Sports Betting 101

sports betting

Sports betting has quickly become a part of sports culture since it was made legal in the United States back in 2018. While there are countless wagers you can place on a game, it’s important to remember that this is gambling and should be treated as such. While you can improve your odds of winning by being responsible and disciplined, there’s no guarantee that any bet will win.

Moneyline bets – These are bets on which team will win a match or event. They’re typically easy to understand, and the more you bet on a particular outcome, the bigger your payout will be. You can also make parlays, which combine multiple outcomes into a single bet for a higher payout.

Over/Under (Over/Under) bets – These are wagers on whether or not the two teams involved will combine for more or fewer runs, goals, or points than the total number posted by the sportsbook. For example, a Rams-Seahawks matchup might have an Over/Under of 42.5 points. If you think that the teams will score a lot of points in a high-scoring offensive slugfest, you’d bet the Over. If you expect a defensive slugfest, you’d bet on the Under.

Spread bets – These are bets against the spread, which handicaps one team and favors another when two teams are matched up in a head-to-head matchup. A spread is usually stated in increments of half a point, even though very few sports use 0.5 point scoring, to avoid the possibility of a push (a bet that wins both sides’ money). The higher the number, the more likely the favorite is to win.

Odds – These are the chances of a specific outcome occurring in a sports matchup, and they’re based on a combination of factors including a team’s past performance, current form, and its opponent’s recent performance. They’re listed as positive and negative numbers, with the lower the number, the more likely the underdog is to win.

Futures – These are bets on future events, such as a team’s chance of winning the Super Bowl next season. While these bets aren’t guaranteed to pay off, they offer better odds of winning than standard wagers and can be made year-round at most sportsbooks.

To determine the probability of a particular outcome, you can divide the odds by 100. For example, if a team has odds of 1/5 to win, this means that you have a 50% chance of winning the bet if it’s successful. You can also use online calculators to do the calculations for you.