Sports Betting 101 - How To Bet On Sports Guide (2019)

How To Bet On Sports - Sports Betting 101

When first entering the world of online sports betting, it can be a pretty overwhelming place. Those new to the sports betting scene will notice there are options and decisions to be made at every single step.

Not only is deciding which New Jersey sports betting sites to bet is a huge decision within itself, but the actual process of wagering on sports can be a confusing one even once you’re all signed and deposited into your betting account. There are a myriad of different types of bets to choose from and this guide deciphers what the basic kinds of wagers are before you spend a dollar of your hard-earned money.

Here, you can learn everything you need to know in order to get started with NJ online sportsbooks and give yourself an opportunity to win some money. Sometimes, a little bit of guidance goes a long way, and that’s what BonusSeeker is here to provide to players looking to take their shot with sports betting picks.

How To Bet On Sports

Before you go to bet on sports, there are a few steps you should take before dipping into your wallet. First, which New Jersey sportsbooks offer the best signup deals? Many sports betting sites in New Jersey are now offering payers a risk-free bet on their very first wager when they sign up. We discuss what is a risk-free bet and look at the best risk-free bet offers from NJ sportsbooks. Once you decide which sportsbooks you want to sign up for, the next thing to do is compare sports betting lines. Some sportsbooks offer varying lines on certain markets, including futures markets. To get the best value, you should sign up for multiple sportsbooks to take advantage of their welcome offers and to take advantage of the best lines possible. You can check out the best NJ sports betting sites by clicking on the link. Now, let's break down each type of wager you can make at an online sportsbook.

What Is A Moneyline Bet?

Simply put, placing a moneyline bet means NJ sports betting players are just wagering on one side to win the game, without consideration of any point spread.

The price of a given side is determined by bookmakers, with favorites getting a negative line and underdogs getting a positive line. Moneyline odds should be looked at relative to the number 100. A team at -150 would be the favorite while a +150 team would be an underdog.

With favorites, the moneyline (ML) is the amount bettors would need to risk in order to win $100. For underdogs, the ML is the amount the bettor would win if risking $100.

How To Place A Moneyline Bet

EXAMPLE: Let’s look at this NBA moneyline from the SugarHouse Sportsbook app in the below image. As we can see, the Clippers are a -200 favorite.

Place Moneyline Bets At SugarHouse Sportsbook!

Moneyline Bet Example at SugarHouse Sportsbook

This means that in order to win $100 on Los Angeles, you’d have to wager $200. Payouts can be scaled up or down depending on how much one bets. If a New Jersey sports betting player wanted to put $100 on the Clippers, the winnings would be just $50. If they bet $40, winnings would be $20.

On the other side, the Mavericks are +163 underdogs, meaning a $100 wager would win $163 on payout. For a $50 bet, the payout would be $81.50. Check out NJ Sportsbooks With FREE Bets!

What Is A Point Spread Bet?

Betting with the point spread means choosing a side based on a figure set by oddsmakers. Not all teams are equal and point spreads are the oddsmakers’ way of evening out the game for online sports betting players.  

The favorite is “giving” points and will have a negative symbol (-) next to their spread. The favorite has to win by a certain amount of points in order to cover the point spread and secure a win for NJ sports betting players.

The underdog is “getting” points and has a positive symbol (+) next to the number. The underdog can cover by winning the game outright, or by losing by a lesser amount than the point spread.

How To Place A Point Spread Bet

EXAMPLE: Take the below-listed game between the Warriors and Hornets and keep an eye on the spread provided by 888 Sportsbook NJ (in yellow letters near the bottom of the orange boxes).

Points Spread Bet Example at 888sport USA

The Warriors (-8) are favorites are giving eight points to the Hornets (+8), who are getting points as the underdog.

Golden State would have to win by nine points or more in order to cover this spread and win the wager. Charlotte covers the spread if they win the game outright or if they lose by seven points or less. If the Warriors win by exactly eight, the bet is cancelled out and marked as a ‘push’.

Above the spread, the -110 on each side represents the odds, or price, sports betting players must pay in order to take this bet. In this case with both teams’ odds at the standard price of -110, bettors are wagering $110 to win $100, regardless of which side they select.

Bet On The Spread At 888 Sportsbook!

What Is The 'Juice' In Sports Betting?

