Sports betting has become a popular pastime for many Americans, but new bettors can find the terminology and different wager types overwhelming. The best way to avoid this confusion is to develop a sports betting strategy before placing any money at the bookies. This will ensure that you are making smart bets based on odds and not your emotions. It will also allow you to capitalize on the potential of creating value in your bets.
Unlike horse racing, where bettors place bets on individual horses, sports betting is a numbers game. With 30 teams playing 162 games per season, the possibilities are endless for finding unique situations that can be exploited by smart bettors. For example, some teams struggle with left-handed pitching, while others struggle on the road. These are all factors that can be analyzed by the smartest bettor and used to make informed bets.
A successful sports bettor is going to look at the probability of each team winning and place bets based on that. This is the opposite of what casual bettors do, who place bets based on their gut feeling, jersey colors, or horoscopes. It is impossible to win long-term by making bets based on your feelings, and you will only be successful if you are able to bet with positive expected value (EV).
The best way to spot +EV opportunities in the sports betting market is to have access to multiple books that offer different lines for the same game. The variation between the lines can create a number of betting opportunities, especially when it comes to props and team totals.