The most popular forms in Northern America convey:
- Against the Spread
The bettor chooses whether the favored team will win or not, and by what number of points. Betting on the favored team losing is called betting on underdog.
- Against Odds
There are two popular types of betting against odds: win-lose and over-under. Win-lose is a simple bet on which team is going to win, while in over-under the bettor must specify whether the total number of points, runs or goals scored by both teams will exceed or fall short of the number specified by bookmaker.
There are bets that combine both betting against spread and against odds.
There are parlay sports betting cards that involve two or more games. The bettor wagers on outcome of all games included in parlay card, and only wins if all of his picks win.
Arbitrage betting is another variant of sports betting, deceptively called risk-free or no-risk betting. Arbitrage betting is not gambling but rather an unusual way to invest money.