After taking a look at our point spread example, you may be asking yourself: Why is the standard price -110 in sports betting and what does that mean? I thought odds were based on the number 100!

This number is referred to oftentimes as the 'juice' on the bet. Consider it a vig or commission fee imposed by bookmakers for sports bettors making a wager.

The way those new sports betting should view the juice is like this: Whatever that number is represents how much you must pay in order to win $100.

The juice helps ensure that all things equal, the bookmakers still find a way to make money in the deal. Say two $100 bets were made at -110 odds. The winning bet nets $100 while the losing bet means $110 loss. Despite there being one win and one loss, the sportsbook still manages to make a little bit of money because of the juice bettors must pay when making sports betting picks.

The juice can vary based on the sportsbook or the public, but most point spread bets will have it between -105 and -115, normally beginning at -110. Oftentimes, the sports betting public has the power to alter the juice based on how many bets come in on a given team. If enough wagers are made on one particular side of a point spread, the juice will increase until the spread itself is forced to move by a half point.

EXAMPLE: If Duke is -2.5 (-110) and the bets start rolling in on them, the price will to Duke -2.5 (-115). If enough bets come in, eventually the spread could reach Duke -3 (-105), then Duke -3 (-110)...so on and so forth.

Bettors can be forced to risk a larger amount on lines that are -120 or -125 at times. Of course, the price you pay when placing the bet really doesn't matter as long as you win.

How Do Sports Betting Totals Work?

Another common way for NJ online sports betting players to wager is on totals, also known as over/unders. The total in any given game is the combined score of the two teams at the end of the game. Totals bets are easy, as players are either selecting ‘over’ or ‘under’ on the total amount of points set by the bookmaker.

How To Bet Over/Unders

EXAMPLE: In the game below, odds from BetStars Sportsbook tell us that the Over/Under between Duke and Virginia Tech is 142.5 points. 

Place Over-Under Bets At BetStars!

Over/Under Bet Example at BetStars NJ

This means that the two teams need to combine to score 143 points or more to secure a win on the over. Any total at 142 or below is a win for the under. In this case, both options come at -110 odds, meaning NJ sports betting players must risk $110 to win $100.

Several factors should be taken into account when deciding to bet on a total. Things like offensive and defensive trends, injuries and team schedules can play a huge role in how the game will be played from a pace standpoint. Sports betting players tend to lean toward the over, so there’s a chance the number can be inflated close to game time. Check out NJ Sportsbooks With RISK-FREE Bets!

What Is a Parlay Bet?

Parlays are another popular way to wager, mostly due to the fact that they give sports betting players the chance to win a big payday. It is a risky wager to make, and oftentimes a difficult one  to win.

Parlays link together two or more sides (moneylines, point spreads and over/unders) into one bet in order to create more favorable odds for the player. The catch is that in order to hit a parlay, each one of the individual bets needs to win in order for the bet to win. If one side of your parlay loses, the entire bet is a loss.

Payout odds for parlays tend to vary a little from between sportsbooks, but there is the parlay guide according to FanDuel Sportsbook:

  • 2-team parlay pays out +264
  • 3-team parlay pays out +596
  • 4-team parlay pays out +1228
  • 5-team parlay pays out +2435
  • 6-team parlay pays out +4741
  • 7-team parlay pays out +7500

As you can see, the odds and payouts get bigger the more teams that the sports bettor selects for their parlay. It’s important to remember, however, that these figures are based on all sides of a wager being offered at “standard” -110 odds. Exact payout odds are sure to alter depending on who players select to include in their sports betting parlay.

Place Parlay Bets At FanDuel Sportsbook!

How To Bet Parlays

EXAMPLE: Below is the payout total for a three-team parlay on FanDuel Sportsbook, which pays out at +596 with all three sides at the - 110 odds.

Parlays Bet Example at FanDuel Sportsbook

At +595, the player wins $59.58 from FanDuel Sportsbook on a $10 wager. Let’s take another look, this time at the payout for a $10 parlay with the three following teams/odds:

  • Alabama +1.5 (-110)
  • Iowa +3.5 (-110)
  • Duke ML (-180)

Parlay Bet Example at FanDuel Sportsbook

As we compare payouts from the two parlays, NJ online sports betting players will notice that while two of our picks are spreads at -110, the third selection is a moneyline favorite of -180. Because one of the selections has odds below the customary -110, the entire payout of the parlay was pulled down a certain amount, and now pays a still-robust +466 on the  FanDuel Sportsbook app.

