Sports betting is a pastime throughout much of the world. It is a recognized and legal industry in all of Europe and many other countries with ties to it. One exception to that, however, is the United States where sports betting options are fairly limited. Standard single sports betting is only legal in one state; Nevada.
Delaware is the only other state where sports betting is legal, though it is pretty limited. Players in Delaware may only buy NFL parlay tickets with three or more teams included. No other sports are offered here. Below we have compiled several helpful articles and resources regarding sports betting and fantasy sports.
Sports Betting by Sport
Sports Betting Guides
Sports Betting Strategy Guides
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was passed by Congress in 1992. It stopped the spread of sports betting by exempting just four states; Delaware, Montana, Nevada, and Oregon. Each of these states had some form of sports betting in the 20 years prior to the law being enacted. PASPA grandfathered these states in, but only for the forms of sports betting that were previously spread. These states were not able to expand existing forms of betting, as Delaware found out in 2009 when the sports leagues challenged its attempt to offer full sports betting in federal court. PASPA was overturned by the Supreme Court of the United States in May of 2018.
Nevada is one of the most popular states offering sports betting and consequently has, by far, the most sportsbooks in the United States. It has offered legal sports betting for more than 60 years. All professional sports and many amateur ones are allowed.
Since the beginning, these types of establishments had to pay a 10% tax on sports action, so they charge the same amount in vig. This means that when wagering on sports in Nevada, you will be paying a 10% vig on your total bet.
Delaware offered NFL parlay cards in 1976 for a single year through its state lottery. This form of wagering along with full out sports betting returned in 2009, though it was shot down by a lawsuit.
During this lawsuit, the supreme court ruled that Delaware violated the federal law, primarily PASPA. The state was then only able to offer parlay cards for NFL games, since that was the only form previously available.
In 1989, Oregon offered NFL parlay cards through its Sports Action product. It expanded to NBA in 1990. The only exception being that bets are not accepted on games involving the Portland Trailblazers. The NBA parlay cards were discontinued in 1991. NFL parlay cards were offered until 2007.
Montana continues to accept fantasy sports bets through its lottery. NFL and NASCAR wagers are the only types of sports accepted. These are placed into a pari-mutuel pool.
While players in 48 states do not have access to brick and mortar sports betting, offshore sites have established very successful business models. These sites often offer poker and casino games alongside sports betting. Online sportsbooks spread all of the same products available in Nevada, including single sport betting, parlays, teasers, and pleasers. They often go beyond what is legal in Nevada which includes bets on Olympic Games, entertainment props, and political wagering.
There are only a handful of primary types of bets available when betting on sports. With that said, there are many derivatives of those more simple variations, and many sportsbooks offer a number of unique and more exotic takes on traditional bet types. For example, you may bet using a point spread, but some sportsbooks will let you buy points to increase your chances of winning (for a fee, of course).
Moneyline, spread, and totals bets are the primary way to bet on any given sporting event. Each sport tends to have their own take on each of these bet types. For example, there is a “runline” in baseball, where in hockey it is called a “puckline.” Once you understand the basic concepts of sports betting, however, the bet types become very easy to understand.
A moneyline is a wager that predicts the outright winner of a sporting event. Point spreads are ignored for these types of bets. The team more likely to win will require a lay and will be displayed as a minus number; for example -150. The underdog will have a plus sign; for example +150. A bettor taking the favorite (negative odds) must lay money, while the underdog bettor will win more money than he bets.
Some games will not have a moneyline offered. This is usually because the matchups are either very close (and can be bet on the point spread) or very uneven. Sportsbooks will usually offer a moneyline even when a team is a 20/1 favorite, but when a team is a 100/1 favorite, for example, they will disallow moneyline altogether. Imagine the best college football team playing a Division III opponent. This would be an example of when a moneyline would not be offered.
Point spreads were invented in the early to mid 20th century as a way for bettors to wager on games without the use of a moneyline or other fixed odds. In a point spread, one side is given points (+) and one has points taken away (-). The favorite will be indicated by the (-) and the underdog will show a (+).
If the Bulls are 7 point underdogs against the Pacers, the spread would be listed as Bulls (+7), from which you could deduce that the Pacers are (-7). If you bet on the Pacers in this point spread example, you would win your wager any time that they win by *more* than 7 points. If the Pacers lose, or win by less than 7 points, a wager on the Bulls wins. If the final score is a Pacers win by 7, the bet is considered a push and initial wagers are refunded in their entirety.
