The Basics of Sports Betting

sports betting

Sports betting has surged over the past four years as the anti-gambling stigma faded and the legalization of gambling on sporting events began to spread across the country. With millions of new players entering the market, it’s important to understand some basic sports betting terminology and concepts.

Favored: The team, player or outcome that is expected to win a game or event. The favorite will be offered at lower odds than the underdog. Favorites usually have a higher probability of winning but don’t pay out as much as a bet on the underdog.

Over: A bet on a team or individual to score more points than the total of all teams and individuals combined. Over bets typically have higher payouts but come with a bigger risk. Over bets can be a great way to increase your bankroll and are often offered at better prices than the under.

Under: A bet on a team or player to score less points than the total of all teams and individuals. Under bets typically have lower payouts but come with a smaller risk. Under bets can be a great way for beginners to test the waters of sports betting and can be a good way to maximize your bankroll while decreasing your risk.

Point spreads: When a sportsbook sets odds for an upcoming game, they will assign a positive or negative number to each team or individual. The team or individual with a positive number is the underdog while the one with a negative number is the favorite. The odds will change based on public opinion and injury updates. The more research you do, the better your chances are of making a profitable wager.

Props: Also known as proposition bets, these are wagers that don’t fit into the categories of moneyline bets, point spreads or totals. They can be as simple as predicting whether a player will hit or miss a certain amount of goals in a soccer match, or as complex as determining the winner of a penalty shootout in a World Cup semifinal. Props have varying payouts and require some research on your part, including looking at weather forecasts, staying current with injuries and researching each team’s history against each other.

Payouts: A potential payout on a bet is shown on your betting slip, either online or in person. This includes the amount you wagered and the odds of your bet, so it’s important to keep track of these numbers. Payouts can also vary from sportsbook to sportsbook based on clientele, so make sure you shop around to find the best odds.

One of the biggest mistakes that new sports bettors make is not taking their time to do enough research before placing a bet. This can include reading sports betting forums, checking out sportsbook reviews and even looking at Better Business Bureau ratings and complaints. It’s also a good idea to separate yourself from your fandom and focus on the facts, not emotion.