The heavier a favorite is, the worse the odds of the entire parlay become for the bettor, although the chances of winning the whole bet improves. The heavier an underdog is, the better the odds and payout become, but the chances of actually winning the bet become harder.

Bettors seem to fall in love with large payouts, which look phenomenal on the screen in front of your face before entering the bet. Sometimes the best strategy for parlays is to find the balance between favorites and underdogs, and don’t get too greedy looking for the most massive payout possible.

What Is a Teaser Bet?

Unlike parlays where players look for the biggest payout possible, teasers are about NJ sports  betting players the best opportunity to beat the book, even if the payout isn’t the best.

Even when you’re an experienced veteran of the online sports betting game, picking a side on the point spread can be difficult. You’re forced to ask yourself: is my favorite giving away too many points to cover? Is my underdog getting enough points? Well, the good news is that teasers don’t require players to pick the correct side of the spread, they just require you to stay within a few points.

Teasers are bets of two or more sides (or legs) in which players are able to adjust the spread by a predetermined amount of points of their choosing.

The basketball teaser odds chart for FanDuel Sportsbook looks as follows:

  • Two-team 4-point teaser (-110)
  • Two-team 4.5-point teaser (-120)
  • Two-team 5-point teaser (-130)
  • Three-team 4-point teaser (+160)
  • Three-team 4.5-point teaser (+140)
  • Three-team 5-point teaser (+120)

How To Bet Teasers

EXAMPLE: The teasers below will help make sense of FanDuel’s guide above.

Teaser Bet Example At FanDuel SportsbookTeasers Bet Example At FanDuel Sportsbook

As the above bets show us, the way to increase payout on teasers in sports betting is to add teams to the wager. Both bets get the same five points to adjust, but the odds improve from -130 to +120 just by adding a third team. A four-team, five-point teaser has odds of +180, and they jump to +300 when a fifth team is added to the mix on most  NJ sportsbooks.

What Is Prop Betting?

Sports betting props are wagers on whether or not an occurrence will take place that isn’t tied specifically to the oddsmakers’ lines for a given event. Conventional bets (non-props) would be on the moneyline, point spread and game total set by bookmakers. Rather than wagering on one of those things, prop bets are made on much more specific categories.

The majority of prop bets are essentially over/unders or ‘yes or no’ questions regarding a specific person, statistic and/or outcome. Plenty, although not all of them, are completely independent of the result of the game.

Some prop bets available in various sports include:

  • Over/Under On Team Total Points/Goals
  • Basketball Over/Under on Points/Rebounds/Assists
  • Who Will Win MVP of Final Game/Series? (Super Bowl, World Series, etc.)
  • Football Over/Under on Rushing Receiving Yards/Touchdowns
  • Football Over/Under on QB Attempts/Completions/Yards/TD Passes
  • Baseball Over/Under Strikeouts
  • Goaltender Over/Under Saves (Hockey, Soccer)
  • Spreads & Over/Unders on Quarters & Halves
  • Winning Margins & Alternative Lines
  • Futures On First Basket/Touchdown/Goal In Game

How To Bet On Props

EXAMPLE: The image below presents just a couple of the many options available for a standard regular-season NBA game between the Rockets and Hornets on the FanDuel Sportsbook app.

Prop Bet Example At FanDuel Sportsbook

Included in the options for NJ sports betting enthusiasts is over/under on James Harden’s total points and odds (a very-near futures bet) on who will score the first basket of the game.

The world of sports betting props is seemingly boundless. Individual basketball and football games can have dozens of individual props for each contest. Events like the Super Bowl, College Football Playoff and the NCAA basketball tournament have literally hundreds of props to choose from before action begins.

What Is Futures Betting?

Futures betting in sports is basically exactly what it sounds like: bettors are picking who will win a future event (re: division, conference, championship, tournament). Futures bets are a type of prop bet, essentially offering a yes/no pick on a specific player/team long before the outcome is decided.

In team sports, the best clubs in the league with the likeliest chance to win (according to oddsmakers) have the lowest odds and payout, while the lesser squads have enormous odds and payouts. Futures bets can last hours, days, weeks or even months depending on what sports betting players are trying to wager on.  

