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Straight Wagers / Bets

When learning how to bet on sports the first type of wager that should be understood is the straight wager. The straight wager is the most common wager type for sports betting. Straight Wagering is defined in many different ways. It can be known as a straight bet or a side bet. Basically it is when the sports bettor places a wager on a team to win.

Depending on the sport the straight wager is completed using the money line or the point spread. In football and basketball the straight wager is completed with a point-spread but in hockey and baseball the money line is the main ingredient in the straight wager.

The straight wager when using the point-spread has the basic fixed odds for a straight wager of (-110). The (-110) odds for this type of wager indicates that the sports bettor will lay $11 to win $10 on any straight wager. The amount of the wager may change but the fixed odds stay in pace. During line movement sometimes the odds are altered on a point spread. Before the line moves the bookmaker will often change the odds to change the flow of the betting. So it is not uncommon to see a point-spread with (-115) or (-120) attached as the fixed odds. 

It can also go in the other direction. Some sportsbooks will offer reduced juice or “vig”. Certain sportsbooks will offer reduced juice on a regular basis or on a special night of the week. The reduced amount is usually (-105) and that could amount to a huge savings after a long period of sports betting when compared to the regular number of (-110).

Here is an example of a straight wager using the odds of New England Patriots (-9) against the New York Giants (+9). Assuming the fixed odds on this wager are (-110), an example of a straight wager on this game is as follows.

If you wanted to make a straight wager on the Patriots (-9), the Patriots would have to win the game by more than nine points. If they win by exactly nine points, the wager is considered a push or a tie.

If the Patriots win by less than nine points or lose the game outright the wager would be graded as a loss. The Patriots are considered the favorites in this game and the Giants are considered the underdog.

Therefore if you placed a straight wager on the Giants in this scenario they would have to lose this game by less than eight points (remember nine points is a push) or win the game outright for the game to be graded a win.

Straight bets are the most basic bets and are the foundation of betting on sports. Before betting more complicated wagers, the straight bet is the place to start.