Sports Betting for Beginners

A lot has changed when it comes to sports betting. It was legal, then made illegal, and in 2018, a court ruling left the legality of it up to states’ rights instead of federal. Companies have rushed to grab their stake in betting futures and make their cut of the profits from gambling on sports, but what does it really mean?

This article will help beginners understand sports betting. It’s more than just putting money down on a winner or loser and cashing out, and there are a lot of different terms to know if you are interested. If you are easily addicted to things, or have a history of gambling addiction, consider seeking help. Otherwise, sports betting is often a fun way to entertain yourself as long as you never spend more than you can afford to lose.

Spreads

Now, when it comes to bets, there are always favorites and underdogs. A favorite is the team most likely to win. The underdog is the one that is expected to lose. If the odds are about even, it’s called a Pick.

Betting on favorites and underdogs is frequently done with a spread. This means that instead of just placing a straight bet that the favorite will win, your odds change based on how much you think they will win by.

So, for example, if the Braves are 3 run favorites against the Cardinals, then in order for your bet on the Braves to pay out, they will need to win the game by 4 points or more to “cover” your bet. If they win by exactly 3, then you get your money back but don’t win any extra. That’s what is called a push.

If the Braves win by less than 3 runs, you lose your money. If you vote for the Cardinals in this situation, then you need the Cardinals to either win or to lose by 2 points or fewer to win your bet.

Spread betting is available for pretty much any sport, but because sports like baseball and hockey are much tighter and much smaller in scoring, these bets are most popular and prevalent in basketball and football. NetBet is a prime example of spread betting at its finest.

Why is there a -110 by my bet?

When you make a bet, odds makers will tax that bet. This is called a juice, takeout, or vig. This number is the commission you have to pay the bookie for them to accept your bet. For example, if the Jets are -7(-110), you will need to risk $110 to win $100 if you bet on the Jets as a 7-point favorite.

This can also be positive. If you vote for Knicks +20 (+110), then betting $100 on the Knicks as a 20-point favorite will let you win 110 if it covers but only lose your initial $100 investment if you don’t.

Shop Lines

The sports betting market is very similar to Wall Street. Lines change in real time and different books have different clients and therefore different numbers. This means that odds will change based on news of injuries and weather conditions. It also means that some places will offer more favorable spreads and taxes than others.

Shop around to find the best deal for your investment that day. It never hurts to do your research or talk to your other buddies who happen to be into sports betting. Ideally, you want low risk and high reward, as in any type of gambling. However, the reality in any form of gambling is that you win some and you lose some, but the key is having fun in the process.

As a final reminder, check in with yourself when it comes to any type of gambling. A 1 to 5% risk level is pretty standard on sports betting. To stay on track, only risk what you can afford to lose, or you might kick yourself later. Flat betting helps to guard you against losing everything in a bad stretch of poor sports picks. It’s a good idea to look further into that.

Finally, have fun. You’ll learn as you play, as in what to do and what not to do.  Enjoy yourself and here’s to hoping you win big!