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A Bookies Guide To: Sportsbooks

Sports games have a way of keeping us on the edge of our seats by their very nature, however, add a few bets to the mix and that game becomes even more exciting. However, as a bookie it is key to understand everything in detail, so we have written this sportsbooks guide for you.

With each pass of the ball, throw of a dart, or dedicated run, you become one step closer or further away to success not only for your team but for yourself too. It adds a second dimension of passion to an already passionate game. 

So, it really comes as no surprise that betting on sports games has been around for centuries. And we’re talking about a really long time here like it happened in Ancient Greece kind of a long time. 

Or course, nowadays, there are more options than ever before. But with all that opportunity to gain some extra cash is an equally, if not higher, chance of losing it. Especially if you don’t know the way of sports book betting beforehand. 

So, in this article, we’re going to go over everything there is to know about sportsbooks so that you’re ready to bet on your favorite sports team like an absolute pro. 

It’s Never Been Simpler Right? 

Wrong. It’s a pretty common misconception, especially amongst newbie betters, that sportsbooks are a super simple and easy method to gain a few extra pennies, but that’s really not the case. 

If you go into sports betting thinking it is merely a matter of picking a team to win and if they do you get cash, then you’re going to be in for a pretty big shock. 

Truthfully, it is far from that simple. Sportsbooks simply wouldn’t make any profit if that was the case. And a quick check of any sportsbook’s yearly revenue will prove that they make profit in their plenty. 

Sportsbooks are complicated and require some foundational knowledge about the sport in question, without it, it’s likely that you’ll never win. 

Terminology You’ll Need To Know

Sportsbooks come with quite a lot of specific jargon that you’ll need to understand. While the full list of terms is pretty extensive, as long as you know the following basic terms you can usually learn the rest. So, let’s take a look at a few of the terms you absolutely need to know. 


All bookmakers will set their numbers and odds based on who is most likely to win and by the value in which they think they will win.

When you see the word favorite it means that the bookmakers favor this team to win. You’ll tend to find favorites relieve a (-) on the board. This is because the amount of money you’re likely to win is lower because it is most probable that this team will win. 


The underdog is essentially the opposite of the favorite. They are a team or competitor that the bookmakers have deemed unlikely to win and will be marked with a (+) on the board.

This means that if you bet on them and they do win you’ll receive greater returns on your winning due to the improbable outcome. 


Every bet will have a minimum of two sides. For example, there will be two sides to a soccer team for the two teams playing. Each side is given a corresponding number by the bookmaker and will exist in any type of bet.


A line is all the numbers that correspond with a bet. This includes the full game or any specific time interval. 

Sportsbooks Guide – Types Of Bets 

While there are many different types of bets out there for sportsbooks, they usually fall into one of these three foundational categories listed below. Let’s take a look at these three different bets and what their corresponding numbers actually mean. 

Moneyline Bets 

A moneyline bet is the most standard and simple bet that can be made. Typically, this involves betting for the team or competitor that you believe will win the event taking place. 

So, say there’s an upcoming match that you’d like to make a little more exciting with a wager, you may see something that looks a little like this on the betting app or in-person betting shop: 

Team One +200

Team Two -300 

From this, you can see that Team One is the bookie’s favorite to win while Team Two is viewed as the underdogs (remember how we talked about the + and – values above) this also shows us that for a $100 bet, you can expect a $200 return on the favorite choice or a $300 return on the less-likely option. 


Of course, bookmakers wouldn’t make much money if this was the only bet available. After all, sometimes it can be quite obvious that one team may win. So, they make bets a little more specific with better odds to draw in customers. 

With a spread bet, you’ll often bet on a team to win or lose along with a bet on how many points the team wins or loses by. So now the numbers may look a little something like this.

Team One +200/+9 -110

A Bookies Guide To: Sportsbooks

Team Two +300/-9 -110

This then means that if you think that Team One will win or lose by 9 points or less you’ll bet $110 and get a return of $210. Alternatively, if you bet on Team Two, they would need to win the game by more than 9 points for you to win your return.


So, a total or over/under number completes the line. Let’s use our example again to explain this a little better. So for example if you see this value: 

Team One +225/+9 -110/75.5 

You’re sticking to everything that you’ve already learned above, however, you’ve added an additional element to your bet. Now, to win, both teams must score a combined 75.5 points overall throughout the game if you’ve opted for an over-total.

Whereas if you’ve bet on an under-total, the combined points for the game must be fewer than that 75.5 value.  

Exotic Bets 

From there, you can then delve into even more complicated bets such as Parlay’s, Teasers, 3-Ways, Round-Robins, and more.

These are a little more complicated though, so it’s worth ensuring that you have a deeper understanding of these basic bets before moving on to more complicated options. 

Sportsbooks Guide Final Thoughts 

As you can see, there’s quite a fair bit to understand when it comes to sportsbooks, and believe it or not, this handy guide has only begun to skim the surface of everything there is to know. 

From learning a little more about these bets, you can probably see why a deeper understanding of the sport is essential. All of the bets placed are based on probability and prediction.

When you understand the game, the teams, and the players on a more knowledgeable basis it makes making these predictions easier. 

And in fact, winning these bets takes quite a lot of work. Even the best betters often win only 55% of the time. If you want to become one of them, then numerical data and statistics will be your very best friend. 

Now you have read this sportsbooks guide, you should be able to start sports betting, so try it out, have fun, and see how your luck turns out. Just always remember to gamble responsibly. 

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