For the most part, except for a couple types of sports such as greyhound (or dog) racing and horse racing, sports betting is illegal in the United States. Majority of the states within the country have regulations not allowing for the act of sports betting.
However, just because it is illegal does not mean that people do not take part in it. Nonetheless, this article will only pertain to the legality of sports betting in the United States.
If you were interested in sports betting in the United States, but only wanted to take part in legal sports betting - how does it work exactly?
Well, to begin, you would place bets at a casino in a specific area of the casino that is better known as a sports book. This is where you can place wagers (or bets) on almost any type of sport played. You can place bets on baseball games, basketball games, football games, hockey games, greyhound racing, horseracing, etc. In addition, you can place bets on not only college sports, but professional sports as well.
There is a variety of bets that you can place, but the three most common are the following:
Winner - This is by far the most popular bet of all. You simply place a bet on the person that you believe will win the particular sporting event or contest.
Season Winners - This takes part during the beginning of a season, such as the teams that will make it to the playoffs or Super Bowl.
The Over / Under - This is probably most popular in the game of football. How it works is you place a bet whether the total points of the games will be over or under a specific number.
When it comes to odds, the moneyline format is the most widely used. In some countries, fractions and decimals are used; however, in the US a dollar amount is used in a negative or positive format and is placed right next to the bet. The moneyline uses a base, which is normally $ 100. Therefore, the moneyline will tell the sports bettor how much they have to bet in order to win $ 100. Alternatively, the sports better can tell how much their bet will receive for each $ 100. Let us take a closer look, shall we?
The Green Bay Packers are favored to win and have a moneyline of -150. The Dallas Cowboys are placed at +130 due to the fact that they are said to lose. Now, in order to be able to receive winnings of $ 100 on the Packers, you are required to bet $ 150. If you were to place a bet of $ 100 on the Cowboys and they win, you would return $ 130.
The two sports that are bet on the most and probably deemed the most popular would be football and basketball in the United States and the moneyline is very useful on these two sports. Majority of the time, these two sports use the point spread. What is the point spread? The point spread is a specific number of points that the favored team must win by. For example, the Cincinnati Bengals are favored by 6 ½ points over the Indianapolis Colts. This means that the Bengals are required to win by 7 points or more in order for you to win from your bet that you placed on them. However, you could possibly bet on the Colts and still win - even they lose the game, provided that it is by 6 points or less. When you are betting on the point spread, it is a payout in even money. For example, if you bet $ 150, you will win $ 150, etc.
Now, keep in mind that if you win, the casino (or sports book) will take out a percentage as a service charge aside from the losses incurred (if any).