Whether you’re interested in predicting the outcome of a particular game or event, or simply placing a wager on your favorite team, sports betting can be an entertaining and profitable hobby. However, it’s important to know the rules of the game before you start wagering. Here are some helpful tips to help you make the most of your sports betting experience.
While you may feel like you’re a great handicapper, the truth is that nobody knows for sure what will happen in a particular sport. This is why it’s so important to be realistic about the chances of winning. While many bettors are able to beat the books on occasion, it’s nearly impossible to do so consistently and at a high level.
If you’re thinking about making a career out of betting on sports, it’s best to consider other options. Even professional handicappers are only able to win at a rate of around 50% and this is only true for those that follow the game closely, have access to inside information and can make smart bets without getting emotional.
Aside from the basic odds on individual games, sportsbooks offer a number of different betting types. These include over/under bets, spread bets and parlays. Over/under bets are based on the total number of points (or runs or goals) scored in a game and can be placed individually or as part of a multi-team parlay. Spread bets are designed to make uneven games more attractive by giving the underdog a chance to win a game by a certain margin. They’re usually offered at odds of 11 to 10 and are referred to as “point spreads.”
The more you study a particular sport, the more you’ll be able to pick out bets that have positive EV. EV stands for expected value, which is calculated by comparing the probability of an event occurring to the odds being offered. The higher the probability, the lower the risk and the greater the return.
Another useful tool for sports bettors is a probability calculator. These can be found online and allow you to calculate the probability of an event happening based on the current odds. This can be especially helpful if you’re betting on an underdog or are looking to increase your profits by placing multiple bets.
It’s also worth noting that odds aren’t fixed and can change as the event gets closer. If you’re betting on a team that has been losing lately, for instance, the odds are likely to be long but will shorten as the game draws closer. This means that you should always take the time to check out the odds at a variety of sportsbooks before placing your bets.
One of the most common mistakes made by new bettors is chasing losses or doubling up after winning a few bets. While this might seem like a good idea in the short term, it’s not in the long run and can easily wipe out your bankroll.