With the United States Supreme Court’s recent decision to strike down the federal ban on sports betting, many people soon will be cashing in (hopefully) on their knowledge of sports.
Delaware will become the first state to legalize sports betting since the Supreme Court’s decision and is set to offer Las Vegas-style sports gambling in three casinos starting Tuesday. The state will offer single-game betting, as well as parlays, on all sports except Delaware-based teams.
Sports gambling likely will begin popping up in a number of other states as the legislatures iron out the parameters.
With a wave of sports betting on the way, here’s all you need to know about how to bet on sports:
Point Spread — Most single bets are placed on the point spread. The point spread is the number of points the favored team must win by in order to “cover” the spread. For example, if the Cleveland Cavaliers are minus-six against the Detroit Pistons, then they must win by seven or more in order to cover the spread. Point spreads are accompanied by odds, normally plus/minus 110, meaning you must bet $110 to win $100. The odds normally will be the same for either side of the point spread.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how to determine point spread payouts:
With this bet, if the Cavaliers win by more than six points you will win $90.91. The minus-110 is how the sportsbooks make their money, also called “the juice.” Sometimes books will offer minus-105, which means you would win $95.24 on a $100 bet.
Money Line — The money line represents a team’s chances to win the game without using the point spread. The money line normally will be seen as a three-digit number with a plus or minus in front of it. If the Boston Red Sox are minus-150 to beat the Oakland Athletics, a bettor would win $10 if they placed a $15 bet and the Red Sox won.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how to determine payouts for money line bets:
Negative Money Line Odds: Bet divided by (Odds/100)
Bets $15 at minus-150 odds:
$15/1.5= $10 (profit)
Total payout: $25 ($15 +$10)
Positive Money Line Odds: Bet x (Odds/100)
Bets $30 at plus-180 odds:
$30 x (180/100)
$30 x 1.8 = $54 (profit)
Total payout = $84 ($54+ $30)
Total — The combined number of runs, points or goals in a game.
Straight-Up — A money-line bet.
Push — A tie as it pertains to gambling. For example: If the Boston Celtics are favored by five points and they win by five, then it is a push.
Pick ’em — This is a game that neither team is favored in.
TYPES OF BETS
Straight Bet — A single bet that is made on a game, fight, race or event. You can place a single bet on a point spread, money line or total.
Parlay — A parlay is a bet made by combining two or more wagers together. The gambler must win each bet in order to win the parlay. If one of the bets loses then the parlay fails. The gambler receives a higher payoff if the parlay hits than they would have making each bet individually.
Future — This is a bet made on a future outcome, such as what team will win the NBA Finals or who will win NFL MVP.
Teaser — Teasers are a type of parlay in which the point spreads are shifted in the bettor’s favor. With the NFL games there normally are 6 1/2, 7, 10 and 14-point teasers. By changing the point spread you lower the odds which, in turn, lowers the payout.
Proposition — A prop bet is a bet that is placed on the outcome of an event during a game but not the game’s outcome. Examples of prop bets include: Who will score the first touchdown? How many yards will Player X have in the first half? How many combined 3-pointers will be made in the game?
Round Robin — A Round Robin is a way to create multiple parlays. The bettor chooses between three and eight lines they like to include in the round robin. A three-team round robin parlay would consist of four different parlays, which gives the bettor a better chance of making their money back by hitting only one combination.
Example of a three-team round robin bet:
1: Boston Celtics -5
2: Los Angeles Lakers +7
3: Golden State Warriors -11
Wager: $20 ($5 on each parlay)
This would give the bettor three parlays (1 and 2; 2 and 3; 1 and 3) and one three-team parlay (1, 2 and 3). Bettors choose an amount they wish to bet on each parlay — in this case $5 — with the standard minus -110 odds on each bet.