Betting Lines Explained: A Quick and Easy Guide

Betting lines can seem intimidating to a beginner, especially if you are handling the sportsbook for the first time. Moreover, the wagering options vary with each sportsbook, and they have a compilation of their betting lines.

This article aims at familiarizing you with the basics and some mumbo-jumbo of the betting lines. So, you will not be baffled when you are at a sportsbook and see those seemingly overwhelming moneylines. This will also help you to choose the best betting options for yourself. We have got the betting lines explained in the simplest way!

What are Betting Lines?

To know the betting lines better, you should be clear about what exactly the betting lines are. In simple words, betting lines are the different wagering options on which sports bettors can bet on. The lines are split into various types, and each type represents a betting condition that you need to bet on or against.

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The betting conditions maybe about betting on a winner or loser of a match, the aggregate score by which a team might win, ore even more elaborate conditions. By now, you must have realized that you can bet on every possible phenomenon that can occur in a match. Consequently, more conditions make betting more fun for the gamblers. And this is why you should have a headstart on betting lines.

Betting Line Explained: Types of Betting Lines

Since there are many types of betting lines, we took the four major ones. Here are the four major types of betting lines explained! You will find these lines on most of the online sportsbooks.

Point Spread

The Point Spread is the most common sports betting line, and this also happens to be the most profitable one. This line is a bet on how much the scores of two teams will vary. Betting on any specific point is predicting how much the stronger team will score to defeat the other team.

For instance, if the spread bet is placed for team A to beat team B by 10 points, betting on that position will mean that team A has to win by minimum 10 points for the wager to triumph. Meanwhile, betting against this position would mean that team A can win by nine or fewer points.

Point Spread is the easiest bet to understand. At the same time, it bears maximum risk when betting on a stronger team.


Moneyline is a favourite with many gamblers owing to its simplicity. Bets are placed on whether a team will win or not. The moneyline bet can be made for or against a team. These bets are the easiest ones; you just have to choose a team and then watch how the match unfolds. However, moneyline bets are considered conservative as they need a higher amount (when compared to point spreads).

Point Total

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Point Total is a very different kind of bet. Instead of betting on a team, point total bet (just like the name suggests) is placed on combined scores of two teams. The point total bet provides a total amount, and the bettors guess whether the total score will be higher than that total or not. This bet provides a completely different view of the game.


And lastly, the proposition betting lines (also known as prop bets) are random bets about particular conditions that may occur on the day of the game. They are predictions like a player will hit a home run, and a player will score a touchdown.

The proposition wagers even consider the colour of the coach’s t-shirt. A variety of prop bets are available, especially for NBA and MLB. Although prop bets seem fun, they can be very risky and hard to win.

Now we will look at some FAQs to get the betting lines explained better.

Why Do Betting Lines Change?

Betting lines keep changing until the game concludes. The betting lines attempt to figure out and speculate on the outcome of a game and specific conditions. The betting lines cannot be static as the goal of the lines is to get an equal number of bettors on both sides.

Moreover, scores can change, players might be injured, or the weather may change. These things are taken into consideration, and betting line values are adjusted accordingly. The odds-provider should try to make the wagers as fair as possible.

Are the Betting Lines Same for All Sportsbooks?

You will find most of the sportsbooks with similar betting lines along with some different options. And it is better (and smarter) to look up different sites and decide upon the most profitable betting lines. Different sportsbooks have various oddsmakers, so, you may find lines on some sites more favourable than others.

How Do Sportsbooks Make Profit from Betting Lines?

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This is an obvious question that every gambler might have had at some point. The answer is simple. Sportsbooks do not take away all the money earned from a lost bet. They only keep a little part of it, and the remaining part is used to pay the winners.

This small part that is kept aside is called a ‘vig.’ And the vig is a small fee charged on the betting amount to ensure that sportsbooks are profitable in the long run.

As you can imagine, the profits add up over time, making it profitable for sportsbooks to continue operating.

This was our quick guide to get the basic betting lines explained to the players. You can check out some Australian online sites that offer sportsbooks and try the betting options!


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