The various types of sports betting futures include:

  • Division Winners (all major sports)
  • Conference Champions (AFC/NFC, AL/NL, East/West)
  • League Champions (World Series, Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, NBA Finals)
  • Individual tournaments (Golf, Tennis, Soccer, etc.)

How Futures Betting Works

EXAMPLE: Below are futures odds to win hockey’s ultimate prize, the Stanley Cup, courtesy of Resorts Sportsbook.

Place A Futures Bet At Resorts Sportsbook!

Futures Bet Example At Resorts Sportsbook

Sports betting futures are available before a given season begins and adjust as the schedule is played out. The Tampa Bay Lightning came into the  2018-19 season as favorites to win the Stanley Cup with odds around +725 at some sportsbooks.

As the team has lived up to expectations, the odds have lowered and the league’s top team is now down to +275 and an even heavier favorite to win the title.

Sports betting players who were on top of Tampa Bay early in the season received much more favorable odds than those who may have waited until later in the year. In other sports like golf, tennis and soccer, futures odds are available before a tournament begins and sometimes throughout its duration.  

What Is In-Play Betting?

In-play sports betting, also known as live betting, occurs in real-time while a contest is going on. The moneyline, point spread and total are updated and adjusted according to the current score of the game and players get to wager on a whole new spread/total.

How To In-Play Bet

EXAMPLE: The following images from FanDuel Sportsbook show the difference in how sports betting lines look from before the game compared to when in-play odds become available.

 In-Play Bet Example at FanDuel Sportsbook

Penn State enters the game as slight underdogs, but the live sports betting line shows some very different odds after adjusting to the flow of the game.

Live Bet Example at FanDuel Sportsbook

As we can see, Penn State built a 13-point lead. If you had them from the start at +1.5 points or at +105 on the FanDuel Sportsbook app, things look great.

In order to go with the live odds, however, bettors now have a line of -8.5 and -460 on the ML due to what’s taken place in the first half. In this case, both would’ve won thanks to eventual Penn State’s 17-point victory.

Live betting is a common tool for sports betting veterans who see their pick playing well and want to double up on potential winnings. It is also used as a hedge betting technique, which is betting against your original selection with the intent of limiting losses or guaranteeing a profit (depending on circumstance).

What Is PointsBetting?

PointsBetting is an inventive, exhilarating feature that sets PointsBet Sportsbook apart from other NJ sportsbooks.

Each game matters down to the very last second matters thanks to the high-risk, high-reward nature of PointsBetting. NJ online sports bettors are sure to keep their eyes glued until the very end of the game regardless of their original investment because small bets still have the chance to deliver big-time payouts.

PointsBetting operates differently than fixed odds betting. The amount a bettor can win or lose with PointsBetting isn’t simply determined by whether you are right or wong, but how correct or incorrect you are with the wager you place.

Players can achieve big wins with generous paydays for being correct by a huge margin, but may also be susceptible to a big loss if their bet turns out to be way off. But PointsBetting does have a feature to cap possible losses. PointsBet installed a stop/loss feature that can limit how much you can lose, but will also impact potential winnings. Bettors will understand before they place their wager just how much they can gain or lose on the bet.

PointsBetting Example At PointsBet

How To Use PointsBetting

The PointsBet Sportsbook app implents a 1x multiplier on your bet for each point (or unit) you may be right or wrong on, such as when playing an Over/Under. If your bet is victorious by five points (or units,) you will win five times your bet. Conversely, if your wager loses by five points or units, you will lose five times your bet.

Read our Points Betting Tutorial for more information, but here is an example of how PointsBetting works.

EXAMPLE: If you bet $20 on an OVER which is 55 points for an NFL game, your payout will be based on the outcome of the game, not simply if you are right wrong. If we decided to make a fixed-odds wager, then hitting on the over of 55 points wins your $20 bet, while a score that comes in under 55 points loses the same $20. In the case of PointsBetting, how much you win or lose depend on the game’s end result.

If there is 70 points scored in that game with a 55-point OVER, you would win $300 due to being 15 points over the 55-point total. And if the score went over by 25 points, then the payout would be $500. This means you win 25 times your original wager.

But remember, the reverse situation can happen. If a game goes under by 15 points on a $20 wager, a player would lose $300. If the score comes in 25 points less than the OVER you wagered on, then it would cost the player $500, meaning they lost 25x on their bet.

PointsBetting is available for many types of sports, including football and basketball, and you can place bets on teams, over/unders and a variety of props.

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