When it comes to sports betting, there is a lot more to it than simply placing a wager on the winner of a game. Sports bettors must understand the different bet types and how they work in order to make smarter wagers. Here is an overview of some of the most popular bets and how they work.
Straight bets are the most basic form of a sports wager. These bets are placed on a team to win a game or an event. For example, a person who wants to bet on the Atlanta Braves winning their division can place a bet by simply taking the Braves at -150 odds. The same goes for college football, where bettors can wager on a team to win their conference or even the whole national championship.
Point spreads are another common type of sports wager. This bet type involves comparing the expected scoring difference between two teams and betting either to take (betting underdogs) or give (betting favorites). The more research one does into a specific sport and the current state of certain players, the better chance they will have at placing winning wagers. This means checking weather forecasts, staying up to date on injury updates and tracking initial line prices as they shift in anticipation of public bets.
Bettors who make a living off of sports betting should always try to find edges, or opportunities where the lines a book offers are vulnerable. This is why good bettors are math freaks and read statistics like the back of their hands. They also keep near-obsessive records of their bets to test theories, like the above example about home teams starting left-handed pitchers after a loss.
Another way to bet on sports is by placing a futures bet. These bets are based on events that will occur in the future, such as a baseball player winning next year’s World Series or a golfer winning the Masters Tournament. These bets have a much lower house edge than standard bets and can offer big payouts if placed correctly.
Lastly, prop bets are a great way to spice up any sporting event. These bets are offered by many online sportsbooks and have nothing to do with the actual action on the field or court. Instead, they are focused on a specific aspect of the game or an individual athlete and can range from the number of rushing yards a player will make in a game to how many touchdown passes a quarterback will throw in a given contest. While these bets aren’t as lucrative as their more traditional counterparts, they do offer a unique way to bet on sports and increase the excitement of a matchup. In addition, they can help increase the overall profitability of a wagering account. So, be sure to check out these bets the next time you visit your favorite online sportsbook. Remember, though, that the harder a sport is to bet on, the more money you’ll likely lose.