Sports Betting 101

Sports betting has become a major part of sporting culture, with Americans wagering $13 billion legally in 2019. Whether you are a newbie or an experienced gambler, there is one key objective that should never be lost sight of: Have fun!

Sports gambling is all about predicting something that will happen during a game or event and placing a real-money wager on that outcome. Odds are set on these occurrences by a sportsbook, with one side of the bet favored (the favorite) and another side deemed less likely to win (the underdog). The odds are then converted into a payoff if your bet wins.

There are a variety of bet types, from simple moneylines and spreads to complicated parlays and futures wagers. Each type of bet has its own odds and payouts, but the underlying principle is the same: The higher the risk, the bigger the potential reward.

A common bet is the total, which is a prediction of the combined score for a game. Often, a total will be set at a half number, like 66.5, to avoid ties. If the final score is exactly 66 points, or 67 points, you would win the bet, but this is rare.

Another bet type is called a prop, or a proposition bet. These are bets within a game, such as a player’s strikeout total or the first team to score a touchdown. Props are typically offered at the top online sportsbooks and can be very profitable if done right. They require a clear head and separation of fandom from the bettors, but also involve doing the research (not just about the teams, but about injuries and other factors that can affect the outcome of the game).

Posted in: Gambling