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Exploring Straight Bets: Understanding How the Bet Works and Using it in Sports Betting



Sports betting

Betting in sports is not anything new or anything rare. However, if you do not have a good grasp of the technique you are using, you can instead face losses. In this regard, one of the easiest and most common bets that you can place across multiple sports are “straight bets.” Spanning multiple markets as well as sports, straight bets are one of the best bets that newbies and amateurs in the sports betting arena can use. So, let’s find out what this betting technique is, how it works, and how you can place a straight bet on multiple games.

Basics of a Straight Bet

Before you get into how you can place a straight bet, you need to develop an understanding of the basics associated with this kind of bet. This will help you determine which type of this bet is most appropriate for which game, increasing your chances of earning profitable returns on your bet.

What is a Straight Bet?

A straight bet, also referred to as a single or side bet, is one of the simplest betting forms in sports wagering. You do not need to be a market wizard – all you need to do is place a wager regarding the outcome of the game, and if you are spot-on, then you win. Without any additional conditions or requirements, you simply need to choose which side will win the game. If your chosen team wins the game, then you win your game bet as well. This straightforward method makes it an excellent entry point for many sports betting enthusiasts, as it is a low-risk and very clear betting technique.

Components of a Straight Bet 

Just like in any other bet, there are 3 components to a straight bet as well:

  • Wager: The wager refers to the amount that you put down for your bet. This amount is entirely up to you—if you are confident about your winning, you can wager a higher amount, or wager a lower amount to reduce the risks associated with your bet. However, you do need to keep in mind that the higher your initial wager, the higher the chances for you to earn greater winnings in the event your bet does end up winning. So, it is essential to place your wager after careful consideration.
  • Odds: The odds refer to the chances of a particular outcome of the game you are betting on. Understanding the odds is crucial to help you determine whether you should wager a higher amount or settle for a lower wager since this is a considerably accurate representation of how the game will potentially turn out. The higher the odds, the better the chances of a particular outcome being realized. Additionally, they can help you assess the risk level of your bet, making it important that you get a good grasp on the concept of odds and what the odds of your bets are.
  • Stake: Lastly, stake is another component that is associated with any betting strategy. Stake refers to the total money that has been involved in the bet. This includes the initial wager amount, as well as the potential winnings that you hope to win from the bet.

How a Straight Bet Works

A straight bet works in the simplest way, much like a straight line through a fixed point, where the fixed point is the win or loss in the game. This simplicity makes it such a widespread and preferred betting strategy, even among newbies. So, here is all that is involved in a straight bet.

Placing a Straight Bet

Just like any other bet, the process starts with placing the bet. When placing the bet, you first need to choose the kind of straight bet that you wish to place. You can choose from moneyline, points spread, or totals straight bets, all three of which have been explained in detail below. Once you have decided the kind of bet you wish to place, you then need to choose the market or the game that you wish to bet on. Once you have chosen the sport and market, then you can choose the wager that you wish to spend for that bet.

Calculating Payouts

Calculating the payouts on the bets you made is the most thrilling part of a straight bet, granted it is more thrilling if you win. So, when calculating your payouts, you need to first consider the odds of the bet. The better the odds, the higher your potential returns will be. So, based on the odds, you can calculate the stake, which includes the initial wager and any winnings you earned through the bet.

Risks and Rewards

One of the most crucial things that you need to keep in mind when placing a straight bet, or any game bet for that matter, is that even in a game with high odds of winning, there is a chance of you facing losses. So, while you are anticipating rewards, it is important to always brace for losses instead. Accordingly, this is also why you need to bet responsibly so that you don’t lose all your wager money on a losing bet.

Different Kinds of Straight Bets

As touched upon earlier, there are 3 kinds of straight bets that you can opt for when betting on a sports game. A thorough understanding of these 3 types can allow you to make informed betting decisions, allowing you to gradually turn into a straight betting pro in no time!

