How To Bet On Sports

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How To Bet On Sports | BetPhoenix Bet Type Guide

Win Bets/MoneylinesOver/UndersRound RobinsParlaysHalf Times
Points SpreadsPropsReversesTeasersQuarters
Futures If BetsBuying Points  

If you’ve been wondering how to bet on sports, then an excellent place to start is by beginning to understand the types of bets available and how they work. Read on to discover the kinds of bets, and how they work, that you can place at the BetPhoenix Online Sportsbook.

How To Bet Win Bets or Moneyline Wagers

Win bets and moneyline wagers refer to the same type of bet. But, while most sportsbooks around the world use the term “win bet,” sportsbooks in the United States use “moneyline wager.”

The term “straight bet” is also used to describe this bet type, but in the US, and at BetPhoenix, a straight bet refers to a point spread bet (more on this shortly).

Moneyline bets are straightforward. In a moneyline bet, you pick the team you think is going to win a game, match, or another event.

Let’s look at some examples:

Example 1:

Let’s start with football, where betting is straightforward because there are only two options. You back one team to win. Here’s what you’ll usually see on the betting board

  • Tennessee Titans +175
  • Carolina Panthers -210

Note the plus sign (+) in front of the odds for Tennessee identifies them as the underdog. A $100 bet on the Titans would return $175 if they won. The Panthers are the favorites, who are determined by the minus sign (-) in front of the odds. A $100 bet on Carolina would return $47.5 if they won.

Example 2:

This example is for a basketball game.

  • Memphis Grizzlies +290
  • Los Angeles Lakers -350

A $100 bet on the Grizzlies will return $290 if they win. A $100 bet on the Lakers returns $28.57.

Example 3:

Let’s use a soccer game for this example. In soccer, as in many other sports, a game can end in a tie. Win bets or moneyline bets in soccer are called “3-Way-Bets.” You can back one team to win, or you can bet the draw.

  • Slavia Praha +1981
  • FC Barcelona -594
  • Draw +675

A $100 bet on Slavia Praha would return $1,981 if they won. A $100 bet on Barcelona would return $16.84, while a $100 on the draw returns $675.


How To Bet The Point Spread

Point spread bets are called “straight bets” in the US. A point spread bet works differently from a Win Bet, as you’re not betting on who will win a game or a match. Instead, you’re betting on who will “cover the spread.”

To come up with a spread, bookmakers consider participants as equal favorites for betting; but, while a favorite is “deducted points,” a dog is “given points.” The spread shows how many points are taken or given from the favorite and the underdog.

  • When you bet on a favorite on the point spread, you’re backing them to win by a margin that’s greater than the spread. When you bet an underdog, you’re supporting them to either win or lose by a margin that’s less than the spread.
  • If the favorite wins by the exact amount of points shown by the spread, the game ends in a tie (push), and your money is refunded. You don’t win or lose any money.

Let’s look at a few examples.

Example 1:

Chicago Bears +5 -110
Philadelphia Eagles -5 -110

The point spread, in this case, is five points. You can see this by the +5 and -5 next to each team. The +5 for the Bears tell you they’re being given five points for betting, so they’re the underdog. The Eagles are the favorite and deducted five points. The -110 next to each spread are the odds in American format. Note that both teams have the same odds, which is often the case for point spreads because, in theory, both sides are equal favorites and should have roughly the same chance of covering the spread.

If you bet on the Eagles and they win by MORE than 5 points, you win your bet. The total payout, including the stake, would be $210. If Philadelphia wins by precisely five points, then the bet is considered a push, and your money is refunded. If the Eagles lose or don’t win by MORE than five points, you lose the bet.

If you backed the Bears, you’d win your wager if they either win the game outright or lost by LESS than five points. Again, a win by the Eagles by precisely five points results in a push.

Example 2:

Let’s again use football; for example, the 49ers are playing the Cardinals.

  • San Francisco 49ers -10.5 -105
  • Arizona Cardinals  +10.5 -115

Notice a couple of things in this example. First, the spread included a half-point at 10.5; this is very common with point spreads, as it takes away the possibility of a push. A team cannot win by exactly ten and a half points, so a bet will always win or lose. The Cardinals would have to lose by less than ten points to cover, and the 49ers would have to win by at least 11 points to cover.

The next thing to notice is the odds are NOT the same; this is also very common. There’s not a big difference, but the odds on the Cardinals are slightly higher than the odds on the 49ers. The disparity suggests the Cardinals are considered more likely to cover the spread than the 49ers.


How To Bet Totals/Over-Unders

Totals and Over-Unders are the same types of bet. The bookmaker sets a line for the total number of points, goals, or runs that will be scored. You’re betting on whether the sum of points, goals, or runs will be higher or lower than the line the bookmaker set.

If you bet the score will be higher, you’re betting the OVER. If you back the lower score, that is referred to as the UNDER.


Again, let’s go with football in which totals are one of the most popular bet types in the United States. You’ll see totals available for every single NFL and college football game.

  • Green Bay Packers Over 39.5 -110
  • Los Angeles Chargers Under 39.5 -110

Notice the half point in this example. It means there can’t be a push. If you take the over, you need 40 points or more for you to win. If you back the under, you need 39 points or less to be scored for you to win. Football totals don’t always have half points, so there could be a push in this type of wager.


