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Straight Bets

Straight bets are gambling wagers placed on a side or total for a single event or game. Straight bets are the most common type of sports gambling wagers.

Sports betting on the favorite involves wagering on the favored team and therefore laying points or money. The amount needed to be risked in order to win $100 will be expressed with a minus (-) sign. Traditional sports betting payout odds for straights bets are -110, meaning you will win $100 for every $110 wagered, or any other 11:10 equivalent.

Sports betting on underdogs involves receiving points or money and the amount you will win for every $100 wagered is expressed with a plus (+) sign.

The pointspread is also referred to in sports betting as simply the line or the spread. When sports betting, the favored team is handicapped by subtracting points or goals, the quantity of which is noted with a minus sign.

On the other hand, sports betting on the underdog involves being given points or goals, the quantity of which is noted by a plus sign. For example, consider a sports betting scenario in which the sportsbook is listing Pittsburgh -7 against Cleveland in NFL sports betting action.

In this game, the Steelers are the favorites and they are favored by seven points, meaning that Pittsburgh must win the match up by more than seven points in order for a wager on Pittsburgh to be considered a win.

However, a wager on the Browns will win if the Browns win the game outright or simply lose by less than seven points. If Pittsburgh happens to win the game by exactly seven points then the game is considered a push and all wagers are fully refunded.

Sports betting involving the money line does not involve the pointspreads seen in other straight bets. In order to win a money line bet, all you need to do is select the team that will win a game outright. For example, the money line odds for the Pittsburgh-Cleveland game discussed above may be Steelers -210 and Browns +180.

In such a situation, if you want to bet on the Steelers to win the game outright, then you must risk $210 in order to win $100. On the other hand, if you want to wager on the Browns to win the game outright, then a $100 wager would payoff at $180.

Sports betting on totals -also known as over/unders- is very simple once you are familiar with sports betting on pointspreads. Totals lines will offer a single number for the total possible number of points to be scored in the game, and you simply wager on whether you believe the actual total will be over or under that given number.

In these straight bets it does not matter which team scores the points, only the total number of points scored by both teams combined is relevant.

For example, imagine the Pittsburgh-Cleveland game mentioned above has a total line of 40.5 and finishes with the Steelers winning 21-17. Because 21+17=38 and 38 is lower than 40.5, the under would have won in this sports betting example.

Run Lines
Run lines are used for sports betting on baseball and they are always set at + or - 1.5 runs. Therefore, a run line wager on the favorite will win only if the team wins by two or more runs, while a rune line wager on the underdog wins if the team wins the game outright or loses by only one run.