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Ohio Sports Betting Explained: How Do You Bet on Sports?

Ohio sports betting explained. When sports wagering becomes legal in the state of Ohio sometime in 2022, Buckeye State residents will undoubtedly have plenty of questions related to their new hobby!

But nothing matters until you know how to play the game. What’s the best way to bet on sports and ensure a successful, enjoyable experience? What are the different types of wagers available? And what’s the big deal about parlays?

Let’s answer all of these questions and more. Let’s start with some popular sports wagers.

Most Popular Types of Sports Bets

Every online sportsbook gives you access to thousands of potential wagers. In Ohio sports betting explained, let’s delve into a few of the most popular.

Money Line Wagers

Money line wagers are popular with sports gamblers. This is because they require no more than picking a winner.

In a hypothetical NFL game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns, oddsmakers look at:

  • Rosters
  • Injuries
  • Team Records
  • Weather Conditions
  • And More

In doing so, let’s say they determine there’s about a 70% chance the Cincinnati Bengals will win the game.

These oddsmakers will then install Cincinnati as a money line favorite of about -200. Therefore, sports bettors hoping to win $100 on a bet for Cincinnati to win will have to risk $200.

Ohio Sports Betting Explained

Why the Additional Risk?

Because with a money line wager, you don’t have to consider the point spread. We’ll get to point spreads soon).

But if you want to bet the Cleveland Browns to win the game, you will get odds of about +170, meaning you need to risk $100 to win $170.

And that gap in the two money lines (-200 as opposed to +170) is the sportsbook’s built-in edge. In theory, an equal number of people betting each money line guarantees the book a profit. Regardless of the winner.

The advantage of money line wagering: It’s simple – just pick a winner.

Simply explained: On a money line wager, when you see –(X), X is the amount you need to risk in order to win $100. When you see +(X), X is the amount you’ll win by risking $100.

Point Spreads

Money line wagers are easy to understand and follow. But they can be expensive if you like to bet the favorites and can be high risk if you side with the underdogs.

To even out the odds, you can also wager on a point spread. This is an approximation of the difference between the two teams that allow bettors to take either side at more even odds (usually -110).

Let’s try an NBA game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls. Considering the same factors they did in setting the money line, the oddsmakers make the Bulls 6-point favorites over the Cavs, who are the underdogs.

Types of Sports Bets

Betting on the Bulls means you subtract six points from their final score at the end of the game, while taking the Cavs means you add six points to their score. After adding or subtracting the points to or from the final score, the point spread winner is determined.

So if the Bulls win, 100-95, Cavs bettors would cash. This is because a five-point loss covers the six-point spread – even though they did not win the game.

If the game were to end with a score of 101-95 in favor of the Bulls – exactly on the six-point spread – the book refunds all bets.

The advantage of point spread wagering: You’ll get even odds or very close to even on either side (usually risking $110 to win $100).

Simply explained: If you bet the favorite, you’ll subtract the point spread from their final score to determine whether you’ve won. If you bet the underdog, add the point spread to their score to determine if you’ve won.

Totals Bets

If you think the game itself is a toss-up, or you have a strong suspicion it’s going to be a high-scoring shootout or tight defensive struggle – totals wagering is for you! Let’s dive deeper with Ohio sports betting explained.

In this case, oddsmakers assign a number of points, runs, or goals they believe the two sides will score in the game. As a bettor, you need to determine whether the game will finish with more scoring than the assigned number (the “over”) or less scoring (the “under”).

This time let’s try an inter-league MLB game between the Cleveland Guardians and Cincinnati Reds. Oddsmakers assign a total of nine runs to the game. All you have to do? Choose whether the sides will combine for more or less than nine runs, and bet that side (again, typically at close to even odds of -110).

Cleveland Guardians Betting Odds

Just like the point spread example, a final score of 5-4, 7-2, or anything else that adds up to exactly nine runs sees all wagers refunded. For this reason, many total are numbers like 8.5 or 9.5 to avoid any ties.

The advantage of totals wagering: Again, you get close to even odds, and you’re invested in both teams!

Simply explained: A totals wager allows you to ignore the final outcome of the game – just focus on the amount of scoring!


Parlay wagering is dominating the sports wagering landscape because of the possibility of huge payouts. But that possibility comes with increased risk.

A parlay requires a bettor to successfully wager on two or more outcomes winning.

Everyone raved about the divisional weekend of the NFL playoffs this season, with three road teams winning and each game decided in the final seconds. Here’s what a successful parlay on those four games would look like:

  • Los Angeles Rams +4 over Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Kansas City Chiefs -2.5 over Buffalo Bills
  • Cincinnati Bengals +5 over Tennessee Titans
  • San Francisco 49ers +7 over Green Bay Packers

If you parlayed all four of those outcomes, you would win $1,200-$1,300 on a $100 bet.

Kansas City Chiefs Betting

But remember just how close each game was? If ANY of them goes the other way, your bet is a loser. It doesn’t matter that you picked the other three correctly – you have to win EVERY bet on a parlay.

Money lines, point spreads, and totals are all in play on parlay bets. You can even mix the options together into one parlay.

But if you think sports wagering is already challenging, wait until you try parlay betting!

The advantage of parlay wagering: Choose two or more winners on one bet, and you’ll see an increased payout. Some books will take parlays of as many as 25 teams.

Simply explained: A parlay bet gives you ‘skin in the game’ in more than one contest. But you need to be correct on all of them!

How Do I Bet?

Up to 40 licenses are available for Ohio bookmakers, and wagering will be as simple as downloading the respective Apps on Android or iOS.

Each sportsbook will have ample promotions and incentives to attract Ohio sports bettors. Check our site frequently for recommendations!

Once you’ve registered an account, make your first deposit, and check out some of the offerings. Books separate your choices by sport, by league, followed by the options (money line, point spread, total, etc.) available for each game.

Ohio sports betting is explained further across our site!

Ohio Betting Experts