How To Bet Proposition Wagers

Props, or proposition bets, are wagers offered on the outcome of specific aspects of a sports event. These aspects don’t necessarily have a direct effect on the final outcome of the event, such as, for example, which team will score first.

Here are a few examples of popular props:

  • Which quarterback throws the first touchdown pass?
  • The first player to score a goal.
  • Which team wins the coin toss
  • Number of touchdown passes for a quarterback
  • The team that scores first
  • Will [Player] score a touchdown?
  • Will the team that scored first win the game?

How To Bet Futures/Outrights

Futures and outrights are the same wager type. Futures are bets in which odds are posted in advance on the winners of various significant events such as the Super Bowl, the World Series, the Stanley Cup, and the NBA Championship.

How To Bet Parlays

A parlay is a combination of 2 to 10 straight wagers placed as one wager. Let’s say you want to back five football teams to each win their next game; then, you’d include the five teams in a parlay.

All of your picks must be winners for you to win, so it’s a difficult bet to win, but the payout can be massive if your picks do hit — the higher risk results in a greater payout.


Let’s say you want to place a 5-team parlay on:

  • New Orleans -14
  • San Francisco -10
  • Los Angeles +3.5
  • Arizona -9.5
  • Green Bay -3.5.

Your picks must cover for you to win the bet. If any of the teams fail to cover, the wager is a loser. The payouts for parlays though can be juicy, and this is what BetPhoenix pays out on parlays:

Parlay Odds

Standard Parlay

Number of Teams






















How To Bet Teasers

A teaser is a particular type of parlay bet you can place on football and basketball.  The bet is a selection of two or more teams in one wager in which the point spread or total is adjusted in your favor.

Example of how a teaser works:

Let’s say you’ve picked three football teams to include in a teaser. The spreads for those teams are as follows. 

  • Baltimore +3
  • New Orleans -4
  • Miami +11

You’re placing a six-point teaser, which means the spread moves in your favor. Your wager for the teams in your selection would then be:

  • Baltimore +9
  • New Orleans +2
  • Miami +17

In the above scenario, Baltimore can now lose by less than nine points, instead of three, for you to win that pick. New Orleans must have won by more than four points, but now they can lose by a point. Miami can now lose by up to sixteen points, instead of up to ten.

Teasers give a cushion to your picks, but this advantage is reflected in the odds.

Teaser Odds

Standard Teasers




Football & Basketball Points
































Special Teaser Odds

3 Team Special Teasers - Ties Lose


Football Points

+ 10

Basketball Points

+ 7

3 teams




4 Team Special Teasers - Ties Lose


Football points

+ 13

Basketball points

+ 9

3 teams


How To Bet Round Robins

Round robins are a type of parlay wager in which you can pick 3 to 8 teams and match them in as many two-team combinations as possible.


  • Eagles -5
  • Ravens +2.5
  • Chargers +7

Possible combinations are:

2-Team Parlay

2-Team Parlay

2-Team Parlay

Eagles -5

Eagles -5

Ravens +2.5

Ravens +2.5

Chargers +7

Chargers +7


Playing this round-robin for $100 involves putting $100 on each possible 2 team parlay combination for a total ticket of $300.

How To Bet If-Bets

If bets allow you to place a chain of wagers that are dependent on the outcome of a preceding bet. You put a bet that will only have action if the first bet made was won or tied, depending on what you specify.

The bets do not have to occur in the same order as the game times. Also, you do not have to re-invest all of your winnings in subsequent bets; instead, you select the amount you want to bet in each game. The condition “if win only” is called single-action, and “if win or tie” is also called double-action. If the first bet is a push or canceled for any reason, the remaining bet(s) will not have action.

Example (Double Action)

  • New Orleans Saints -5 $110 to win $100
  • IF (if win, tie, or cancel)
  • Minnesota Vikings +4 $110 to win $100

If the Saints lose, you lose the bet for -$110. If the Saints win +$100, the bet continues to the Vikings' wager. If the Vikings win, the wager is a $200 winner. If the Panthers lose, the wager is a $10 loss.


How To Bet Action Reverse

These wagers are two “double-action if bets” involving the same two straight wagers, but inverted.


Part A

Part B

Saints -5 $110 to win $100

Vikings -14 $110 to win $100

IF (win, tie or cancel)

IF (win, tie, or cancel)

Vikings -14 $110 to win $100

Saints -5 $110 to win $100

If both teams win


One win, one loss


Both sides lose


One win, one Push



How To Bet Half-Time Wagers

These wagers are available for the first and second half of specified games. All halftime wagers are calculated the same as a straight wager unless otherwise indicated. There are no teaser plays or buying of points on half-times. On half-time bets, overtime periods are graded as part of the second half.

How To Bet Quarter Wagers

On select games, wagers are available on quarters. All wagers must go the full period. Quarter wagers are calculated the same as a straight wager unless otherwise indicated. There are no teaser plays or buying points on quarter wagers. On quarter wagers, overtime periods are not included as part of the 4th quarter.

How To Buy Points

Buying points lets you improve your odds of winning a straight or a parlay bet by lowering the spread on a team, therefore allowing you to win when your team scores fewer points. Point buying is available for football and basketball on game sides and totals only.


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