The 11 Most Popular Sports Bets in Sports Betting

The Most Common Types of Sports Bets Every Punter Should Know

From easy to more complex sports bets, every sports bettor should be familiar with the following sports bets. All in all, sports betting is one of the biggest and most lucrative forms of gambling in the world. However there are a numerous ways punters can achieve action when placing a sports bet. Generally speaking punters inevitably increase general betting knowledge by fully understanding the most common types of sports bets covered below.

Overall, sports betting is one of the most popular forms of gambling in America. It ultimately provides entertainment and the opportunity for punters to consistently make money on events they already enjoy. For sports bettors just like athletes, knowing the various kinds of plays is crucial for success in gameplay. Therefore the type of bets you place is like a game strategy which truly impacts your overall playability. For example, there are some sports bets that you can only do offline, but most you can do online.

In brief, the sports betting industry has a wealth of terms, wagers, and vernacular. Even seasoned punters, can always heighten their comprehension of the types of wagers and how they work. Altogether it becomes paramount for sports bettors to understand the sports bets in order to get the most value out of their winning bets. In fact, below are the most common types of sports bets that punters encounter in sports books. In sum, analyze them, watch the videos, and practice them. A punter essentially strengthens as their sports betting knowledge grows.


Straight Bets

Punters are perhaps most familiar with the most basic sports bet; the straight bet. Largely it’s the most common wager placed by sports bettors especially in football and basketball. All in all, a betting line is set. It is often referred to as a point spread. Punters can either bet on the favorite and give-up the points or on the other hand, place a bet on the underdog and get the points.

Most importantly, the favorite is required to win the game by more than the set point spread to cash-in. To be noted, the underdog is required to win outright or lose by less than the point spread to in effect “cover” and win the bet. Another key point to consider, ties in this situation are also known as a “push” and therein, no money is lost or won.

Total Line Bets

For the most part, the second-most popular sports bet is on the total line. In particular this type of sports bet sets a number for the combined final score of both teams. Afterwhich, punters bet on the actual score staying “under” that total or going “over” the set number. By and large, punters can bet on a total line by each half of a game in regards to football and basketball.

Money Line Bets

In essence, when making a money line bet, punters pick a team to win straight-up without any point spread. Inherently the risk involved is the amount wagered to pick the favorite versus the amount a punter stands to make if they pick the underdog. Typically these types of sports bets are in all the major sports, yet they’re used more often in baseball and hockey. 

Parlay Bets

On the whole, the act of grouping together two or more picks into one single bet is better known as a parlay bet. Ultimately it can be as few as two picks all the way up to a sports book’s set limit which can be up to 10-12 picks. To be noted, the betting odds on a parlay payout are based on the total number of picks a punter groups together.

Typically they start at a 13-to-5 return in your favor for a two-team parlay. On the other hand they can go as high as 645-to-1 for a 10-team parlay. In either case, to cash-in on a parlay bet, all of your picks must win or essentially the entire parlay bet is lost. Parlay bets ultimately pose as a very high risk sports bet that at the same time can offer a high reward.

Teaser Bets

For the most part, a teaser bet is a twist on a parlay bet. In essence, you are still grouping two or more picks together in a single bet. However in this sports bet, punters are able to tweak the point spreads in their favor and in return for a lower overall payout. For example, let’s say a sportsbook is offering a six-point teaser bet. In this case, a 3.5-point underdog would now be getting 9.5 points.

On the negative side, the downside to teaser bets is they’re hard to hit. Second, a punter’s overall payout is significantly reduced quite a bit using the adjusted betting lines. Ordinarily a straight-up three-team parlay pays out 6-to-1.  However once a punter decides to tease the spread in their favor, the payout ultimately drops to 2-to-1 on a winning bet.

Head-to-Head Bets

In regards to high-action sports such as NASCAR and professional golf, the most common sports bet to engage action is with head-to-head bets. Particularly to bet on the head-to-head results between just two competitors. Altogether whichever finishes the race or the tournament in the higher position wins. To be noted, a money line is attached to each competitor as a way to handicap the match. This sports bet is very popular because it’s essentially difficult to out right pick a winner on a very large field.

Point Spread:

All in all, betting the spread may be the easiest wager for a punter. In fact, the spread is a bet that involves a team giving or receiving points during a game. For further clarification, if the Los Angeles Lakers played the Charlotte Bobcats, they would probably be considered the favorite. As a result, having to give away a certain amount of points for example, six points. Consequently, the Lakers now have to win by more than six points in order for the punter to win this particular sports bet. It bears to be mentioned that not every sport operates with a spread. For instance, baseball uses a moneyline, as well as boxing and horseracing.


Overall a prop bet is a  type of sports bet that involves betting on specific outcomes of a game. By and large, prop bets are the most common sports bet that is made during the Super Bowl. What’s more? Punters can bet on numerous bets from the coin toss at the beginning of the game to the length of the “National Anthem” before the game. Moreover sportsbooks also offer prop bets on regular season games. Punters can bet on various events from the number of points or rebounds that an NBA player will have during a game.

The If Bet

All things considered this is a straight bet particularly followed by an “If” clause. In sum, each of the two bets must be of the same value or the second must be less than the first. For the most part, if a punter’s first straight bet wins, they are able to double their action on the second straight bet. Most importantly, this following bet will not happen unless the punter wins the prior bet.

The Asian Handicap

In the long run, the Asian Handicap is another popular kind of sports bet. It is most typically offered on soccer games. Largely because there are three possible outcomes in a soccer match. Unlike at the NFL where there are only two outcomes in a game.

To demonstrate, in soccer, there could potentially be a win, loss or a draw. For the most part, draws are quite common. One could also interpret this sports bet as a variation of a point spread.

However in a regular Asian handicap, the obvious options are either lose or win. Yet there is also another one variation of this sports bet. It is also known as the Double Asian handicap. In essence punters multiply their chances of winning a wager on the same game.


To point out, reverse bets are simply “if bets” that work in both directions. That is to say this can be a combination of 2-4 Teams. To be sure, all reverse bets are double action. In other words, the remaining bets in the sequence will be placed if the preceding bet is a win, a “push,” or is cancelled for any reason.

To emphasize, an “if bet” follows the sequence. If Team 1 wins, ties or cancels, then Team 2. In brief, placing a reverse bet includes that sequence and its opposite: “if Team 1 wins, ties or cancels then Team 2” AND “if Team 2 wins, ties or cancels then Team 1.”

On the whole, reverse bets contain two “if bet” sequences. However punters must lay down an equal amount for each one. For example an if bet for $110 is $220 as a reverse bet. Another key point of playing reverse bets is that punters are still able to limit their exposure to losses while expanding the possible combinations that produce winning bets.