Totals, also known as the over/under, concern only how much scoring takes place in the game. The winner is irrelevant. If the Lions are playing the Bears and the total is set at 49, that means it is expected that the combined number of points scored by the 2 teams will be 49. From there you decide if the total will go over or under that figure. Like the spread, the standard vig is -110 but can vary depending on how much money is coming in on each side.
It has been discussed that there is perhaps more value to betting the under when playing the totals. The reason for this being, fans like to see a lot of scoring, no matter what the sport. It is quite a lot of fun to bet the over and always be rooting for the offense. Scoring is what seems to excite people. Keeping points off the board is just as important when it comes to winning, and while we all know that, at the end of the day, touchdowns generate louder cheers than incomplete passes.
Casual bettors, unlike professional sports betttors, like to give action on things they want to see happen. Since everyone knows scoring is one of them, the sportsbook can think hey, let’s just make the line higher than it should be because most people will take the over anyway. Therein lies the strategy that taking the under may offer some extra value even as the lesser exciting play.
There will be a total set for the game, and also the first 5 innings. There is nothing available for the latter portion of a baseball game. Picking which side to get on presents many factors to consider. The most obvious ones will be who is pitching, and how good are the offenses. Are there any prolific basestealers? If so, how well does the opposing catching throw out would be basestealers? You can’t forget the fielding either. That’s as important as anything else. With so many games in a baseball season, there is a lot to look at.
The nice thing about basketball is that it’s always indoors, weather can’t affect anyone. The fewer the factors to consider, it should be easier to make a decision. Throughout the 82 game season, every team is going to have to play back to back days. About 20% of their games will be followed by a game the next day, so because of this frequency, you can see the differences in how teams perform when they’ve had rest and when they haven’t. Certain players will also either sit out one of the two consecutive games, or at least see limited action. Like football, you can also bet on the 1st half total individually, and the same with the 2nd half.
There are certain things you should be asking yourself before take a side in football. How is each team doing lately, is anyone hurt, what will the weather be like, etc. If you know that there is going to be a blizzard, this presents arguments for both sides. On one hand, it’s snowing hard and no one can see that well. So it’s all just a chaotic mess, how is the offense going to get anything done? It’s a fair question, but it’s not so easy to tackle either. The defenders also struggle to keep their traction. You see guys break away for huge gains and the touchdowns can pile up fast.
Sometimes you look at a game and see it’s between 2 strong defensive teams. It makes the under seem like the obvious preference. Except you get so preoccupied with how little scoring the defenses will give up that you forget they can do it themselves. You realize it though when one of the quarterbacks loses a fumble 20 yards in front of his end zone and 2 plays later a touchdown has been scored.
The NHL also has an 82 game season, so be aware of who is playing on back to back to back nights in case the regular goalie needs a night off, or if any team has been playing and traveling a lot lately. Teams may be at a struggle to score because of fatigue, but that can also keep them from defending the goal too. For the most part, totals in hockey tend to be in the 5-7 goal range, depending on the team’s involved.
Do you believe in betting on what’s hot, or what’s due? Hot meaning, if a team is scoring a lot of goals, are you the type who thinks that it should continue, or that they are due to have an off night and barely score, if at all? It really isn’t that relevant as each game is independent. No matter how well or poorly anyone is doing, you never can know when these freak professional athletes are going to suddenly start performing to the opposite level that they currently are.
If you are taking a trip to Vegas, want to get some sports betting done but can’t find a game you like, you might want to consider making a futures bet on a sport currently in its offseason. The most common futures bets are selecting a team to win the championship, which two teams will make it to the championship, who will win their division, and picking the over/under of how many games a team will win during their regular season. Example: Los Angeles Lakers 42.5. Picking the over means you think they will win at least 43 games. The under means 42 or less.
Futures bets are a way to have a bet that lasts for much longer than only one game. While these tend to have a higher vig (fee) charged by the sportsbooks, many bettors place these futures bets because they are intrigued by the potential for larger payouts and the extended amount of time they are able to “watch” their bets unfold.
A parlay is a ticket with two or more outcomes that the bettor wagers on. These may be point spreads, moneylines, or a combination of the two. Most sportsbooks offer parlays with up to 10 outcomes. This offers the bettor with a potentially higher return than single bets, given that the odds of winning a parlay are statistically lower.
A teaser involves a wager where a player can add 6, 6.5, or 7 points to a football game or add 4, 4.5, or 5 points to a basketball game. These points are subtracted from the published point spread to give the player a bigger advantage for each game. A loss on any game makes the entire ticket lose. A tie will drop the payout by one team. Similar to parlays, for teasers the player may typically tease up to 10 games on a ticket.