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US Gambling Sites / Betting Guide / Betting Lines Explained 2022

Betting Lines Explained 2022

Josh Schwartz
Josh Schwartz
Last Updated on 26/11/2022
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Betting lines are different wagering options at a sportsbook that come with different odds. Each sportsbook has its own collection of betting lines, and they are offered in many different varieties. To become more familiar with your wagering options, and what you can expect while playing at a sportsbook, take the time to learn about the moneyline options and look through our betting lines explained guide below to learn how to pick wagering options that will work for you best.

Betting Lines Tips

  • Betting lines come with different conditions and odds
  • Look at different sportsbooks for the best odds
  • Consider moneyline bets for more consistent wins
  • Consider point spread bets for bigger payouts

What are Betting Lines?

In the guide below you’ll learn everything you need to know about betting lines and what you can expect from them. But first, here’s a brief introduction to betting lines and what they mean. Betting lines are the many different types of wagering options available for sports bettors to bet on. The lines are split up into different types, but each one presents a betting condition for you to decide for or against. With the many different types of betting lines it’s possible to wager on the winner or loser of a match, the total points that a team wins by, the total combined number of points both teams will score, or more specific bet conditions. There are so many different betting lines to work with that you can literally wager on every aspect of popular sporting events. This helps to keep things interesting for sports fans and gives gamblers more ways to have fun. Before placing any wagers it’s important to learn more about betting lines and how they work as well as what types are available.

The Different Types of Betting Lines

There are many different types of betting lines to choose from, below are details for the most popular four. Looking at these betting lines explained will help understand how to place most wagers at an online sportsbook today and what the different options mean.

Point Spread

Point spread is one of the most common types of sports betting line and also one of the most profitable. The line is a wager on how far apart the scores of two teams will be. Wagering on a certain point spread position is guessing how many points the stronger team is going to defeat the lower ranked team. If the spread bet is for the Patriots to beat the Lions by eight points, wagering for that position requires them to come out ahead by a minimum of eight points in order for the wager to be successful. Wagering against that position means that the Patriots can win by 7 or fewer points and you’ll come ahead with a win. Point spread is simple to understand, but also more risky than other types of wagers, especially when betting on the more powerful of the two teams.


Reading through a guide on everything you need to know about betting lines wouldn’t be complete without taking some time to talk about moneyline wagers. These are the simplest wagers and the ones that players enjoy making most frequently. These wagers are paid out based on whether a team wins or loses. A moneyline bet can be used to bet for or against a specific team. Moneyline bets are more conservative than point spread wagers are, which means that they require larger bet amounts to earn the same amount as a point spread wager. When reading through a guide about betting lines explained, money lines are usually the first option explained because they are so simple. Choose one team or another and place the wager, then watch to see who wins. It’s that easy.

Point Total

Point total is are one of the more interesting types of betting lines today, because they don’t care which of the two teams wins at all. Instead, a points total wager is guessing about the combined scores of the two teams. A points total wager will give a total amount, and bettors have the task of deciding whether the game score is going to climb that high or not. These wagers make bettors look at a game in a whole different way, and they can offer a nice change up compared to a more standard betting line option.


Finally, there are proposition betting lines, or prop bets. These are very random wagers that are about specific conditions that may occur on gameday. They could be a prediction that a certain player will score a touchdown, hit a home run or run for 50 yards. The wagers might even look at the color of the shirt that a coach is wearing. There are normally many different prop bets available for specific games, especially for NBA betting lines for NBA matches or lines for betting on MLB games. Prop bets can be fun to make, but they are also difficult to win and very risky compared to something like a moneyline bet is.

Why Do Betting Lines Change?

Betting lines aren’t static and instead are always changing up until the end of a game. The betting lines are trying to predict the outcome of a game, or a specific set of conditions for a game as accurately as possible. The goal of betting lines is to get the same number of players to wager on both sides of a bet decision. As weather conditions change, players get injured, the score changes and other things happen, the betting line values are adjusted up or down. One team can go from being a strong favorite, to an underdog throughout the course of a game or even during the days leading up to a game if enough conditions change. It’s the oddsmakers jobs to try and adjust the odds to make wager options as fair as possible for everyone involved.

Do All Sportsbooks have the Same Betting Lines?

While many sportsbooks have the exact same online sports betting lines, there are different options at many of the leading sportsbooks as well. As a sports betting enthusiast, it makes sense to look at multiple sites to decide which one is offering the most favorable lines at the time that you place your wager amount. Different sportsbooks rely on different oddsmakers and that means that more favorable odds will be available at some sites instead of others. Spending the time to find the most favorable odds is a good way to make sure you’re winning as much as possible when placing different sports wagers.

How Sportsbooks Profit from Betting Lines

Sportsbooks don’t just pocket all the money that’s wagered on a losing bet, instead they only take a small portion of that money and use the rest to pay off a winning player. This small amount is known as the vig. The vig is a small added fee that’s put on top of a wager amount in order to ensure that the sportsbook is profitable over time. Over many different bets this small fee will add up to massive profits for a sportsbook, giving the company a very good reason to continue offering wagering opportunities to different players.

To learn about different betting strategies that can be used to take advantage of these online sports betting lines, see our guide about staking strategies here. The guide touches on different staking styles and looks at variable staking and fixed staking strategies.

Learning a good bankroll strategy will also help you manage your betting in the long run. Read our guide to learn the answer to the question - "What is a bankroll?" and discover some valuable tips for learning betting basics to implement the best bankroll strategy.

Join a Sportsbook and Practice Wagering on Different Betting Lines Today

After getting familiar with the different money lines and how they work, you should ask yourself, "Where can I bet on sports now?" It’s time to start looking at real-life money lines at current sportsbook platforms, but only if you are of the correct betting age to do so. Take the time to look at our sportsbook comparisons and join the top sites that appeal to you and look like they will offer the features you care most about. While testing them outlook at the money line offers an pick out the best offers to get familiar with the different options and to get more comfortable with what the sportsbook has to offer overall. That’s the best way to enjoy yourself while sports betting.

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Conclusion: Betting Lines are Simpler than they Seem

Money lines are different betting opportunities at a sportsbook, and there are many different types to work with. Getting familiar with all the different kinds of money lines makes it easier to choose the most profitable or the most enjoyable overall. Get to know how the different money lines work and you should be able to pick the options that you enjoy more consistently as a result.

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