Official betting is wagering on sports events that are authorized by the sports league or team involved. Unlike parimutuel betting, these wagers are legal in most states. In addition, they can be regulated by the state gaming regulatory body, which makes them safe, secure and legally compliant.
A popular form of sports gambling is point spreads. These handicaps are placed on teams by oddsmakers based on whether they can win a game or contest within a certain margin. They are commonly used to bet on the underdog of a matchup or contest, and can often produce high payouts if the underdog wins.
Another form of betting is moneyline wagers. These bets are placed on a team or player to win or lose a game or contest, and are commonly used in major American sports such as football, baseball, and basketball.
There are also numerous other types of wagers. These include “if bets,” which are wagers that consist of at least two straight bets joined together by an if clause.
Some sports leagues, including the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball, have banned betting on their games. Others, like the NBA and NFL, have not made a public statement on the matter.
Regardless of whether or not a sport is officially regulated, betting on it can be risky. Some sports bettors are at risk of developing problems with gambling or losing control over their spending habits. These risks can be minimized by playing responsibly and by avoiding gambling sites that aren’t licensed and regulated.