Different sports require different betting strategies. Some sports favor bets like moneylines or point spreads while others are best for props. Of course, you can place whatever type of bet you choose on any sport, so long as it’s offered.
Consider the tips below a beginner’s guide. Use the suggestions to tailor your betting strategy, but remember you can always follow your own instincts.
NFL Wagers Explained
Football is a dynamic and engaging sport. It’s honestly a great fit for most betting types. Generally it’s advisable to avoid moneylines when betting on the NFL, because teams can be woefully outmatched by superior opponents. Point spreads become a good option instead.
Totals are hard to call in NFL games because defense is such a strong thread in the fabric of the sport.
NFL games are great for props and teasers, too. Teasers are great if you can move a line from -10 to -6, for example, because that brings the threshold to within a single touchdown. Smart bettors will take advantage of this.
If a player is having an all-star season, sprinkle some money on props—running yards, receiving yards, touchdown scorer, etc. Lots of fun to be had in NFL betting with various wager types.
For more insight into betting on the NFL check out our full NFL betting guide.
College Football Bets
See above. College football bears many similarities to NFL betting. However, remember that there are so many teams in the NCAA, and college football is unpredictable. This may make for the occasional moneyline underdog opportunity, though we recommend making these bets with caution.
Watch out for player props, too. A team that struggles offensively can still manage to hold the opponent to few points and stifle a star player’s running/receiving game.
Point spreads are solid options for college football games, but stick to the teams you know and do your research.
NBA Wagers Explained
How about…all of the above. NBA games are prime betting opportunities for almost any bet type. Player props are particularly fun in basketball betting, and you can combine them into some great same game parlays. Try combining one player’s points with another’s rebounds or assists. Maybe sprinkle some cash on steals or blocks if you think the stakes are high.
As far as more “normal” bets go, the NBA is a solid fit for totals bets and point spreads or teasers, too. Moneylines are fine if the match is expected to be close.
College Basketball Betting
Once again, see above. Keep in mind that college basketball features heavier defense than the NBA, so exercise caution when betting on totals.
Point spreads, player props, and moneylines are typically good options here.
MLB Wagers Explained
Moneyline, moneyline, moneyline! Did you get that? Moneylines are great options for baseball betting. Baseball is a slow, strategic sport. It makes for low-scoring games that remain close even if one team is physically superior. The odds are almost always close-ish to even, making moneylines well-paying if you can make good picks.
Baseball also has a ton of live betting potential because it moves slowly. If you take advantage of in-game line changes, you can maximize your profit potential.
NHL Wagers Explained
Moneylines and props are usually best here, for similar reasons that we listed for MLB bets. Hockey has a lot of action, but scoring is few and far between, making moneyline bets solid wagers.
Props can be fun as well, as can live bets. If you’re betting totals, consider the under as often as you consider the over due to hockey’s low-scoring potential.
Golf Wagers Explained
You won’t find moneylines, point spreads, or totals on golf.
The most common wagers are short-term futures, e.g. who will win a tournament or betting on a specific golfer to place in the top 5, 10, or 20.
If you can find a sportsbook with solid live betting options for golf, that’s a solid option as well. It can sometimes be 5+ minutes between a player’s most recent shot and the next, giving you time to consider your bet.
There are also head-to-head bets available at many tournaments, allowing you to wager on one golfer within a pairing to beat his paired opponent.
Tennis Wagers Explained
The tennis equivalent of a moneyline is a bet on a single player or pair to win. You’ll find plenty of those at any given tournament.
Tennis also presents solid options for live betting because the matches can take some time.
Soccer Wagers Explained
If you’re a live betting fan, you can’t do much better than soccer. It’s a low scoring but fast-paced game, so there’s always a new line or bet available. Find a sportsbook that loads quickly and updates lines often when you’re betting on soccer.
Avoid bets on moneyline in soccer because they always have a third option: a tie. That decreases your chances of winning a moneyline bet significantly.
MMA/UFC Wagers Explained
MMA and UFC are ideal candidates for prop betting. You can bet on the result of the fight and how it’ll end (knockout, submission, etc.).
It’s best to follow experts or dedicated MMA fans to find the best bets on these sports.
Boxing Wagers Explained
It’s most common to find moneyline-equivalent bets on boxing matches, though the odds are disparate because there’s so much performance data to back up one boxer to win.
If that’s not your style, you can enjoy method of victory props, betting by round, or a close-to-even bet on whether the bout will go the distance.