What is a Wager in Sports Betting?

Are you always confused by the terminologies used in sports betting? You’re not alone, as there are many expressions that most people don’t understand. This article explains the concept of wager sports betting while offering some important insights for novice and experienced bettors.

If you master it, you can improve your overall gambling experience and possibly increase your chances of winning. So, what does wager mean in betting? Read on to find out.

🔑Key Takeaways

  • Wager in sports betting helps you engage actively with different events.
  • You can use a calculator to estimate a wager outcome.
  • Tips for placing effective wagers can help you make informed decisions.

Definition of a Wager?

A wager in betting entails staking money on a specific result in a game or event. For example, in an MLB match between the Nationals and Pirates, predicting that the Nationals will win and stake $50 as a wager means you have placed a bet for $50 on the Nationals’s victory.

If it wins, you get your initial stake back plus additional profits. Meanwhile, if Pirates wins, you lose your entire bet.

Common Types of Wager

There are different sports betting wager types in US sportsbooks. Here are the most popular.


Also referred to as American odds, the moneyline bet is the simplest type where you predict the team or athlete that will win the match. You wager on the favorite or the underdog. A stronger side is represented by a negative (-) symbol, while the positive (+) sign is the weaker one.

→ For example, in the NBA match between the Thunder and Mavericks.

The Thunder is the favorite with -125 odds. Meanwhile, Mavericks is the underdog with +290.

  1. If you place $100 on Thunder, you’ll have $180.00, making a profit of $80.00.
  2. On the other hand, if you stake $100 on Mavericks, your total payout would be $390.00, giving you a profit of $290.00.

Point Spread

Also known as the spread bet, this requires you to predict if a specific team will win or lose within a set margin. At DraftKings, the odds are represented by (-) or (+) signs. These symbols indicate the number of points a team can lose or win for the bet to go through.

→ For instance, in a match between Inter Miami and Nashville SC.

The odds appear as Inter Miami -1.5 (+110) and Nashville SC +1.5 (-155).  This implies that if you bet on Inter Miami, they need to win by more than 1.5 goals. Meanwhile, if you wager on Nashville SC, they require either a win or a draw for the bet to go through.


Also referred to as an accumulator, a parlay bet is a combination of several bets into one. Each wager must go through for you to win. This makes the bet a much riskier option than single picks. However, you enjoy better odds.

For instance, you can combine your predictions and come up with a single bet. This can be picking the market between NYCFC vs. DC Utd, CF Montreal vs. Orlando City, or Toronto FV vs. NE Revolution.


With an over/under wager, the sportsbook sets a total for a specific statistic. Then, you predict if the results will exceed or be less than that number.

For example, when betting over/under 1.5 for a match between Columbus Crew and Portland Timbers, you’ll win if you select ‘over’ and the total goals scored by both teams combined is more than 1 by the end of the match. Meanwhile, if you place a wager on ‘under’, you would win if the total goals scored by both teams combined in the match is less than 2 by the end of the match.

Calculating Your Sports Betting Wagers

The correct calculation of your bet will help you make the right and informed decisions. This is possible and easy if you consider a wager calculator.

Understanding how to use the calculator based on various types of bets like point spread, parlays, and over/under is important. It actually contributes to deeper knowledge and strategy-making.

How to Use a Betting Wager Calculator

Using a betting wager calculator is pretty easy and can help determine your potential payout and profits. Here’s how to use one:

For Straight, Point spread, or Over/Under Bets

  • Enter the Bet Amount: Select the amount you want to wager on a particular event. Let us say you wish to place $50. You can adjust the slider or manually enter the figure.
  • Input the Odds: Insert the odds linked with your chosen selection or the one you’d like to test. Typically, there is a field to enter the value. Let us use -110.
  • View Results: After filling in these essential details, the betting wager calculator will automatically display key information such as:
  1. Payout: $95.45 – the total amount you stand to win.
  2. Profit: $45.45 – the net earnings after subtracting your initial stake.
  3. Implied Probability: 52.38% – the chance of success based on the odds given.

For Parlay Bets

These involve multiple selections. Follow the same procedure, adding every leg’s odds one by one prior to viewing combined payout possibilities. Keep picking bets until you are satisfied.

