Sports Betting Basics For Beginners

sports betting

Sports betting is one of the fastest-growing entertainment markets worldwide. In the US, it was legalized in May 2018. As more and more states pass laws allowing sports betting, the industry is expected to continue to grow at an impressive rate. However, there are still a few things that beginner sports bettors need to understand before they can start making money.

Betting Odds: Explained

The odds that bookmakers set are a crucial part of the sports betting experience, and they play an important role in setting expectations for any upcoming matchup. They indicate who the favorite and underdog are in a matchup, as well as how much you’ll profit on winning wagers.

In the sports betting market, the odds can vary significantly between different books. This is largely due to the type of bettors each book caters to. Some books focus primarily on NFL, MLB and NBA action while others offer wagering opportunities for all major American sports.

Lines Move

The line moves based on injury reports, team performance and other factors. The more money the public is betting on a team, the higher its odds will move. This is why you see teams with big points spreads (like Atlanta -2.5 and Carolina -1 for example) moving down to a smaller number, such as -1.5 or +1.5.

Point Spreads: The point spread for a football game is a key indicator of how evenly matched the two teams are in the eyes of the sportsbook. A -2 spread means that both teams are relatively close in terms of skill level, while a -10 spread indicates that the two sides have more in common than they might think.

Totals: The total number of points scored by both teams is another key factor that sets the stage for a bet. This is particularly important in games that are expected to end in a draw.

Futures Bets:

Futures bets on specific outcomes are an excellent way to get involved in the sports betting world without investing a lot of time or money. These bets can be as simple as wagering on which team will win a particular game, or they can involve more complex bets such as whether or not a team will repeat as World Champion in the next year.

How to Set Your Bankroll

Before you can place a bet, it is vital to know how much you have to stake. Ideally, you want to build up a bankroll that you are willing to lose, if necessary. Once you have a number that you are comfortable with, it is easy to set up an online account and make a deposit.

If you’re new to sports betting, it is a good idea to choose one of the many online sportsbooks that accept bets from a wide variety of people. These sites are typically run by professional gamblers and will be able to provide you with the best odds on your selection.


The juice on a spread is the amount of money you have to place on it in order to win $100 or $110. The higher the spread, the larger the juice. This is why a -110 spread in the NFL is typically more profitable for a bettor than a -1.5 spread in the MLB.