Sports Betting Basics


In sports betting, the odds on teams are set by the sportsbooks according to probability. Events that are high-probability tend to have lower odds and will pay out less than those that are low-probability. Conversely, events that are higher-risk will pay out more, but come with a higher reward. There are many betting options available, but most of them have two sides. In addition, you can bet on multiple teams at once.

The betting lines are often referred to as chalk. In sports betting, chalk is a favorite team or player who is expected to win by a large margin. A sportsbook may circle a game when the betting limits are lower than usual, a rumor is circulating, or a player takes a night off. The opening line is the point spread before the game begins. The closing line is the point spread at game time. If a game finishes tied with an unfavorable number of points, the bookmaker pays out the winning team.

Proposition bets are wagers that predict a specific outcome. For example, the number of goals scored in a football game may be a proposition bet. Similarly, the number of yards run by a baseball player is a proposition bet. Parlays are combinations of multiple bets, with each winning bet increasing your odds. A parlay must include at least two bets, but you can place as many as you like.