If, for example, you have three betting markets with the following odds, -110, -130, and -135, and a bet amount of $100, your calculation results will be as follows:

  1. Payout: $587.96
  2. Profit: $487.96
  3. Implied Probability: 17.01%

Understanding Wager Payouts

Simply put, wager payouts entail the potential return you can receive if your bet is successful. This is determined by the odds set by the sportsbook, which is the assumed probability of the outcome. However, these odds can vary widely depending on the options you pick.

In BetMGM Sportsbooks, the odds are represented by the – and + signs. A wager on -140 would return a total of $84 with a profit of $34 if you had placed using $50. In decimal odds, a bet at 1.5 would return a total of $15 from the $10 stake.

For fractional odds, a bet at 4/1 can give you $50 from a $10 stake. According to odds analysts, using a wager calculator is important. It becomes easier to estimate and know the payout before betting.

Strategies For Placing Wager

Every gambler aims to win. However, we are all aware that gambling favors the sportsbook. Thankfully, there are tips you can employ in your betting endeavor to help increase your chances of winning. These include:

Research Thoroughly

Before playing a wager, it’s significant to gather as much information as possible about the teams, players, or external aspects that may affect the match.

Some details you might want to focus on can be head-to-head matches, recent form, injury updates, venue, historical trends, and more. With this information in mind, you’ll surely make the right decision.

Consider Expert Opinion

One of the wisest decisions you can make when placing a wager is employing professional advice. Most experienced bettors advise leveraging historical data and statistical models for research to help you make informed betting decisions.

While nobody is 100% correct, considering their opinions can help complement your own findings.

Control Your Emotions

One important strategy you should never disregard is controlling your emotions. This is especially true if you want to make winning bets. For instance, never ignore statistics and place a bet on your favorite team to win.

Take everything into account and place a bet emotionless. Doing this will help avoid several errors that will in turn keep you away from depleting your bankroll.

Value Betting

This strategy centers on finding the betting chances where the sportsbook’s odds are higher than what is actually predicted. When you find these opportunities, don’t waste your chance and place the wager. Learn more about value bet here.

However, be sure to do your research to find out why there are odds discrepancies before grabbing the opportunity.

What to Consider Before Placing a Wager

Here are some important factors to pay attention to before you begin betting:

Manage Your Bankroll

Bankroll management on your betting journey is crucial. Financial advisors from Insight Success recommend gamblers to risk only 1%, which means that you can wager 1% of your total budget on one bet.

Using this strategy helps protect against losing all you have in a single bet and may increase the chances of long-lived success. According to recommendations from gambling organizations, it’s important to consider responsible gambling.

Only gamble with what you can afford to lose, consider self-exclusion if you want to take a break, and always seek professional advice when you feel addicted to gambling.

Risk Assessment

Carefully analyze the level of risks linked to each bet. This means identifying factors that can cause your bet to lose.

Next, you need to weigh the pros and cons of potential outcomes which are based on personal preferences, tolerance, and perhaps financial implications. You need to ensure that all these aspects maintain a balance between the rewards and the risks.

Understanding the Sports Betting Market

You should avoid placing a bet on the market you know nothing about. In this regard, research different sports betting wager types.

Popular markets you should be aware of include prop bets, point spread, over/under, and parlay. Understanding these will help you make informed gambling decisions.

The Future of Sports Betting Wagers

As technology advances, we are expecting a lot of transformation in the online gambling field in the near future. Many regions are welcoming legal sports betting, giving gamblers great freedom to choose their preferred platform. As these digital platforms multiply, it makes it easier for anyone to place a wager anytime and anywhere.

Furthermore, virtual reality is in the limelight, allowing gamblers to watch games live through the platform. Besides, eSports popularity keeps rising nowadays, drawing many people’s attention and inspiring creative bets.

According to gambling industry experts, soon we might have all sportsbooks use Bitco as a regular way to deposit and withdraw funds, enhancing speed, safety, and transparency.

So, Ready to Optimize Your Next Wager?

Now that you’ve grasped the essence of wager sports betting, apply this knowledge to enhance your overall gambling experience. You can use your preferred sports betting wager types, from money lines and point spread to over/under and parlays.

Want to learn more terminologies and expert tips to help make you a better gambler? Check out our ultimate guides and explore what we have in store.