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A straight bet, or sometimes referred to as a single bet, is as simple as it sounds, a single wager on an event. You can use any betting type – moneyline, point spread, over/under, all you need to do is correctly predict the outcome of that one wager. Oftentimes, the term straight bet is used when talking about a single wager versus a parlay, if bet or teaser, which includes multiple bets on one slip.

So even when you’re talking about placing a single-game wager, you are placing a straight bet. Betting a moneyline wager on a team to win the Super Bowl is considered a straight bet, as well as betting an over/under on any given NBA game. Straight bets all have odds associated with how likely it is for that outcome to occur, so if you were betting on an NHL point spread of -2.5/+2.5 you are trying to determine how likely it is for either outcome to occur based on the odds assigned by the oddsmakers.

How to Make a Moneyline Straight Bet

Moneyline straight bets are the easiest and most popular betting options you can make, and it’s as simple as picking which team you think will win straight up. When many think of straight bets, they think of moneyline wagers instantly because it is the least complicated betting type in sports betting.

Each team will have odds associated with how likely they are to win the game. There will be underdogs that have a (+) sign next to the odds number, and a favorite that will have a (–) sign next to the number. The odds will show you how much money you would win on a $100 wager, or how much you need to bet to win $100, depending on which side you choose to take.

If we were looking to make a straight bet on an MLB game moneyline wager, the odds might look like this:

Los Angeles Dodgers -200
Seattle Mariners +175

This means that the Dodgers are favored to win, and you would need to bet $200 to win $100 for a total return of $300 on a moneyline straight bet.

If you were leaning toward the Mariners as the underdog, you would win $175 on a $100 wager for a total return of $275 on a moneyline straight bet.

It all depends on how much you are willing to risk and the likelihood of your straight bet cashing.

How to Make a Point Spread Straight Bet

Point spread straight bets are also fairly popular, especially with intermediate bettors. Point spreads are intended to give the underdog a bit of an advantage or an imaginary head start to level the playing field before the game even starts. Oddsmakers set the lines based on the likelihood of the team winning, but also by how many points.

The point spread shows you how many points the oddsmakers believe each team might win or lose by, depending if you’re betting an underdog or favorite. Much like the moneyline straight bet, you will have negative and positive numbers, and next to that, the number of points they are expected to win by.

The positive number is the underdog again, and they must win the game or lose by less than the spread. The negative number is the favored team and must win the game by more than the point spread.

Let’s use the NBA for our example, If the Orlando Magic is playing the LA Clippers, and the clippers are heavily favored, the point spread might look like this:

Orlando Magic +11.5 (-110)
LA Clippers -11.5 (-110)

This means that the Clippers must win by more than 12 points, which is quite high. In this case, the Magic would need to lose by less than 11 points, or win the game altogether, for your underdog point spread bet to cash on a straight bet. The odds associated with the wagers are fairly standard, if you bet on the Clippers, you will need to bet $110 to win $100, and if you bet on the Magic you will win $110 on a $100 wager.

How to make a Totals Straight Bet

Totals straight bets are easy and fairly popular, especially if the game is approaching and you don’t see yourself leaning towards a certain team on either side of the wager. Totals straight bets allow you to bet on the total amount of points scored by both teams collectively.

The oddsmakers will set the line based on the average amount of goals each team scores in a game and takes into account the skill levels of both offense and defense, so these totals are usually fairly close.

We’ll use the NHL as an example of making a straight bet on totals. Betting the over/under on an NHL game is easy, and another very popular option because of the lower scoring nature of the NHL. The lines can be set anywhere from 4 to 10 or however many goals the oddsmakers believe will be scored in the game.

Let’s say the Edmonton Oilers are playing the Montreal Canadiens and the total is set at 6 goals. That means that you need to decide if both teams collectively will score more or less than six. This could end up being a wide variety of numbers, you could take the over and Edmonton could win 5-2 or 6-4, it wouldn’t matter how much you go over that number, just as long as there are more than six goals scored.

If you took the under and the score ended up being 5-2, you would lose. But if the score ended up being 3-1, you would win your wager. The totals straight bet is very simple in that sense.

Straight bets are fairly simple, and if you’re ready to start betting, you can head over to the sportsbook to check out all the straight wagers available. If you feel like you are well-versed in straight wagers, we recommend upping the ante and trying a parlay or teaser.

You can find more information in our betting guide.

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How to place a straight bet

Go to the sportsbook page at BetUS. If you only want to see the lines for one sport, such as football, click the football link in the menu on the left to see what options are available for wagering on football or other online sports betting. The options will show up in a dropdown menu underneath the main football tab.

If you want to bet on NFL, click on it and the available games will show up in the middle of the page in what is called the betting engine. Choose which NFL events you would like to bet on by clicking on the odds displayed in the betting engine. After each choice loads, you will see it in the right hand column in the Bet Slip.

To choose another sport to add to your ticket, go back to the Sports column on the left and click another sport. Choose again from the available events and add them to your Bet Slip.

Note: BetUS allows you to place what is called a Rolling If-Bet on Single wagers. This allows you to place a new bet with the funds from a previously placed bet, with a few conditions. Click the link to find out if a Rolling If-Bet can work for you.

All your chosen events will be listed in the Bet Slip with your wager options above.

As you are choosing your events, you will see wager options for placing a Parlay, If Bet, Reverse and Teaser in the Bet Slip. Straight will be the default wager type until you choose something else. Whatever wager type the Bet Slip is set to, will be grey, as below.

BetUS bet slip with wager type option defaulted to Straight

If you want to place a straight bet on more than one event, you may do so on the same Bet Slip by selecting all the games you want, then clicking the Straight button to see all of your selections listed in the Bet Slip. (For illustrative purposes, we will use a single game.)

BetUS bet slip example of a straight wager on a single game

Here, we will take the Washington Redskins to win against the spread at the standard moneyline odds of -110. We are going to place a $100 wager on this selection. We do this by entering our Risk amount in the Risk space, and our payout amount of $90.91 is automatically generated in the Win space beside it. Then we place the bet in the system by clicking the Place my bets button.

Straight wager confirmation step

Here, your BetUS Bet Slip gives you one more chance to view your pending wager before it is placed. This includes the game information, lines and Risk and Win amounts. To confirm your wager, simply enter your BetUS password and click Confirm.  After you do this, you will be unable to change your wager and BetUS will be unable to cancel it.

Example of the "print you bet slip" note

Once your wager is confirmed, the Bet Slip will again show you all your wager details and ask you to print a hard copy of your Slip. In case of emergency or other circumstance, no internet claims will be honored unless a printed copy of bets in question is supplied.