Sports Betting

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Don’t let the numbers at the sportsbooks confuse you. Learn all the basics of sports betting on this page along with a few advanced methods.

Auto racing

Betting on auto racing has exploded in popularity in Vegas in recent years, and its appeal continues to grow.

The structure of betting on auto racing is similar to that of golf. The most basic wager involves picking the winner of a race. Typically a sportsbook will list 20 or more individual drivers along with a field (all others) option, at various odds.

For example, Jeff Gordon may be listed at 4-1, Jeff Burton at 15-1, Casey Atwood at 100-1, etc. If you bet $10 on Burton 15-1 and he goes on to win the race, you win $150 plus your $10 back, for a total payoff of $160.

Auto racing matchup propositions also are available, in which two drivers are paired against each other in a head-to-head wager, with a betting line on each driver set by the oddsmaker. The driver with the better finish in the race wins the matchup. (Both drivers must start for action.)

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For example, a matchup may pit Dale Jarrett (minus 145) against Bobby Labonte (plus 125). If you bet $145 on the favored Jarrett, the payoff would be $100 plus your $145 back, for a total of $245. If you bet $100 on the underdog Labonte, the payoff would be $125 plus your $100 back, for a total of $225.

Some sportsbooks also post unusual auto racing propositions such as the over/under on the number of cautions in a race, or which car manufacturer (GM, Ford, or Dodge) will win the race.

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Basketball

To bet on basketball on the PariMatch, tell the ticket writer the bet number of the team you wish to bet, with the point spread, and the amount you wish to wager. The payout, unless stated otherwise, is figured at odds of 10/11. This means that a wager of $11 would win $10 and return $21.

This is called a straight bet.

The Point Spread: When betting on basketball, the team you bet on must “cover the spread.” This means the team must win or not lose by a predetermined margin of points.

Note: The bottom team is always listed as the home team unless otherwise noted.

The point spread is always placed to the immediate right of the team that is favored. In this example, if you bet the Bulls, the Bulls must win by 4 points for you to win your bet. If you bet the Lakers, any of the following will declare you a winner:

  • The Lakers win the game.
  • The Lakers lose the game by not more than 3 points.

If the Bulls win by exactly 3 points then the wager is declared a push and all money is refunded.

Point spreads change constantly. The listed point spread the time you make your bet may be different from the point spread when the game starts. The point spread that is listed on your ticket is your official spread.

Total: Total points scored in a game. Also called the over/under.

You may wager that the total score of the game will be more or less than the number listed. It makes no difference which team covers the spread. Simply add the final score of each team. The payout, unless stated otherwise, is figured at odds of 10/11. (-110)

Basketball Parlays: More than one team on the same bet.

You may combine several teams into one wager on the PariMatch. All teams and/or totals must cover the point spread to win the bet. Odds and the number of teams vary from casino to casino. The following are approximate odds:

Any game that results in a push reduces the parlay of one team. A two-team parlay would become a straight bet.

Basketball Teasers: A wager that improves the point spread, but at reduced odds.

“Teasing” the point spread is done by adding points to an underdog or by subtracting points from a favorite. This increases the probability of winning your bet but decreases the odds of the parlay. Odds and the number of points available to “tease” vary from casino to casino. The following are approximate odds:

Number of teams 4 points 4.5 points 5 points
2 teams 10-12 10-13 10-14
3 teams 8.5-5 7.5-5 7-5
4 teams 3-1 5-2 2-1
5 teams 9-2 4-1 7-2
6 teams 7-1 6-1 5-1
7 teams 10-1 9-1 8-1

Boxing

To bet on boxing, tell the ticket writer the bet number of the boxer you wish to bet and the amount you wish to wager. Boxing odds are shown using a “Money Line.”

The Money Line: Odds for a game based on $1.00. A “minus” (-) preceding the number indicates a favorite. A “plus” (+) preceding the number indicates an underdog.

