In sports betting, the bettor puts money behind an outcome of their choice and pays if that outcome occurs. Depending on how the wager is placed, it can be a straight bet, a spread bet, or a parlay (combination of multiple bets). Sports betting also includes prop bets that offer more specific odds and outcomes such as player touchdown totals or win-loss records.
Legalized sports gambling has rolled out in several states in the US, including Ohio, which launched its first sites on July 1, 2022. Iowa legalized in 2019, with multiple sites launching later that summer, and Kentucky will soon join the list of legal states to offer sports betting. In all, legal sportsbooks will accept bets on professional and collegiate sporting events, though player prop bets in collegiate games are prohibited.
New bettors might be confused by the many terms used in sports betting, but there are some basic rules to help newcomers get started. Moneyline bets are bets that place the moneyline on a team or individual, with the winning team paying out if they win. If the moneyline is on a total, the amount paid will be higher than if the total is over or under. Spread bets are bets that take into account a team’s expected points difference, and they can be placed on both sides of the game.
Baseball games tend to be shortened by weather or other factors, which can affect bets on the game’s result. For example, if a game is rained out and resumes the same day, most bets will stand, but those on over/under or other totals will be adjusted by the book. The same is true of games that don’t reach nine innings.
In the United States, the use of official data for grading sports wagers has become a controversial issue since SCOTUS struck down PASPA last year. The American Gaming Association supports private commercial agreements for official data but opposes legislative mandates. Most state laws include a requirement that operators use official data for Tier 1 wagers, but some such as Tennessee allow sportsbooks to grade Tier 2 bets without the benefit of official data.
The use of official betting data is required in some states, such as Illinois and Tennessee, although these requirements have been met with fierce opposition from the sports industry. Many operators view the requirement as artificially constraining the marketplace and forcing them to sign a commercial deal with leagues at unnecessarily high prices. Distributors such as Sportradar say they charge less for their products than what the leagues are asking, but they refuse to alter their pricing based on mandates from state legislatures.
Players and employees of a MLB team are not allowed to gamble on NHL games, as per the league’s collective bargaining agreement. They can, however, bet on non-NHL events if they’re not involved with any WBSC competition in which their team is participating. This excludes Olympic events and, in the case of the NBA, tournament brackets, Super Bowl squares, and other non-NBA related wagers.