5 Most Popular Types of Sports Wagers

5 Most Popular Types of Sports Wagers

Sports Entertainment

5 Most Popular Types of Sports Wagers


The sports betting industry is booming, and many online sportsbooks offer a wide array of sports you can bet on. Even once you pick a sport, you’ll have a wide variety of available wagering options, and some of them happen to be more popular than others.

Even though some sports feature unique bets, almost all of them have many betting markets in common, and we’re going to explore the most popular ones in this article. Read on.

Jun 1, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Orioles shortstop Freddy Galvis (2) fields a ground ball against the Minnesota Twins during the fourth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Moneyline Bet

The moneyline bet is the most popular type of wager in all sportsbooks. It basically involves picking the winner of an event. If two teams play against each other and you place a bet on one of them, you’re making the moneyline wager. If the team you backed wins, you’ll win money — it doesn’t get any simpler than that.

Some sports also feature a slightly adjusted moneyline bet where you can bet on a tie if such an outcome is available. For instance, you can bet on a draw in soccer if you think that there won’t be a winner in the end. 


Futures or outrights are bets on an entire competition. For example, if you think that the Lakers will pick up the trophy in the upcoming NBA season, you can back them with your bet and wait until the end to see whether you’ve won. There are several different types of outright bets, and all of them have one thing in common — they’re settled after the league season (or any other competition) ends.

If you don’t mind waiting and want to test your luck, placing such a bet is the way to go. Many legal online sports betting sites will offer outright wagers on most sports, and you should pick the one you’re most knowledgeable about and even do some research if you want to increase your chances.

Point Spread

The point spread is perhaps the most complex bet you’ll make when betting on sports. However, once you get into the swing of things, you’ll see that they are actually pretty easy. The goal of the point spread is to make both teams equal on paper.

For instance, if the Lakers play the Kings and are considered a clear favorite, a sportsbook might take away some points from them, creating the spread. Bettors can then bet on the team of their choosing.

If the Lakers start with a 15-point deficit, they’ll have to win and make up the point difference for you to win the bet. On the other hand, if the sportsbook awards the Kings 15 points and you bet on them, you’ll win the bet even if they lose, but the point spread is less than 15.  


Over/under bets (also known as totals) allow you to bet on whether a stat will be higher or lower than suggested by the sportsbook. 

We’ll use a basketball game as an example once again. Let’s say that the Nuggets play Utah Jazz, and you decide to bet on the total number of points that both teams will score in the game. The sportsbook may suggest, say, 220 points in total, and if you think that teams will score more, you’ll make an over bet. Otherwise, you need to bet on under

Prop Bets

Jun 1, 2021; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) tries to skate with the puck against Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin (74) during the second period in game two of the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Prop bets are very popular among some bettors. Prop stands for proposition because such bets are propositions that you can back by placing a bet on them. 

A prop bet can suggest several players who might be candidates to score first. If you think Ibrahimović will score the first goal in the upcoming soccer match, you can back that prop bet and win some money if that happens.

Prop bets come in all shapes and sizes, and some of them are more complex than others. For example, you can place a football bet that player A will score a touchdown in the last part of the game or that player B will get an interception in the first quarter.

Final Thoughts

Sports betting is an exciting activity, especially if you’re a huge sports fan and are knowledgeable about specific players/teams/competitions. You can use your knowledge to gain an advantage when placing wagers, which will ultimately help you make a profit. Still, please consider that sports betting is a form of gambling, so make sure to approach it with a high level of responsibility. 

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