Sports Betting 101 – Understanding the Odds at a Sportsbook


A sportsbook is a place where people can bet on different sporting events. They make money by setting odds that almost guarantee a return on each wager. These odds are known as juice.

The most common type of bet is a straight bet. It’s simply a bet on a team or individual to win. Betting volume varies throughout the year and peaks during major events.

Betting lines

When a sportsbook sets betting lines, it typically factors in basic player and team statistics as well as sport-specific advanced analytics. However, the exact reasons for line movement are less transparent. Generally, the line moves because too much action has been placed on one side of a bet. This makes the sportsbook worry that they will lose money if the bet wins.

The sportsbook may then try to balance out the wagering by shifting the line. This often happens in response to bets from well-known “sharp” professional bettors. The line may also shift in the run-up to a game if key news breaks that changes public perception of a team or event.

Another way that sportsbooks move lines is to offer a higher payout on one team or player than another. This practice is known as “shopping for lines”.

Parlay bets

Parlays are a great way to increase your chances of winning by linking multiple bets into one wager. They are also known as accumulators, accas, multis or combo bets. Regardless of what name you give them, they are a risky type of wager that requires all bets to win in order to yield a payout. If even a single bet loses, the entire parlay loses.

Winning parlays can pay off with massive payouts and are often more profitable than a single straight bet. Parlays can include moneyline odds, point spreads and Over-Unders. Some sportsbooks even offer special parlays called teasers and pleasers, which allow you to move the lines on individual legs of a parlay in a specific direction. This can create higher payouts but it may reduce the likelihood of winning.

Moneyline bets

Moneyline bets are the simplest wagers in sports betting. They simply ask which team will win a game. Oftentimes, these bets are adjusted because of the betting activity on a specific team or due to injury or lineup changes. They can also be adjusted if there are weather conditions that might impact the outcome of a game.

Moneyline bets use American odds, which are based on a $100 bet and scale up or down depending on your bet size. In addition, they can offer better value on underdog teams that are expected to perform well. These bets are especially popular in sports like hockey, where games can end with a scoreless overtime period. These bets can be placed with or without a 3-way moneyline, which is a bet that allows both sides to lose.

Future bets

Futures bets are long term bets on the outcome of a multi-stage event such as a season. These bets usually have high payouts but can be risky. They can tie up your money for a significant amount of time, which means you won’t be able to use that portion of your bankroll for other wagers.

You can place a futures bet on a variety of events, including league championships, team win totals, and individual player stats. The odds for these events are posted months (even years!) before they take place. Oddsmakers set these lines using power ratings and other formulas. They then adjust them throughout the season as trades and other factors affect a team or player’s performance. These bets are typically available at all online sportsbooks.

In-game wagers

The in-game wagering option at sportsbooks is a great way to experience the thrill of betting during live sporting events. This feature allows you to place spread and moneyline wagers during games, as well as constant shifting team and player prop bets. These bets are added to your bet slip automatically, and you can adjust your stakes as often as you want.

Unlike pregame wagering, where bettors have hours to plot their course, live betting lines move quickly during games. This can be a challenge for recreational and new players, but it will also allow them to make more informed wagers.

In-game wagering is available on most major sports at regulated online sportsbooks. You can place wagers on game totals, spreads, moneylines, and player/team props in real time, as well as create parlays.