The influx of legal sports betting has led to billions in wagers on professional sporting events and has created a huge source of revenue for sports leagues. Unfortunately, this revenue generator has also led to a number of sports gambling scandals affecting the integrity of sport. The most notorious of these include point shaving, spot-fixing (a player or official attempting to fix a specific action) and overall match-fixing (the complete outcome of a game is fixed).
Straight bets are the most common type of sports bet. They involve placing a bet on one team to win a game. For example, if you think the Toronto Raptors will defeat the Boston Celtics in an NBA game, you would place a bet on the Raptors.
Spreads, or lines, are a way for sportsbooks to make uneven games more even by forcing the favorite to win by a certain margin in order to cash the bet. The line is usually posted in increments of half a point because whole numbers leave the possibility of a tie, so bettors must decide how much the favored team needs to win by to cover the bet.
Props, or proposition bets, are a special form of bet that are not based on the results of a game or event. They can involve anything from the number of strikeouts that baseball pitcher Max Scherzer will have against the Cincinnati Reds to the amount of overtime in a hockey game. While these types of bets can be lucrative, they generally pay out less than a standard moneyline or point spread bet. In addition, many of these bets have a high house edge (vigorish) and are often difficult to predict accurately.