Chapter 7 – Sports betting types explained

Part 1 – Basic bet types explained

Understanding the different bet types is vital if you want to make money with sports betting.

There are hundreds of different bet types and markets and bookmakers keep coming up with new ideas all the time.

This article will focus on the most basic bet types as these should be where you focus first. Later on, you can always either diversify or specialise in a specific market.

This article will focus on:

  • Match betting / 1×2
  • Handicaps
  • Over or under / totals

Before we dig into the details it is important to understand the terms “bet type” and “market” as they are often used interchangeably.

Bet type and market meaning

A betting market is a specific type or category of bet on a e.g. a football game event.

The terms “market” and “bet type” are often used interchangeably and you shouldn’t be confused as they more or less mean the same.

The only difference is that a market is sometimes referred to as an overall market with several bet types included.

For example, a market could be “totals”, which include a number of bet types e.g. over/under 2,5 goals.

Match betting / 1×2

Match betting or 1×2 betting is the most straightforward and common of all the bet types and also the most popular.

It seems that every bookmaker, for some reason, have chosen to make up their own name for this bet type. Hence, you will sometimes see it referred to as match result, full time result, match betting or 1×2.

I personally don’t like when this bet type is called anything with result as it can be confused with the correct score market.

You simply have to bet either team A to win (1), team B to win (2) or that the game will end in a draw (x).

Note that when this bet type is referred to as 1×2, the number 1 is the home team or the team mentioned first, x is the draw and the number 2 is the away team or the team mentioned last.

Example

Let’s say the game is Real Madrid vs. Barcelona. Real Madrid is the home team. Let’s then assume the odds for Real Madrid to win is 2,50.

If you staked €10 on Real Madrid to win at odds 2,50, you would win €25 (10 x 2,50). The €25 would include your stake, so your profit would be €15 (25 – 10).

If the game ended in a draw or if Barcelona won the game, you would lose your stake.

Handicaps

In the handicap market one team will be given an artificial goal advantage before the game, which is then factored in when settling the bet.

This is often used by bookmakers when one team is a heavy favourite to even up the game.

The underdog will then be given a goal advantage at the start of the game, let’s say 2 goals. When the game starts the underdog will the have a 2-0 lead over the favourite. The favourite will then have to win the actual game with at least three goals to beat the handicap. Hence, if the favourite wins the game 0-3 the handicap result will be 2-3.

For punters the handicap market is interesting as you can find situations where the bookmakers have over or under the strength of one team compare to the other.

Example 1

 Let’s say the game is Bayern München vs. Karlsruhe. Bayern München is a heavy favourite.

As a heavy favourite Bayern München has a handicap of -2 goals.

There are then 3 different bets you can place.

  • Bet on Bayern München win the game. They will then have to win with more than 3 goals.
  • Bet on the draw. Bayern München will then have to win exactly with 2 goals.
  • Bet on Karlsruhe. As Karlsruhe has a 2-goal head start they can afford to lose with 1 goal and your bet will still win. If the game ends in a draw or if Karlsruhe wins then you bet will also win.

Example 2

We use the same example as above. However, this time Bayern München now has a handicap of -2,5.

There are then 2 different bets you can place as the handicap bet cannot be settled as a draw.

  • Bet on Bayern München win the game. They will then have to win with more than three goals.
  • Bet on Karlsruhe to beat the handicap. As Karlsruhe has a 2,5-goal head start they can afford to lose by 2 goals and your bet will still win. If the game ends in a draw or if Karlsruhe wins then you bet will also win.

Over or under / totals

Totals also sometimes referred to a over/under bets are very popular and a great alternative to the 1×2 bets.

In the market the aim is not to predict who will win the game but rather predicting the amount of e.g. goals in that particular game.

As the name indicates you have to predict whether a game has more or less goals than the suggested number set by the bookmakers.

A particular popular bet is over or under 2,5 goals.

Example

Let’s say the game is Borussia Dortmund vs Chelsea and the bet is over or under 2,5 goals.

If you bet on over 2,5 goals and the result is 2-2 then your bet will win. However, if the final result is 2-0 then your bet will have lost.

On the other hand if you bet on under 2,5 goals and the result is 2-2 your bet will have lost but it will win if the final score is 2-0.