Tyson is favored to win the bout. If Tyson wins, a $26 bet would win $10 and return $36. If Holyfield wins, a $10 bet would win $22 and return $32.

A draw on a straight bet will refund your bet.

Boxing matches on the PariMatch often feature money line proposition wagers on knockouts, draws, rounds, and the duration of the fight. Odds vary in each fight.

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Football

To bet on football on the PariMatch, tell the ticket writer the bet number of the team you wish to bet, with the point spread and the amount you wish to wager. The payout, unless stated otherwise, is figured at odds of 10/11. This means that a wager of $11 would win $10 and return $21.

This is called a straight bet. A straight bet is the most common type of football bet.

The point spread: When betting on football, the team you bet on must “cover the spread.” This means the team must win or not lose by a predetermined margin of points.

Note: The bottom team is always listed as the home team unless otherwise noted.

The point spread is always placed to the immediate right of the team that is favored. If you bet the Dolphins, the Dolphins must win by 7 points for you to win your bet. If you bet the Jets, any of the following will declare you a winner:

  • The Jets win the game.
  • The game ends in a tie.
  • The Jets lose the game by not more than 6 points.

If the Dolphins win by exactly 6 points, the wager is declared a push and all money is refunded.

Point spreads change constantly. The listed point spread at the time you make your bet may be different from the point spread when the game starts. The point spread that is listed on your ticket is your official spread.

Total: Total points scored in a game. Also called the over/under.

You may wager that the total score of the game will be more or less than the number listed. It makes no difference which team covers the spread. Simply add the final score of each team. The payout, unless stated otherwise, is figured at odds of 10/11.

In some cases, bettors have the option to discard the point spread and bet on which team will win. This is called betting on the “Money Line”

The Money Line: Odds for a game based on $1.00. A “minus” (-) preceding the number indicates the team is a favorite. A “plus” (+) preceding the number indicates the team is an underdog.

The Dolphins’ odds are -180, meaning an $18 bet would win $10 for a return of $28. The Jets’ odds are +160, meaning a $10 bet would win $16 for a return of $26.

Football Parlays: More than one team on the same bet.

You may combine several teams into one wager. All teams and/or totals must cover the point spread to win the bet. Odds and the number of teams vary from casino to casino. The following are approximate odds:

Any game that results in a push reduces the parlay of one team. A two-team parlay would become a straight bet.

Parlay Cards: These offer the potential for a huge return while betting as little as $2.

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Sportsbooks offer several different cards, each one having different rules. Rules for parlay cards are placed on the back of each card. Read them carefully before wagering. The cards are simple to fill out. Simply darken the boxes or circles, that apply to the teams you wish to parlay. Then darken the amount you want to bet.

Football Teasers: A wager that improves the point spread, but at reduced odds.

Teasers cannot be straight bets.

“Teasing” the point spread is done by adding points to an underdog or by subtracting points from a favorite. This increases the probability of winning your bet but decreases the odds of the parlay. Odds and the number of points available to “tease” vary from casino to casino. The following are approximate odds:

Futures

Sportsbooks of PariMatch offer bettors the opportunity to wager on the outcome of a season — for example, which team will win the Super Bowl or the Stanley Cup, or the American League East pennant. This is known as “futures book” or “future book” betting.

As an illustration, let’s look at Super Bowl futures. Sportsbooks list each NFL team with corresponding odds to win the Super Bowl. For example, the Ravens may be 5-1, the Redskins 12-1, the Cardinals 100-1, etc. If you place $10 on the Redskins and they go on to win the Super Bowl, you collect $120 plus your $10 back for a total payoff of $130. It does not matter whether your team covers the point spread in the Super Bowl. For future book betting, the team has to win only the Super Bowl.

When you make a futures bet, your odds are “locked in.” That means if you bet the Redskins at 12-1, you will get paid off at 12-1 odds, even if the sportsbook later adjusts the odds (to 6-1, for instance).

