Betting has grown past the shunned taboo it was several decades ago. Today, it’s a billion-dollar legal industry that gives millions of sports fans a shot at making decent money.
However, if you’re new to sports betting, or even your first time to bet on sports you might want to take a step back and learn the fundamentals before you join the party.
This beginners betting guide on how to bet on sports will help you understand the different types of sports bets as well as;
- Know how to read betting odds
- Know how to read betting lines
- Understand sports betting terminology
- Understand the concept of bankroll management.
- Which sportsbooks to choose when betting on sports.
What is a sportsbook and do I need one to bet on sports?
Sportsbooks are companies that take bets on sporting events.
Sportsbooks can be used to place bets on games such as football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, tennis, golf, boxing, motorsports, horse racing and many other types. Most legal sportsbooks also have websites and apps to allow people to wager money on other things such as fantasy leagues, daily contests, and even casino games.
They also tend to provide information regarding your favourite teams’ performance and the odds of winning based on a variety of factors.
Some of the factors include: location, weather conditions, player performance, and various other factors which can help you make a smart bet that’s right for you.
What are the most common types of sports bets?
There are many different types of of sports bets including parlays, teasers, and prop bets. In this beginners guide to sports betting, we will briefly explain the most common types.
Straight bets are single bets on single games. These are as basic as bets get and include;
This is the most straightforward of all straight bets, i.e., a bet on which team wins the game. It has no conditions or point spread. For instance, in a game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears, a money line bet will involve selecting which of the two teams you think will win the game.
A point spread is a margin of victory. In this bet, oddsmakers determine a point spread which the favorite has to win by more than. The underdog can also lose by less than that amount or win the game.
An over/under in sports betting is a wager on the total combined number of points from both teams in a game. It’s also called “the total.”
For this bet, you can either bet over or under.
For over, the bet is won if the combined score exceeds the points total and lost if it is less than the points total. On the other hand, under is won if the combined score is less than the points total and lost if it is more.
For instance, in a game between the Raptors and the Bulls, you may have a point total of 215. Over will be a bet that more points will be scored than the total, while under wagers that there will be fewer points than the total. If the total score is 215, then a push occurs. In this case, there is no win or loss, and your money is refunded.
These are high-risk bets that wager on a season’s outcome. You can bet on who will win the Championship, individual award winners, how many games an NFL team will win this season, etc. For instance, a wager on who will be the MLS top scorer is considered a future bet. Similarly, a wager on LA FC winning the league is also a future bet.
These are a string of bets that need to come true where all the individual bets must win in order for the parlay to win. For example, a bet that the Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat, and Milwaukee Bucks will all win their weekend games is a parlay bet. All teams have to win for the wager to be won. If, say, the Nets and Miami win but the Bucks lose, the bet is lost.
A prop bet is a wager on a something to occur (or not occur) during the game, and unlike some of the previous types of bets, the final score isn’t often a deciding factor in if you win or lose. There are too many to list but you can bet on how many rebounds an individual basketball player will have in a game, who will score the first touchdown in a football game, or even if there will be a hole in one or not during a golf tournament.
What is a bankroll and why is it important in sports betting?
Before you start betting on sports, you need to figure out how much money you’re willing to lose before putting it into your betting account. This amount will be your bankroll.
Managing your Bankroll
Once you have your bankroll, you need to determine the size of your individual bets. This is important because you shouldn’t wager all your money in one bet. Instead, you want to divide your bankroll into smaller amounts and allocate them to each wager.
There are three bet sizing strategies;
Risk-averse: Typically wager 1-2% of their bankroll per bet
Risk-neutral: Wager 3% of their bankroll per bet
Risk loving: An aggressive wager of between 4% and 5% of their bankroll
As the season wears on, your bankroll will change, either by winning or losing bets. This change will necessitate a recalibration of your betting strategy.
For instance, if you had an initial bankroll of $1,000 that has grown to $1500 after a month or two of placing $50 wagers, you generally have several options at your disposal. You can either keep betting $50 per wager since it seems to be working pretty well, or change your sizing strategy to reflect the size of your current bankroll.
How to read betting odds
Successful sports betting depends on your ability to read odds accurately. Fortunately, betting odds aren’t a complicated affair and not just language for the experienced sports bettors. Here are the most common types of betting odds to understand as a beginner.
For instance, in an NFL match between the Rams and Bengals where the latter are the underdogs, the odds may look like this:
This means you as the sports bettor needs to wager $110 on Rams to make $100 in profit if they win. On the other hand, a wager of $100 on Bengals will make you $120 if they win the game.
Fractional odds are written as 3/2, 8/1, 5/4, etc. So, if a team has 3/2 winning odds and you bet $100 on them, the wager will bring back $150.
Decimal odds represent the amount one wins for every $1 wagered. For example, your initial stake is 1.00, and odds begin from 1.10 onwards. To calculate your payout, multiply your stake with the odds. So, if the odds of a particular team are rated at 2.0, then betting $100 will give you a payout worth $200.
Many of the previous types of bets can also be bet after the game begins. Live betting will give you constantly updating moneyline, spread, and total prices as the action is going.
Is sports betting legal?
Numerous states have legalized online sports betting. So, if you want to get started, all you need do is find a legal sportsbook, verify that you’re inside such a state, and register a new account before making your first deposit. The whole process is relatively straightforward.
Which sportsbooks are the best to start betting on sports online?
When starting to bet on sports, the Internet is full of betting sites to choose from. You could spend countless hours researching the hundreds of sportsbook options by reading reviews, pricing information and detailed information about each sportsbook.
To help you filter through all the noise and get to the best sportsbook for you. We’ve curated a list of the top promotions from around the industry, including free bets, cash back offers. Here are our top 5 favorites.
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This guide on how to bet on sports is intended for entertainment purposes and adult users only. Call 1-800-GAMBLER if you have a gambling problem