Being a fan of major league sports is an exciting hobby to have. Following the careers of these young athletes, from university sports, all the way to the professional level is immensely rewarding. In fact, dedicated followers of sports like football or basketball spend hours pouring over statistics, lineups, and team matchups during the season.
Many people find that sports betting is a great way to challenge their knowledge and passion for the sports they love. If you’re interested in getting started in the world of betting, this comprehensive guide will take you through all of the basics.
The Betting Platforms
The first thing to consider when you’re getting started with sports betting is which platform will you call your home base. Are you looking for a site that offers the best odds so you can get the best value when you place your wager? Would you prefer to have a wide range of different betting types and sports? There are many questions to ask, and oftentimes the platforms available are dependent on your country or region.
When you’re browsing the available platforms, you’ll find that many leading sportsbooks offer great bonuses for signing up. If you’re just getting started, it can be greatly beneficial to take advantage of things like free bets so you can test your skills. For instance, platforms like Bet 365 offer $100 in bonus credits to new users, and it allows placing bets on many different types of sports (including esports).
If there’s a particular sport you’re interested in, you may find that there are certain platforms that deal only with those sports so make sure you do your research. If you prefer to fund your account with credit cards, bank transfers, or cryptocurrency deposits, there are plenty of platforms that will accommodate you. There are also many other gaming guides online that will help you decide everything from the best platform to use to tips on how to create a profitable betting system.
Depending on the sports betting platform you choose, there can be numerous sports available to bet on. Normally, you should stick to the sports that you know the most about and enjoy watching. While the most popular sports to bet on are basketball, baseball, and professional football, there are many other options like MMA, boxing, horse racing, esports, or many other smaller sports. Explore your sportsbook platform to see what is available.
Understanding listed odds is important to any betting system. Odds are dynamic and change all the time leading up to a game. It’s also important to note that different oddsmakers may have more favorable odds for the event you are interested in. By browsing different platforms, you can get more value for your wager.
In the odds system, there is always a favorite to win and an underdog, even if the difference between them is slim. Be aware that different platforms and sports use different odds systems ranging from American odds to decimal, fractional, and more. Here are some examples of how this looks.
New York Knicks: +220
Houston Rockets: -120
Decimal Odds (European):
New York Knicks: 3.20
Houston Rockets: 1.83
Fractional Odds (Traditional UK):
New York Knicks: 11/5
Houston Rockets: 83/100
In all of these above examples, you can use a $100 wager to calculate how much your bet will profit if successful. If you bet on the New York Knicks to win, +220 odds would return $220 dollars on top of your initial bet amount for a payout total of $320.
One of the best things about sports betting is that there are many different types of wagers you can place depending on what you’re interested in. Here are some of the most popular types to get you started.
A money line is one of the most straightforward types of bets there are, so naturally, these are also one of the most popular. With a money line bet, you are choosing a specific team to win overall.
There are no extra factors to concern yourself with, so this removes all of the complicated elements and leaves you with a winner or a loser.
Point Spread Bets:
Point spread betting is the most popular form of sports betting there is. With point spread bets, you are essentially betting on the point margin between two teams. The favorite team always receives a negative points handicap to be subtracted from their final total while the underdog receives extra points to be added to their score.
It may be tricky to understand at first, but it becomes clear when you look at an example.
Baltimore Ravens -4.5 (-110)
Dallas Cowboys +4.5 (-110)
In the above example, the Ravens are the favorite and thus have a -4.5 point handicap. The Cowboys are the underdog, and so you would add 4.5 points to their final score. If the Ravens win the game with a score of 20-17, then they win the actual game of course, but they do NOT beat the spread. When you subtract 4.5 points from 20, you are left with 15.5. If you bet on the Ravens to beat the spread in this example, you would lose.
If you bet on the Cowboys to beat the spread you would win because their score is 17, and when you add their margin of 4.5, you are left with 21.5. The point spread bets are fun and allow more depth to the sports betting experience. They are also essential for bookmakers because they bring equal betting action for teams, allowing them to make a consistent profit.
The over/under format is much more straightforward. In this type of bet, you are simply betting on if you think the total accumulative amount of points scored for both teams exceeds a certain amount. This allows you to predict how offense and defenses stack up together.
Prop bets can be a lot of fun and allow you to bet on unique and interesting aspects of the game. You can bet on such things as the game going into overtime, or the amount of three-point shots scores. Depending on your chosen betting platform, there can be many unique offerings.
Coming Up With a System
When you first decide to get started with sports betting, it is a smart idea to come up with a betting system and keep track of your winners and losers. This will help you stay accountable and allow you to understand where your strengths are, as well as keeping track of total profits. There are many ways to develop and test a system depending on your chosen sport and betting types.