The very basic first type of wager on online sports betting is the straight bet, and before you know how to bet on sports, you need to grasp the concept on how to place a straight bet. Even though it sounds simple, there are a couple of ins and outs that you must grasp first before moving on to more complex types of bets. A straight bet is a single wager for a single event (game or match) that has a point spread, game totals, and a money line. It can also carry a run line (baseball) or a puck line (Hockey). The payout of the bet is determined by the sportsbook’s odds. There are a variety of different straight bets.

Point Spread

The point-spread concept is used to somehow even out a contest between both sides of a sporting event. What it does is that the team that is expected to win (also called the favorite) is awarded a line with subtracted points to even out the contest versus its rival’s. The underdog in the encounter is awarded those points as an advantage. To win a bet on the spread the point or goal difference determines who wins, if the team you bet on covered the spread you win, if not the bet is deemed a loser. This is the basic wager you must learn in order to know how to bet on sports.

However in certain cases the teams or sides are so evenly matched that the line might read PK, which means “Pick ‘em”, that means that there are no point spread to give.

Game total

This is a type of wager in which you bet for the total amount points, goals, etc. combined between both teams. Usually the line will read an amount of point and you can select to bet that the game’s final score will be over or under that said amount.

Money Line

The money line is a simple wager in which the point spread is not determined. It is based on the odds each side has to win. The odds posted on the money line is based on a $100 parameter. In this type of wager if you pick the favorite you must risk more money to win less, but if you pick the underdog, you risk less to possibly win more. A regular money line will read as follows:

Team A -225
Team B +175

In the above example Team A is the favorite to win and in order to win $100 on your bet, you must lay a $225 bet. Whereas Team B is the underdog and on their line, for every $100 you bet, if they win you get a $175 payout. In the case that you read a line EV it means “even money”, in those cases you win the same amount of money you bet.

Run/Puck line

The Run line or Puck line, for either baseball or hockey, function the same. It is a mix of the spread and the odds. Here’s an example:
Team A -1½ (-150)
Team B -1½ (+135)

In this example, Team A must win the game by 2 runs or goals in order for you to win your bet, and you will need to bet $150 in order to get $100. If you wager on Team B, they must win the game or lose by just one goal or run, and for every $100 you wager you will win $140.

Learning how to bet on sports is simple, and once you understand these basic straight bets, the rest are very easy to grasp.