It wasn’t too long ago that sports betting was only for Las Vegas and risky offshore operators. Well, that’s not the case any longer. Several states have legalized sports betting, and many more will follow.
Sports betting is starting to go mainstream as well. What was once mentioned with a wink and a nod is now discussed openly. There are even shows on major sports networks that cover wagering daily. It’s a boom time for sports bettors, and the playing field is wide open for even those who are new to the game.
Retail sportsbooks and betting apps continue to launch in legalized states. As a result, betting fans have numerous legal online and mobile sportsbook options.
Betting on sports seems a bit complex at first, but it’ll feel a lot less foreign after you gain some experience.
This guide aims to help cut down your learning curve immensely. Let’s begin with the basics.
Sports betting revolves around placing a wager on the outcome of an upcoming game or event.
Bettors attempt to forecast the results and make their best guess on what the outcome will be.
Bettors typically wager with a sportsbook. Oddsmakers at the various books will set lines or odds for the available wagers.
Essentially, the odds show the likelihood of a particular event occurring. Also, they point to the potential return for those who bet successfully.
Sportsbooks offer a wide range of markets.
The same applies when it comes to betting types.
The most standard wager merely involves choosing a winning side. However, there are plenty of other ways to bet and factors to consider.
Sports betting is a popular pastime that is attracting even more attention due to legalization in several US markets.
The answer varies from person to person.
Some folks bet for entertainment purposes, while others wager based on the profit potential.
Plenty of bettors have their specific reasons. So, let’s take a look at some of the more common answers to the question:
There are plenty of other reasons why folks may choose to bet on sports, but the above list covers the primary ones. It’s a fun pastime that can be quite rewarding. Furthermore, the interest level will only continue to grow as more states legalize it.
So you’re new to sports betting and ready to get started. Now what?
Beginning any new endeavor can be overwhelming at first, but many times you’ll see it’s not all that tough once you start digging in. That’s certainly true with sports betting.
As with many other situations, it’s best to start with the basics and build out from there:
For each of the categories, there’s a lot more to understand moving forward. As you advance, you can explore topics, such as the odds, in much more depth. Before long, those once foreign concepts will evolve into something you understand well.
As you gain experience with sports betting, you’ll soon come to understand that there’s a lot more to it than picking winners and losers.
There are many ways to bet on sports, and each requires its own set of knowledge.
Here’s a look at the main types of bets you can place at sportsbooks.
For those new to sports betting, it can be helpful to start with the simpler bets, such as moneylines and totals, before branching out into other areas.
As you gain experience and confidence in each area, you can add more options to the arsenal. You’ll be able to try them all eventually and determine which ones work best for you and your strategy.
Sports betting can be extremely entertaining, and there’s also the chance to make a profit while doing something you enjoy. That’s a win-win scenario, but it’s also essential to go into it with a clear head.
There’s always the possibility of hitting a big parlay you’re going to get rich with overnight. Sports betting is challenging and can be a grind, but that’s also part of the appeal.
Begin sports betting with realistic expectations and with a laser-like focus on being disciplined.
For those new to the game, you should consider the money you are wagering as part of your entertainment budget.
Only wager what you are comfortable betting and don’t exceed that amount. There will be plenty of time to increase your stakes as your skills improve, so there’s no need to rush it while you’re still learning.
Last but not least, remember that this is something you should find entertaining and enjoyable. If it stops feeling that way — or if you hit the inevitable losing streak — don’t be afraid to take a break.
Taking a step back and reflecting a bit will allow you to tweak your approach and strategy where needed. Taking a breather and gaining additional perspective can lead you to feel rejuvenated when you’re ready to play again.
Sportsbook operators are for-profit entities. As such, they’re not providing a betting marketplace out of the goodness of their hearts. The goal for them is the same as you: to make money.
Books that don’t accomplish that goal won’t be around too long. Oddsmakers who consistently take a beating will eventually be looking for a new line of work. That said, the overwhelming majority of established operators are really good at what they do.
They turn a profit as a result. So, how do they do that? Sportsbooks make money by the commissions they collect for taking action on bets. This is often referred to as the vig or juice.
Let’s consider an example using a standard set of point spread odds of -110.
So why didn’t you double your money? That’s because the bookmaker has essentially kept a percentage of the return for themselves. In addition, consider that the operator is also taking bets on both sides of the equation.
In a perfect world, they’ll receive even action on both sides. Half of the bets will win, while the other half will lose. The net of what they collect, minus what they pay out, represents profit.
Of course, not all bets will attract even action, which is why you’ll see odds move after they are released. If the bookmaker’s liability on one side of an outcome becomes too great, they’ll make the odds a bit more favorable on the other side to attract more action.
Whenever you are starting with something new, it’s essential to understand that there will be a learning curve.
Mistakes will happen along the way, but you can learn from each of them and improve your overall knowledge base.
When it comes to sports betting, you’re going to make mistakes. You’ll miss something that seems obvious in your handicapping in advance of the game. Or you’ll place a bet on odds that suddenly become a lot more favorable on the side you are leaning.
It’s all going to happen, and there’s no way to prevent every mistake. However, you can avoid many major pitfalls that could make your sports betting career short-lived.
Sports betting can be a great source of entertainment and a potentially profitable venture. However, the chances of both happening increase when you avoid the above pitfalls.