With legal sports betting becoming a fixture in American culture and over $13 billion being bet on the games each year, it’s never been easier to place a wager. But with so many different bet types, popular terms and tips, new sports gamblers can get overwhelmed quickly. The best advice for people interested in trying their hand at this exciting form of gambling is to have fun.
A few things to keep in mind before placing your first bet:
Learn the odds system. Odds are expressed as positive and negative numbers that represent the likelihood of a particular outcome. The lower the number, the more likely it is to win. For example, the Atlanta Braves are favored to win their division this season at -150 while the New York Mets are a +120 underdog.
Study the numbers, injuries and trends of each team and their opponents. This will help you make informed decisions when it comes to choosing which teams to bet on and which games to place bets on. Also, it’s important to find a trusted sportsbook that offers competitive odds and good customer service. This includes a FAQ section, live chat and a 24/7 phone line.
When betting on a game, remember that it’s not about winning every bet you place, but rather making money over the long haul. This requires discipline, research and seeking the advice of successful sports bettors. It is also important to stay sober and bet with a clear mind. Many bad bets are made when a person is emotionally charged or chasing a loser.
Lastly, it’s a good idea to set a bankroll and stick to it. This will prevent you from losing more than you can afford to. A general rule of thumb is to risk no more than 1% to 5% of your bankroll on each play.
Another popular way to bet on sports is by placing over/under bets. These bets predict whether the two teams involved will combine for more (over) or fewer (under) runs, goals and points than the total amount posted by oddsmakers. For example, if you bet on the Seahawks-Rams game having over 42.5 points, and it ends up being a defensive slugfest with no offensive fireworks, then you’ll win your bet.
A final type of bet is a futures bet, which are bets that will be settled at some point in the future. These bets typically offer higher odds and can yield large payouts, but they’re not without their risks. Some past examples of tainted futures bets include point shaving, spot-fixing and bad referee calls. The NHL was the first major league to introduce sports betting when it opened its Vegas Golden Knights in 2017, but most other clubs are reluctant to open their doors to gambling because of the potential fallout.