Understanding the Basics of Sports Betting

sports betting

Sports betting has become a huge part of sports culture since legalization in 2018 and the boom that followed ($13 billion bet legally last year). But before making a bet, it’s important to understand the basics of this activity. Read on to learn about different types of wagers, popular terms and tips that can help you win more often.

Spread betting is a type of wager that involves placing a bet against the spread, which is a number that handicaps one team and favors another when two teams play each other. The favorite team gives away points and the underdog takes them, so a team must win by more than the spread to cover the bet. Generally speaking, the spread is in increments of half-a-point (.5) even though very few sports have a scoring system that uses this amount of points.

In addition to the moneyline, bettors can also place a wager on totals, or over/unders. These bets focus on the total amount of runs, goals, points and so on that will be scored in a given game. For example, a bettor can bet that the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks will combine for more than 43 points in their game, so they would bet the over.

Another option for a bet is a futures wager. These bets are placed on events that will occur in the future and usually offer higher odds than straight bets. Examples of futures bets include a team to win the World Series, a golfer to win next year’s Masters or a baseball player to hit 30 home runs in the season.

A general rule of thumb when making bets on sports is to never risk more than you can afford to lose. This is referred to as your bankroll and it’s vital to have a set amount of disposable income that you can use for gambling purposes. Additionally, it’s a good idea to spread your bets around a few different sportsbooks in order to shop for the best lines. This will give you an edge over the sportsbooks and make it more difficult for them to price props correctly. Lastly, start with major stats and big-picture items and then gradually work your way down to the smaller details. This will help you avoid focusing too much on individual players and will leave you open to new opportunities as the season progresses.