular. In racing, future bets are known as ‘ante-post’ bets.

Parlay betting is, of course, popular. Racing bettors add multiple selections to an accumulator/parlay to enhance their potential winnings. Thus, round-robin betting in racing is also a popular bet type, as it is a safer parlay bet.

Props in racing are less frequent but are quite popular, too. They could involve betting on how many lengths a horse will win a race or which jockey/trainer will win the most races over the course of an event.

Most Popular Bet Types In Tennis

Below are five of the most popular types of tennis bets:

  • Moneyline
  • Handicap – Games (Spread)
  • Total Games (Over/Under)
  • Parlays
  • Futures (Outright)

The five most popular bet types in tennis aren’t dissimilar to other popular worldwide sports. Again, moneyline betting is prevalent, as is handicap betting on the spread. In tennis, this is referred to a games handicap and simply means betting on sets handicaps.

Betting on the total number of games (over/under) is another favorite for tennis bettors. Parlays are also extremely popular, especially for the biggest tournaments. This could include a parlay bet on Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Andy Murray, and Nick Kyrios each to win in a four-leg parlay.

Last but not least, future betting is another increasingly popular bet type in tennis. For the four Grand Slam tennis events, the US Open, Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon, betting on the outright winner pre-tournament is among the most popular tennis bet types.

The Last Word

In conclusion, once you factor in the props and alternates, there are countless bet types and types of sports bets available at all of the best US sportsbooks. From NBA to soccer, from NFL to boxing – every sport you can possibly think of has a wide range of different wagers available.

The tricky part is understanding each line and finding the bet type that is right for you. A specific type of bet that is highly popular and widely discussed mightn’t always be the best one for you. Hence, it’s self-evident that finding different types of sports bets that suit your gambling strategy and expertise is paramount. So, be sure to learn all about the different bet types that apply to your sport(s) of choice to enhance your winning potential.


What are the most popular bet types?

Which bet types are the most profitable?

What is the best bet type?

What is the safest type of sports bet?

What bet types should I focus on?

Should I vary the bet types I use?

Which sportsbook offers the most bet types?

Why have so many bet types developed?

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