8 Sports Bets to Get You Through Football Season
With the NFL and college football seasons in full swing, so are the books. And, there are limitless wagering choices with new options always emerging.
Here’s an overview of some of the top betting terms to ensure you’re in the know before you wager.
1. Straight Bets: Against the Spread
If you pick the Dallas Cowboys -4.5 against the New Orleans Saints, the Cowboys need to win by five points to win the bet. If you take the Saints, they can lose by four points or less and you win. With a tie, say the spread is four points and the result is a four-point difference, the bet is a push. You get your money back, usually minus…the…Vig….
2. The Vig
The industry standard for straight bets is -110. That means you need to wager $110 for every $100 you win. The Vig would be comparable to a house edge on different casino games. Ten percent is not too bad. Five percent is better. No wonder some Vegas properties advertise occasional “5-percent Vig” nights. Shop for them.
3. Money Line Bets
A great play if you like a team to win regardless of the spread. A money line NFL bet would look like this: New York Giants -180/Dallas Cowboys +150. You need to wager $18 for every $10 you win if you want to bet on the favored Giants. And if you think the Cowboys will win the game outright without the benefit of getting points, you will be gaining $15 for every $10 you bet.
You pick a certain number of teams or totals and place them on the same ticket. To win the bet, all your individual bets need to hit. The more teams you play, the payout is bigger, but so is the risk. You can make a two-team parlay, which usually pays 13-5. A three-team parlay pays 6-1. A four-team parlay pays 10-1. Again, losing just one of the games makes the bet a loser.
Similar to a parlay in that it is a multiple-game bet where you need to win all of them. But you can also adjust or “ tease” the point spread, often by six, six and a half or seven points. If you liked Philadelphia Eagles +2.5 versus the Washington Redskins and the Seattle Seahawks -4.5 against the Oakland Raiders, you could make a two-team teaser. If it were a six-point tease, you would now have Philadelphia +8.5 and Seattle at +1.5. Pays less but improves your odds.
6. Over/Under Bets (Totals)
You can’t pick the team? Try the total. If the two teams have an over-under of 44, bet one side or the other. Hitting 44 exactly will probably result in a “push,” in which you get your money back. A fun play is to tease it. You see a high-scoring game? Tease the total 44 total DOWN to 38 and bet the OVER.
A half-point. If a team is a 7.5-point favorite, it is said to be “laying seven and a hook.” You can often buy that half-point.
8. In-Game Wagering
A service offered by books in which bettors can place multiple bets in real time, as the game is occurring.
And there is more…much more…Good luck!