Moneyline Straight Bet

When we talk about straight bet being the simplest betting strategy, it is the moneyline straight bet we are talking about. You simply bet on one of the players in a game and the player that wins the game is also the winner of the market. There are no conditions or rules that are applied in this betting method. In this betting type, each sportsbook assigns moneyline odds for the winning probability that each team playing the game has. These odds are then assigned in the American style, with the odds displayed as positive or negative values.

  • Positive odds are just what they seem–they are the winnings you will potentially win on your wager for your bet. For instance, if you bet $100 on a team that has positive odds of +150, then in the event the team wins, you will win back your $100 along with the $150 that were the odds for the bet.
  • Negative odds can also be a great way to predict whether a team will win the market or not. Instead, in the case of negative odds, they tell you the amount you need to bet in order to win $100. For example, you wish to bet on a team that has negative odds of -120. In this scenario, you will need to put in a wager of $120 when betting. If the team you bet on wins the game, then you will receive your $120 plus the $100 in the form of your winnings.

For better understanding, positive odds represent the amount of winnings you will be given if you place a $100 wager. On the other hand, negative odds tell you how much money you need to stake in order to make a profit of $100 through winnings. While this can differ for each game, positive odds are generally representative of the underdogs in the game, while negative odds represent the favorites that are more likely to win. This is why, this type of game bet is more commonly used in games that have obvious favorites and underdogs, 

Points Spread Straight Bet 

The points spread type of game bet is designed to level the playing field between opponents that have otherwise varying skill levels. This is done by awarding positive and negative handicap points to both teams. The positive points are awarded to the underdogs to increase their level, while the negative points are given to the favorites to bring them to the same level as the underdogs. The more drastic the difference in skill sets, the larger the difference in the handicap points awarded to them.

For instance, if Team A is the underdog in a game and Team B is the favorite, then based on their skills, Team A may be awarded +5.5 points, while Team B is given -5.5 points. In this situation, team A would win the market if they win the game or even if they lose the game by less than 5 points. On the contrary, for Team B to win the market, they would need to win the game by more than 5 points, thus overcoming the difference in skill levels.

This is a great strategy as it not only allows you to choose the winner but also the margin of victory. This means that even if you bet for the losing team, if the margin of their loss is well under the points awarded to them as a handicap, then you can still win the market.

Totals Straight Bet

The totals straight betting type adopts an entirely different approach by combining the scores of both teams in the game. In this form of this betting strategy, the bet made is on whether the combined scores of the two teams will go over a predetermined limit or not. Winnings or losses are awarded based on whether you have been able to correctly estimate the cumulative score.

For instance, in a basketball game with the total set at 45 points, imagine that the scores by the two teams stands at 24-21. In this case, the total of the two scores is 45. So, you would either bet for the score to be equal to or more than 45, or you would bet for the score to be under 45. If you make an Under Bet, which implies less than the total, you would face losses in this game. However, if you correctly made an Over Bet, then you will win the total amount at stake in the game. Similarly, the totals can be set based on any metric in the game. In a soccer match, it can be based on the goals scored, penalty kicks, or any other aspect.

The best aspect of this type of straight bet is that there is always a level of suspense throughout the game. Additionally, you are bound to not root for any specific team, making this a much more friendly betting strategy.



A straight bet encapsulates the essence of sports betting in its purest form. With no conditions or requirements attached to them, you don’t even need to be a market wizard to become an expert in this betting strategy. It is simple, clean, and the perfect way to foray into the exciting and incredible world of sports betting. So, if you are a newbie, this betting strategy can act as your first step, allowing you to get a thorough understanding of the intricacies of sports betting before you move towards other, more complicated betting methods.

So, now that you know better about straight bets and have a deeper understanding of moneyline straight bets, points spread straight bets, and totals straight bets, you can try to place bets by yourself in your favorite sports. By experimenting with the different methods and different sports, you can gradually identify which ones you prefer and build your expertise in that area game-by-game.