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How to Bet on Action Sports - Online Betting 101

It’s been a long time coming, but now, finally, fans of action sports will be able to place bets on some of their favorite athletes and events. Some people may be familiar with how this all works, but if you aren’t, don’t worry. Here’s where and how to make your first action sports wager, plus a few other things you should consider.

Where to bet on Action Sports

When looking for the best online sportsbooks, there are many great options. How are you supposed to pick the right one? Well, a fairly common approach is to simply sign up for all of them. Just hear us out for a second. Some books will offer different signup, deposit, or welcome bonuses, which are fantastic ways to start. Plus, some will offer different odds or betting options, so it’s beneficial to have a few options to choose from when you’re looking at the odds.
Right now, our favorite online sportsbook is DraftKings, as they are the first to offer bets on action sports.

How to Read Odds

Odds are the measure of how much you can win vs. how much you bet, per $100. Odds are included in all forms of betting, whether it’s moneylines, spreads, or totals. If you bet $100 on a bet with odds of +300, you will profit $100 while receiving your initial bet of $100 back.
-110, for example, means $110 wager for $100 potential profit (or $11 wager for $10 potential profit)
+110, for example, means $100 wager for $110 potential profit (or $10 wager for $11 potential profit)

Types of online sports bets to make

There are several different types of sports bets you can make online. Each of them comes with different degrees of difficulty which directly impact how large of a payout you might receive. Here are some of the most popular and well-known options to start with.

Point Spreads

A point spread is a popular form of wagering on traditional American team sports with high scoring. The point spread is the predicted margin of victory for the favored team, and bettors can place bets on the favorite or the underdog. It shows each team with a (+) or (-) handicap, also referred to as the ‘line’.
A bettor wins a point spread by predicting the winner of a game with the line factored into the final score. For example, if a skater is favored to win an event with a spread of -7, he’d need to win the overall event by 7 points for you to cover the spread and win the bet. If you bet on the underdog and they lose by less than 7 points, you also win your bet.
Point spreads are a way for sportsbooks to even out the betting on both sides of a game. Action sports do not typically have point spreads due to the unique betting formats associated with such sports.


Betting the moneyline is a simple betting market on who will win a game, heat, or head-to-head wagering event. Odds are associated with each team, player, or athlete such as a surfer or bull rider, based on their probability of winning their game, matchup, or heat. The bigger the favorite, the lower the odds and payout. The bigger the underdog, the higher the odds and payout, if they can pull off a win.
Moneylines are perfect for lifestyle or action sports such as surfing, motocross, and rodeo as there are many opportunities to wager on binary winning outcomes. For Major Arena Soccer League, you can place a simple bet on a winning team with a sportsbook (either pre-match or live), but also on a tie (also known as a draw in soccer).
Therefore there are three outcomes: win, lose, or tie. This is called a three-way market and is common with all popular sportsbooks.

Totals Over / Under

Totals betting, also known as Over / Under betting, are a type of sportsbook odds market based on how many total points (or goals) the oddsmaker or book thinks will be scored during a game or period. Over / Under totals markets can also be abbreviated as O / U. Bettors will select their wagers on whether they predict the combined final or period event score, runs, goals or athlete point score total will be over or under that number.
For example, if the over/under for a Major Arena Soccer League match is set at 45.5 points, the bettor can choose to bet on the over if they think the total number of points scored by both teams will be more than 45.5, or the under if they think the total will be less than 45.5. The bet is won or lost based on whether the actual total falls above or below the set number.
This wagering logic can also be applied to the total number of points scored by a surfer or skateboarder during a series of events or a tournament.


A parlay is a type of sports bet offered by sportsbooks that combines multiple individual bets into a single wager. In a parlay, the bettor must correctly predict the outcome of all the individual bets to win the overall wager. If any of the individual bets are incorrect, the entire parlay is lost.
Parlays generally offer higher potential payouts than individual bets because they are mathematically more difficult to win. For example, if a bettor places a $100 parlay with three individual bets at odds of 2-1, 3-1, and 4-1, the potential payout would be $1,000 if all three bets are correct. However, if any of the bets are incorrect, the bettor would lose the entire $100 wager.
Parlays are popular among sports bettors because they offer the opportunity to win large amounts of money with a small wager, but they are also riskier than individual bets if the entire wager is lost. Parlays are great for betting on action sports because a player can parlay all sorts of outcomes together across lifestyle sports events.
These aren’t limited to just moneylines and totals, but special markets like bull riding prop bets, MASL futures, and motocross heat winners.

Bet builders

A bet builder is a feature offered by some online sports betting websites that allow bettors to create their own custom bets. Similar to a parlay, a bet builder allows users to select different events or outcomes within a single tournament or game and combine them into a single bet.
For example, a user might create a bet builder for an arena soccer league match that includes a bet on the outcome of the match (e.g., home team to win), as well as bets on individual player performances (e.g., a specific player or team to score a goal).
Bet builders can be useful for action sports bettors who want to create more complex bets that are not offered by the sportsbook as standard betting options. They can also be a fun and interactive way for users to engage with a particular sport or league.
However, it is important to note that bet builders may come with higher odds and more risk, as they involve combining multiple bets into a single wager. It’s always important to understand the terms and conditions of a bet builder and to carefully consider the risks before placing a bet.


A future bet, also known as an “outright” or “ante-post” bet, is a bet made on the outcome of a future event, such as the winner of a sports league or competition. Outright bets are typically made before the event has started, and the odds for each potential outcome are often published in advance and change as a season, tournament or event unfolds.
For illustration, if you place a futures bet on the winner of the World Surf League, you would be betting on which surfer you think will win the title of surfing World Champion. If you place an outright bet on the winner of the MASL, you would be betting on which team you think will win the MASL cup or divisional title. You can also bet on such outrights such as who will be a season MVP or top scorer, for example.

Prop Bets

A prop bet, short for “proposition bet,” is a type of bet that is based on the occurrence or non-occurrence of a specific event within a game or event. Prop bets can be made on a wide range of events, such as the outcome of a specific play or possession in a game, the performance of an individual player, or the total number of points scored in a match.
Prop bets are expressed as “Props Markets” and be related to specific outcomes in a game (game props), player performance (player props), team performance (team props), and more.
Which SuperCross rider will record the fastest lap? You can bet on that. How many tricks in a heat will a Street League skateboarder perform? You can put money on that as well. Widely considered to be fun bets, prop bets are typically available for just about anything related to the game. Props can be wagered on before (pre-match) or during (live) a selected event.


One type of wager that can give you a better chance of winning rather than trying to predict the overall winner is head-to-head betting, sometimes referred to as a match-up. With this type of bet, all you have to do is try and figure out which of two competitors will outperform the other.

Live or In-Game Bet

Live betting is also known as in-play, in-running, or in-game betting. This is a type of sports betting that allows users to place bets on events or matches that are actively taking place. With live betting, users can place bets on a wide range of live betting markets covering wagerable events, such as the winner of a particular heat or race, the scores at a specific or future point in the game, or a specific (live team or player props) or overall outcome (money line) of the game.
Live betting is extremely popular as bettors can place wagers at almost any time while markets are available to bet on. This means the odds are dynamic and will update throughout the event, based on the real action taking place.
For example, say you’re watching World Surf League and see John John catch the wave of his life in the first heat. You could put your money on him to win the event and potentially reap the rewards.

What sports are available to bet on?

Right now, wagers are available for rallycross during Nitro Rallycross events. But don’t worry – there will be more sports soon to be on the way, including surfing and World Surf League (WSL), Professional Bull Riding, motocross and supercross, skateboarding and Street League Skateboarding, and much more.