3 Basic Win Markets for US Sports Betting

Do you fancy learning how to bet on US Sports? These sports are popular all over the world, with the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB having worldwide fans and included in that we have people who bet on these sports on a regular basis. 

If you are taking a look at betting on these sports for the first time then you will see there is a great range of markets available to choose from. These are good in the future, but when you begin betting on them it is always better to stick to the basic win markets until you have gained a bit of knowledge and confidence about betting on whichever sport you decide to go with. 

Here is our guide to the main three basic betting markets where you can back your selections to win in different ways. Find best cryptocurrency betting bookmakers 2024 .

how do moneyline bets work usa bet
Table of content

The Money Line

This is the biggest and most used line in American sports. The line is as simple as it gets, who will win the game? It is based on the entire play and final result, so if there is any overtime, a shootout or anything else used to decide the outcome then it will count on your bet. 

If there is one negative to the money line it is that the odds are generally quite poor. This is because the line is a two-way market, you only have two options to choose from and because of this, you will always have an odds-on favourite heading the market. If you are looking for value at a bigger price then you will not be using this market too often, as you will struggle to find that here. 


How do moneyline bets work?

This is the biggest and most used line in American sports. The line is as simple as it gets, who will win the game? It is based on the entire play and final result, so if there is any overtime, a shootout or anything else used to decide the outcome then it will count on your bet.

What does money line betting mean?

Betting on moneyline is the most common way to bet on a game in America, and it involves the entire game. There is no such thing as a drawn game, and that counts when it comes to gambling too. If you are looking to bet in the traditional American style then this is the market for you.

What is 3 way betting?

The advantage of using the 3 way bet line is that you will get better odds about your selection as you are broadening the potential outcomes in the game.  However, the downside to using the 3-way line is that the team you have backed can win the game, but your bet can be a loser and this can be hard to watch sometimes.

However, what it’s great for is keeping things simple. If you want an accumulator bet across numerous games then this is the line to use, as you are giving your bet the best possible chance of winning by covering the full outcomes that are possible, including any additional play. 

For those just starting out you will find this the easiest market to understand. You will also ensure that the outcome of the game reflects your bet. For example, if you use another line you could find yourself in a position where you have a bet that is a loser, but the team in question has won. This would happen if you backed them on the regulation win line, and they won the game in overtime. This can be a little confusing for new sports players when they look at this type of thing happening. 

The Regulation Line

This is called something slightly different depending on the sport you are betting on. The most important thing is how the line works, this is a three way betting line that includes the draw, which would be the winner if the game went to overtime. 

This means you can see a team win, but not cover that winning method on your bet so your bet is a loser. Any wins that don’t come in regulation will be subject to this, so your team will win but you won’t. 

what is 3 way betting

The positive is that the odds on offer with this market are better than those on the money line. This is because you are betting on a game that has an additional outcome, the draw. When you are deciding what to bet on, you have three choices in front of you, not just two like you do with the other line. 

This line is all about weighing up your thoughts on how confident you are that the team you are choosing wins. If you are not too confident then the money line may be the best to go with as you re giving yourself every chance of landing a winner. However, if you are confident of a winner and you want to increase the odds you are getting then this line gives you the ability to do that, providing your selection wins inside regulation time of course. 

The Handicap Line

This is the final line of the three, and one in which you can add real value to your bets when you are following a favourite. The handicap line is a two way market like the money line with most bookmakers, although some will have it as a 3 way handicap betting line, with the handicap draw a possibility. 

The key thing to remember here is that this is a line based on something fictional that the bookmakers have created themselves. The score of the game matters, as when you are backing the favourite on this line you are backing them to win by more than a set amount, which is what the line is. 

For example, in an nfl handicap line, you may see the favourite at -7.5. This means that they have to win by eight points or more to win on this line, while the underdog gets a 7.5 start, so anything which is a seven or less point defeat actually counts as a win for them. If you do back the underdog, make sure you understand that they can lose the game but your bet could still win on this market. 

3 way handicap betting

It does give you something else to focus on and of course, the opposite is that you could back a team who wins, but because they haven’t won convincingly enough and covered the handicap line, your bet is actually a loser. 

It should be worth pointing out that with this handicap line being fictional, the bookmakers can have a difference of opinion and create different lines for the games. This is more important than ensuring you take the best odds, as the difference in line between bookmakers could be the difference between winning and losing for you. 

The handicap line is certainly the most complicated out of these three lines, but one that can be used regularly. To avoid too much confusion, it may be better for those new to US sports betting to try and focus on backing favourites on this line, and then hope they cover the spread and win by a comfortable margin.

If you want find more information about betting tips and strategies on US sports, visit our US sports betting guide page.

Dalius Mikalauskas

Sports Betting Expert

Dalius became interested in sports betting at the age of 16, although he could not place bets at that time (bets accepted from the age of 18). However, it was not forbidden to sell betting picks, which is what the author did actively on sports betting forums. Today, he has more than 18 years of experience in sports betting. In school, the auth ..
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