Sports Betting Nuances to Consider

Knowing about sports betting nuances will make you a smarter bettor

Key Points

– Sports bettors of all levels should understand how the different types of bets work.

– In searching for best bets, it’s important to understand how sportsbooks set their odds.

Understanding Sports Betting Nuances

Sports betting continues to gain in popularity. Legislation has made it legal to place bets in 30 of the 50 U.S. states with a few more on board to start in 2022. 

As more bettors enter the industry to place bets, even if just casually, they are finding it much easier to take care of their business online. The majority of bets are placed online via a sportsbook website or app.

In placing bets, it helps to understand some of the nuances of sports betting.


Bet Types

There are numerous betting types from which sports bettors can choose. The simplest to understand for any bettor is the outcome-based bet.

When betting on football or basketball for example, bettors can wager on the moneyline. They choose a team to win and win a certain amount of money (if their team wins) that is determined by the odds given.

Other bet types include the following:

  • Double outcome: bettors can choose more than one outcome, including a draw which is popular in soccer betting
  • Time-match: bettors can wager on a certain portion – first half, for example – of an event
  • Totals: bettors predict whether a game score goes Over or Under a certain total
  • Exact score: wager is placed on the exact score of a team or even a player in an event
  • Handicap: bets estimate a superiority in points of one team compared to another – the point spread 
  • Live bet: wagers placed on a number of different bet types but done so while the event is taking place

Bettors should be sure they understand the different bet types and how they work in the various sports to have the most success when betting. These are the sports betting nuances to learn more about. Along with the juice.

The House Wins … A LOT

Sports betting is not easy. If it was, all bettors would be winning much more than they do. The bottom line is that bettors need to understand that the house always wins. Here’s why.

The odds given by a sportsbook for an MLB game are as follows. Remember, betting the moneyline is the easiest of bet types. Bettors wager on a team to win.

Minnesota Twins +200

Detroit Tigers -250

These odds estimate the probability of either team winning this game.

Sports Betting Nuances – The Juice (Vig)

There is a formula [(Odds/100 + Odds) X 100] for calculating probability. Here, we find the probability of the Tigers winning is 71.33 percent and the Twins winning is 33.33 percent. 

There is a reason why those probabilities do not add up to 100 percent. The extra 4.66 percent in this case represents the sportsbook’s take, the juice or sometimes referred to as the vig. Oddsmakers build this into the odds of every single sporting event. That is why the house always wins.

The job of the sports bettor then is to find bets that reflect the best value. Those are wagers in which the odds are higher than the true probability of an outcome.