How to Bet on Sports Online

If you’re a fan of sports betting, there’s no better place to wager than online. The realm of online sports betting brings you the opportunity to bet on all your favourite leagues, tournaments and games, both locally and on an international scale.

Online sportsbooks offer you all the same functionality as traditional land-based bookmakers’ offices in a convenient format that you can enjoy at any time and at any place. All you need is a computer and a data connection, and you’ll be ready to enjoy premium betting online.

Betting online is incredibly simple. To begin with, you should sign up at a top online sports betting site and make your first deposit. This will result in a generous deposit bonus, and now your real money betting can begin. From there, browse your site’s markets, choose your favourite, and view the games on offer and their respective odds. Once you’ve made a selection, simply wager and wait to see if you’ll bring home a great cash win!

The best online sportsbooks also offer plenty of resources to help you handicap your games like news, past odds, player history and more. These resources are incredibly valuable in helping you understand the advantages and disadvantages each team has in a game, which will also help you to pick a promising side. Read on as we break down the basics of how to bet on sports online, and consult our betting glossary to make the most of every online betting feature on offer.

How to Read Betting Odds

Betting odds can be daunting at first glance, but they’re very easy to understand. There are lots of odds on offer for different betting markets, ranging from moneylines to totals and more.

You’ll find all of the odds for your games of choice displayed on the boards of your chosen online sports betting sites. Once you learn how to decode these odds below, it will simply be a matter of placing your bets and waiting to bring in the big cash!

Moneyline Bets

Moneyline bets are the most straightforward bet type you’ll find. A Moneyline focuses simply on the outright winner of a game, and that’s who you’ll be wagering on with this type of bet. Moneyline can also refer to moneyline odds, which are often seen next to point spreads and totals. In this regard, ‘moneyline’ is just another word for ‘odds’!

Over/Under Betting

Totals (or Over/Under bets) are bets placed on the combined score of the teams in a game. The final score is all that matters here, so when you see a total next to a Moneyline or Point Spread bet, this tells you that there is an over/under set for the game and you should make your bets accordingly.

Spread Betting

The Point Spread also offers you positive and negative symbols, as it’s focused on the margin of victory between two teams. In a Spread bet, the playing field is evened out by points being assigned to the underdog before wagering. This makes the winning decision more challenging and evens the odds.

Parlay Betting

Parlay bets allow you to wager on two or more outcomes in a game. This type of bet can be high risk, but it can also offer high rewards! In a Parlay, you will need to win all of your wagered outcomes in order to cash in on your bet. If you lose any of the games in your Parlay bet you’ll lose your entire Parlay.

Teasers and Pleasers

Teasers are a type of bet that allows you to tip a point spread in your favour. In return, you’ll have to give back a small portion of your final payout. Teasers must also always be a combination of two or more games, making them a kind of Parlay bet.

A Pleaser bet is the exact opposite! In a Pleaser, you will give away points, which in theory decreases your chances of winning but drastically increases your payouts.

Understanding American, Fractional and Decimal Odds

Online sports betting odds are usually presented in 3 main styles: America, fractional, and decimal.

American odds offer either a plus or minus sign in front of them, with a minus sign indicating how much cash you need to bet to win 100.00. A plus sign, on the other hand, tells you how much you stand to win on a 100.00 bet.

Fractional odds are simply portrayed as fractions, like 10/1 or 7/2. In these odds, your stake is the denominator, and your payout will be the numerator.

Decimal odds are probably the easiest to calculate. Simply multiply your decimal odds by your bet amount for your total payout.

Choosing a Betting Site

To choose the best online sports betting site, you need to bear in mind a few key factors. These include:

  • Does the site offer betting to punters in your country?
  • Does the site have a great reputation, valid licensing, and trusted real money banking methods?
  • Does it offer 24 hour customer service, and other benefits such as Live Betting, low juice, and a great variety of betting markets including all of your favourite sports?
  • Does the sportsbook offer a casino or racebook section, generous deposit bonuses, and regular online betting promotions?

Betting Terms Glossary

These are the most important terms you’ll need to know to enjoy online sports betting:

  • Action: The term for the amount of wagers placed on a game or sports event.
  • Bad Beat: An outcome that looked like it would win, but turned out to be a loss.
  • Buy Points: A move that gives you the chance to pay a small fee and tilt the point spread in your favour.
  • Chalk: Refers to the competitor or team that will likely win an event.
  • Cover: When a side wins against a spread by covering the minimum score.
  • Edge: The probable advantage a bettor has when placing a wager.
  • Even Money: A bet that pays the same as what you staked.
  • Favourite: The team expected to win a game.
  • Handicapping: Researching, evaluating and predicting the outcome of a sports event.
  • Juice: The sportsbook’s commission on each bet placed. Also called vigorish.
  • Lines: Another word for betting odds like a point spread or moneyline.
  • Moneyline: A bet that focuses on an event’s overall winner.
  • No Action: When a bet is cancelled and the staked amount is returned to the punter.
  • Over/Under: A preset projection of the combined final score of both teams in a game.
  • Prop Bet: A bet made on other activities or occurrences at a sports event – not on the winners or losers themselves.
  • Push: A tie. The stake will be returned to the punter.
  • Side: The team or competitor you are betting on.
  • Taking the Points: Betting on the Underdog on a point spread.
  • Underdog: The team that is not expected to win.
  • Vigorish: Another term for the sportsbook’s commission.

New Zealand, UK and Canadian Sports Betting Differences

Lastly, you may find some differences between sports betting online in New Zealand, the UK and Canada. All three of these countries tend to offer their sports betting odds in decimal format, although in Canada you may also find American odds from time to time. The sports betting markets on offer may also differ, with New Zealand’s favourites including rugby and cricket, the UK’s choices including horse racing and football, and Canada’s favourites including ice hockey and CFL football.

Regardless, you can still get a fantastic range of odds and bets in all the best markets by signing up at our top-rated sports betting sites!