Sports Betting 101: The Go-To How-To for Online Sports Bettors
Fall is the best time of year for sports betting. With the MLB rounding out its regular season, NCAA/NFL football kicking off, and NHL and NCAA/NBA basketball just around the corner, there are more major sports in action now than at any time of year. Here’s how to get started.
Summer’s over, but fall is the hottest time of year for sports betting, with plenty of action coming up from major leagues and the NCAA.
If you’re new to sports betting, here’s a breakdown of terms and techniques to help you bet smart and hopefully cash in.
Every bet you will make will have attached odds. If the odds are preceded by a +, it means that bet is the underdog, as opposed to -, which signifies an odds-on favorite. Whatever amount you wager on an underdog to win will get multiplied by 1/100 of the listed odds. So for a bet placed on +125 odds, the amount you wagered will be multiplied by 1.25. A winning $20 wager in this situation would net you $25, in addition to getting that original $20 back.
Favored teams work in the opposite way, where your wagered amount will instead be divided by 1/100 of the line. So, if you hit on -200 odds, you would divide your wager by 2. A $20 bet, in this case, would net $10 plus the original $20.
Moneylines are pretty straightforward. If you bet the moneyline, you’re just betting on that team to win that game. For example, the moneyline on a Golden State Warriors-San Antonio Spurs game may be Warriors -360/Spurs +275. In this case, a $20 wager on the Warriors would pay out $25.60 total if they win the game (20/3.6=5.6+20=25.60). If the Spurs won, that same $20 would pay out $75 (20*2.75=55+20=75).
Point spreads are more complicated than moneylines, but have a similar logic. When the odds are set for spreads, they’re predicting the point differential of the final score. For example, if the Cleveland Indians are playing the New York Yankees, the spread might be Yankees -2.5. This means anyone who takes this bet needs the Yankees to win by more than 2.5 runs in order to win the bet. If New York wins by less than 2.5 or loses, anyone who takes the Indians at +2.5 would be victorious.
Over/unders can be used in a variety of different capacities in sports betting. The logic is simple enough. An appropriate line will be set and the player has to decide whether the result will go over or under this line. For example, a St. Louis Blues vs. Chicago Blackhawks game may have an over/under of goals scored set at 6.5. This means that the player has to decide whether he thinks the total number of goals scored in that game by both teams combined will either exceed or remain under 6.5. This works universally with different sports and different types of bets as well.
Live bets—also called in-play bets—are fast becoming the future of sports betting. Basically, during any sporting event, players can place bets as the odds change based on what’s happening on the field. This can vary from moneylines to individual plays to quarter/half/inning results, etc.
There are plenty of chances each game to make live bets, which creates a fun experience while watching the game as you can easily feel much more involved or attached to what is happening up on the big screen.
Parlays are much more detailed and skill-based than most other types of bets. These involve placing multiple bets in conjunction with each other and needing all of them to win in order to come out victorious. For example, one day you could choose Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson to throw for 200+ yards, the Atlanta Braves at -1.5, the Calgary Flames to win, and the Miami Heat/LA Clippers game to go over 225.5 points.
While none of these bets may pay out a hefty amount by itself, when combined, they’ll have a much higher payout due to the risk of needing all four bets to hit in order to win.
Prop bets relate to events in a game that don’t affect its final result. These can be straightforward and relate to stats or be clever and very random. For example, the line on Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes’ first week passing TDs may be 3.5. On the other hand, you can also find prop bets such as how long the national anthem will last at the Super Bowl, or even whether the first play is a run or pass. These can be a lot of fun at times, but are much riskier due to how random the results may be.
Once you get the hang of sports betting, it can be a lot more exciting to watch sports. Once you bank a few wins, it’s even more fun. Here’s hoping this season brings a lot of success—and don’t forget to always keep an eye on those odds!
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