A sportsbook is a place where people can make wagers on a variety of sports events. Its popularity has risen as more states legalize sports betting. In the past, sportsbooks could only be found in Nevada, but now they’re available in more than 30 states. There are many factors that determine a sportsbook’s success, including a clear business plan and access to sufficient funds. The amount of capital required varies, depending on the target market, licensing costs, monetary guarantees and expected bet volume.

Sportsbooks make money by setting odds on the probability that an outcome will occur, allowing people to choose one side over another. The lower the probability, the less risk, and the higher the reward. For example, if a team has a 70% chance of winning, a $100 bet will pay out $0.70 for every $1 won. Similarly, a team that is a heavy underdog will have a higher risk, but may also pay out more money, as the sportsbook will want to balance the action.

A straight bet is the most common type of sports wager. For example, you can bet on the Toronto Raptors to win a game against the Boston Celtics. A spread bet is related to the margin of victory and tries to level the playing field between teams. This is sometimes referred to as run line or puck line betting, and is commonly used in baseball and hockey. The best online sportsbooks will offer an extensive selection of betting markets, competitive odds and user-friendly navigation. They should also accept conventional payment methods such as debit cards and wire transfers, and eWallet options like PayPal.