PointsBetting takes a traditional wager like a spread, total or prop and adds a unique twist: A bettor’s potential winnings or losses aren’t fixed but variable to the end of the game.
The idea behind PointsBetting is simple: The more bettors are correct in their predictions, the higher the winnings. Conversely, the more bettors are off in their predictions, the higher the losses. That’s because a bettor’s stake is multiplied — either positively or negatively — by whatever the difference is between the final result and the original spread, total or prop.
Consider a bettor who wagers $1 on Team X as a favorite of 7 points. If Team X wins by 13 points — covering the spread by 6 points — that bettor will earn a profit of $6 (or 6x his or her original $1 stake). Conversely, if Team X wins by just 1 point — failing to cover the spread by 6 points — that bettor will lose $6 (or 6x the original $1 stake).
Each market available for wagering has its own unique “multiplier cap,” which varies based on the volatility of that specific market. For example, some markets may allow for a win/loss multiplier of up to 1000x, while other markets could be capped at 10x. Depending on the multiplier cap of a given market, part of a bettor’s balance is withheld to cover potential losses. Regardless of the cap, bettors are always shown the “Balance withheld,” “Max win level,” and “Max loss level” of a market before finalizing a PointsBetting wager.
Risk-averse bettors also have the option in select markets of choosing their own customized multiplier caps — or “stop losses” — which limit the potential win/loss multipliers for a specific wager. So if a bettor chooses a stop loss of 5x and makes a PointsBetting wager of $1, he or she can win or lose no more than $5 regardless of the outcome of the game.
Moneyline Betting 101
A moneyline bet is a wager placed on a team to win the game outright.
Because it’s rare that two teams are rated equally by oddsmakers, bettors are required to pay a premium to wager on the favored team. Conversely, a bet on the underdog is incentivized by higher potential returns.
For example, if Team X is a -300 favorite on the moneyline, a bettor would have to wager $300 to earn a profit of $100 (for a total return of $400 — original stake plus winnings). On the other hand, if Team X is a +300 underdog on the moneyline, the same $300 bet would result in a $900 profit (for a total return of $1200 when factoring in the $300 stake).
Moneyline bets are popular in parlays in which bettors combine two or more plays to create higher potential payouts.
Spread Betting 101
The spread (also known as the “side”) is the method oddsmakers use to equalize two teams.
For example, if Team X is favored by 6.5 points over Team Y, a bet on the favorite “giving” 6.5 points means Team X would have to win by at least 7 points for the bet to cash. On the other hand, a bet on the underdog “getting” 6.5 points means Team Y could lose by as many as 6 points and the bet would still be a winner.
Spread bets are typically priced at -110 odds on both the favorite and underdog, meaning a bettor must risk $110 to produce a net win of $100 (for a total return of $210 — original stake plus winnings).
The most traditional types of wagers, a spread can be bet as a single-game wager or become part of a parlay.
Total Betting 101
The total, also known as the “over/under,” refers to the cumulative number of expected points in a matchup. Bettors have the option of wagering on the combined score of the two teams either going “over” or “under” the total.
For example, say oddsmakers list a total of 47 points for a matchup between Team X and Team Y. If a bettor were to make a wager on the over, a winning bet would require at least 48 combined points. If the total ends up at 46 or fewer the bet would lose, while a hypothetical final score of 27-20 — for exactly 47 points — would result in a “push,” meaning the bettor’s stake would be refunded.
Similar to spread bets, totals are usually priced at -110 odds on both the over and the under.
Prop Betting 101
A prop bet is a wager on a specific player- or team-related event, with corresponding odds assigned to the potential outcome. Also known as a “proposition,” the easiest way to understand a prop bet is to think of it as a scenario that an oddsmaker presents to bettors.
For a player-related example, “Player X will score a touchdown” represents a common football prop. A bettor can take a “Yes” or “No” position on the prop, with the odds of each outcome varying depending on the player. If, for instance, oddsmakers assign +130 odds to the “Yes” outcome and Player X scores a touchdown, then a bettor who wagers $100 on that prop would earn a net win of $130 (for a total return of $230 — original stake plus winnings).
For a team-related example, “Team X will score first in its matchup vs. Team Y” is another common prop. If the odds of taking a “No” position are -130, then a bettor would have to wager $130 in order to produce a net win of $100. If Team X does not score first, the bet would cash for a total return of $230 — original stake plus winnings.
Parlay Betting 101
A parlay involves betting on two or more outcomes at once and combining the bets into a more involved wager with escalating returns.
Bettors can choose from moneylines, spreads, totals, props and certain futures to add as “legs” of their parlay. The most important thing to know about a parlay is that each individual leg must win for the parlay to cash.
Parlays are tough bets to win. But because of their low-cost, high-reward potential, they represent preferred wagers for many recreational bettors.
Name A Bet
Unique to PointsBet, “Name A Bet” offerings are generated by the public. Creative clients click on “Name A Bet” and then “Request Your Bet” before making a pitch. Want the odds on the New York Giants to win exactly nine games? Our traders priced that at +2500. Or for Rickie Fowler to win a major in 2021? That’s +1000. Clients can suggest a bet involving any sport that appears in our menu.
In Play Betting
Remember all those times you hustled to get your bet in by kickoff, first pitch, opening tip or puck drop? Never again. Live betting allows customers to bet on throughout the game, using lines and odds that are constantly being adjusted. Spread, moneyline and totals are the most common wagers during a game or match. Due to the nature of live betting, markets sometimes get suspended while play is stopped for reviews, injuries, game malfunctions, etc.
Pick Your Own Spread and Pick Your Own Total 101
While it’s standard practice for oddsmakers to establish a spread (also known as a “side”) for any matchup before accepting wagers from bettors, a unique feature of the PointsBet Sportsbook empowers bettors to initiate that process themselves.
This is achieved by permitting bettors to determine the precise spread they would prefer for a given matchup, and then assigning corresponding odds to that number.
For example, say Team X is posted as a 7-point favorite vs. Team Y at -110 odds but a bettor prefers to wager on Team X as a 3-point favorite. That bettor merely needs to utilize the Pick Your Own Spread feature to request his or her preferred spread, and the customized spread will be honored at an adjusted price.
Bettors can also select their own total with an adjusted price.
Futures Betting 101
A futures bet involves making a wager on a player- or team-related outcome that won’t be settled until the conclusion of that season. The most common futures bet involves wagering on a team to win a league championship.
Sportsbooks typically release “futures odds” for the upcoming season soon after the conclusion of the previous season and then update and adjust the odds throughout the offseason as more information becomes known.
The benefit of wagering on futures is that bettors can turn a small amount of money into a significant payout if they place their bet on the right long shot.
The most famous example of a futures bet turning into a windfall of cash came when Leicester City won the 2015-16 English Premier League title after beginning the season with 5,000-1 odds, which is to say a mere $1 bet on Leicester City would have resulted in a $5,000 win.