Futures betting also is offered on the major events in horse racing, such as the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup. In horse racing futures, if your horse does not start the race due to injury or any other reason, you lose the bet — there are no refunds. On the other hand, the odds on your horse racing futures bet also are “locked in,” regardless of the horse’s odds on race day.

Some sportsbooks offer futures betting on unusual propositions, such as which major league baseball player will hit the most home runs in the regular season. Note that in this type of wager, all bets are action regardless of injuries or other unforeseen events.

Another form of futures betting involves the over/under on the number of games a particular team will win in the regular season. This type of wager is typically found on pro football and major league baseball, and sometimes on pro basketball. For example, the over/under on the Yankees maybe 93 wins. If the Yankees go on to win 94 or more games, the “over” is a winner. If they win 92 or fewer games, the “under” is a winner. If they win exactly 93, the bet is a push, and tickets are refunded.

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Hockey

To bet on hockey on the PariMatch, tell the ticket writer the bet number of the team you wish to bet and the amount you wish to wager. If your team covers the goal spread, you win. The payout is based on a “Money Line”.

When betting on hockey, the team you bet on must “cover the spread.” This means the team must win or not lose by a predetermined margin of goals.

The Money Line: Odds for a game based on $1.00 A “minus” (-) preceding the number indicates the team is a favorite. A “plus” (+) preceding the number indicates the team is an underdog.

Note: The bottom team is always listed as the home team unless otherwise noted.

The Red Wings are a 1 1/2-goal favorite to win. The Red Wings must win the game by at least two goals to be a winner. If you bet on the Sharks, you win your bet if:

  • The Sharks win the game.
  • The game ends in a tie.
  • The Sharks lose the game by not more than 1 goal.

Note: The money line is used in conjunction with the point spread. If the Red Wings win by 2 goals; a $15 bet would win $10 and return $25. If the Sharks win, tie or lose by one goal; a $10 bet would win $13 and return $23.

It is common for a team to be listed as a 1/2-goal favorite and be listed with a +120 price. This means that by giving up 1/2 goal, a $10 bet would win $12 for a return of $22.

Total: Total points scored in a game. Also called the over/under.

You may wager that the total score of the game will be more or less than the number listed. It makes no difference which team covers the spread. Simply add the final scores of each team. The payout, unless stated otherwise, is figured at odds of 10/11 (-110).

You may combine several teams into one wager. All teams must win to win the bet. Hockey parlays are figured out by calculating the payout for the first game, based on the money line, then applying that amount to the next game, and so forth.

Horse racing

Thanks to satellite feed from racetracks around the nation, Las Vegas is a sort of nirvana for horse racing bettors (or “horseplayers,” as they are sometimes called).

Because there are so many tracks to choose from, in Las Vegas race books it is usually necessary to identify which track you want when you place your bet. For example, tell the ticket writer, “Churchill Downs, eighth race, five dollars to win on No. 4.”

Otherwise, the betting procedure in the racebook is the same as at the track: For you to collect on a “win” bet your horse must win the race, to collect on a “place” bet he must finish first or second, and to collect on a “show” bet he must finish first, second or third.

Betting a horse “across the board” is really three separate bets: one to win, one to place, and one to show.

Hitting an “exacta” entails picking the first two finishers in a race in the correct order; a “quinella” is the first two finishers in either order. A “trifecta” is the first three finishers in exact order; a “trifecta box” is the first three in any order. A “superfecta” is the first four finishers in exacta order.

A “daily double” is a wager that calls for picking the winners of two consecutive races. A “daily triple” entails picking the winners of three consecutive races. And a “Pick Six” calls for picking the winners of six consecutive races, an extremely difficult feat that is usually rewarded with an enormous payout.

In Las Vegas, race books frequently offer promotions such as free contests with cash prizes, special house-banked betting pools that grow larger if no one hits them for a few days, or horse racing tournaments. Rules and details vary greatly by casino so be sure to shop around to find those that appeal to you.

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