Sports betting is not what it used to be.

With its rise in popularity, simply understanding the basics—the money line, the point spread, the over/under—is no longer enough. Even those who dip their feet in the waters just for fun are obligated to understand and explore different wager types while also comparing and contrasting the different experiences offered by websites.

The latter is easy to do. There are plenty of helpful resources related to all the most popular sports betting sites, such as immediate access to reviews of the user interface, promotions, transactions, odds markets and so much more.

Diversifying your betting portfolio takes a little more work. It entails knowing about more of the options available to you—particularly those that reward research, insight, and general skill.

Two such avenues that fit underneath this umbrella, which also happen to capitalize on the groundwork laid by money lines, points spread and the over/under, are parlay and future bets. These wagers, while slightly riskier, are methods by which you can increase your potential return.

Future Bets

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The idea behind future bets is exactly as it sounds: You’re tasked with making predictions on an event—on an outcome—that won’t happen for at least another few months.

Most of these wagers come in the form of predicting accolades amid a larger field. Think along the lines of NFL division titles, NHL conference championships, and the NBA Finals.

Meanwhile, whereas returns on single-game bets can vary and typically aren’t very lucrative, the potential payouts on most future bets exceed 1-to-1. Sportsbooks are more willing to reward you for your predictions because you’re choosing an outright winner among a pool of somewhere between five and 30-plus teams. That makes the nature of your decision much more difficult.

On top of that, the amount of time that passes after making these bets also comes into play. Most future bets are placed before a season even begins. That means there is an entire schedule’s worth of games that will pass, a length span in which circumstances can change and things can go wrong. Sportsbooks reward you for going up against these risks with those larger payouts.

Of course, not all futures deal in strictly outright winners. Predicting the over/under on win totals is an option, as well.

These bets aren’t quite as rewarding on the tail end, since you’re picking between two options. If you’re looking at NBA win totals and see the Los Angeles Lakers’ over/under is 52.5, they can either win 52 or fewer (the under) or they can win 53 or more (the over).

Still, even with these lesser payouts, the idea behind betting totals is solid. You’ll get closer to 1-to-1 on payouts, if not more, because of the length of time standing between you and the outcome of your wager.

Parlay Bets

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For anyone who prefers more immediate high-payout opportunities, parlay bets are a potential goldmine.

Though some get thrown off by the concept, it’s actually pretty straightforward: Parlay bets involve tying two or more single bets together so that you increase both your prospective return and the risk tied to your transaction.

Let’s say you’re looking at the odds on upcoming NBA games. You decide you’d like to bet the Lakers (-200), the Boston Celtics (+6.5), and the over 209.5 on the Brooklyn Nets-New York Knicks matchup. For good measure, let’s also say you’re prepared to spread $100 (semi-)evenly among these three lines.

When placed separately, none of these wagers will yield more than, roughly, a 0.95-to-1 payout. If you parlay them, though, you can turn your $100 investment into a total payout of nearly $560—$460 in pure profit, plus the initial $100 you put up.

Here’s the thing: With parlay bets, you need all of your predictions to hit to place a successful wager. In this case, if the Lakers win and the Celtics cover at -6.5, but the over misses on Nets-Knicks, you would lose the wager and $100 you risked.

That might sound like a turnoff for certain bettors, which is fine. But the odds aren’t technically as long as the payout implies. Remember, sports betting is more a game of skill and research than pure chance. If you’ve done your due diligence, a three-team parlay that pays out, approximately, 6-to-1 actually has a much higher likelihood than 1-in-6 of hitting.

Parlay odds

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Understanding odds is one of the first and basic lessons on the road to success, and their reading varies depending on the type of bet. The “-” sign in front of the number indicates that it is the team that is the favorite in the tournament, while the “+” sign in front of the number indicates the unattainable. The numbers are not constant and there is a possibility of an increase in the potential payout for the underdog, as well as a decrease in the potential payout for the favored team.

Knowing how to read odds will give you an improved betting experience. In fact, it’s not as complicated as it will seem the first time you pick up a ticket. Let’s explain practically. If you see -130 in front of the team on the list, you will have to bet $ 130 to win $ 100 if the team wins. But if the underdogs on the list are +130, you can win $ 130 with $ 100 invested.

You have to be up to date with sportsbooks all the time because the odds can change at any time. These things can especially confuse you when betting online and that’s why suggests that you find a reliable and understandable website. Also, you can easily get confused because sportsbooks have different odds for each of the teams you bet on within the package.

Future odds

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Future betting, as we have already mentioned above, allows us to predict the outcome of a sporting event that has yet to happen in the future. These odds are reserved months in advance for some events and it is up to the players to decide which segment to place their bets on. It can be which team will win the championship and which the conference. You can also bet on individual players or the number of games won. There are many options.

reading futures quotas is not complicated and will be easily understood by those who have no experience. They appear in the shape of a fractional form and a money line.

Take the Super Bowl tournament as an example of a factional form. Among the favorites to win the Super Bowl was the San Francisco 49ers with 13/2 odds. This is the same as 6.5 to 1 which further means that if your team wins the Super Bowl you get 6,5 for each bet.

When we talk about the money line, we will take the American League Central Division as an example. We will mention the Detroit Tigers as the favorites with the odds of -225 and the Kansas City Royals as the underdog with +400. The number you see in front of Detroit indicates the amount you must bet for every $ 100 you want to get in the case of a win. So $ 225 is the minimum you have to invest.

On the other hand, the number next to Kansas City Royals, whose plus classifies it as underdogs, shows you the amount you will win if Kansas takes the victory for $ 100 invested. For the new $ 400 you have to invest another $ 100.

Just some food for thought when you’re at your sportsbook and considering all the options at your disposal.