Bets on sports have been around for hundreds of years, and they have become more and more popular in recent years. With the rise of online sports betting, betting on your favorite team or athlete is now easier than ever.
But for people who are just starting out, the world of sports betting can be overwhelming and hard to understand. On this page, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to bet on sports, from the different kinds of bets to how to come up with a plan to increase your chances of winning.
How to Bet on Sports: Betting Types
Before you bet on a sports game, you should know the different kinds of bets you can make. Most sports bets fall into one of these categories:
1. Moneyline Bet
The easiest kind of bet to make is a moneyline bet, in which you just pick the team or player you think will win. For a moneyline bet, the odds are shown as a positive or negative number, which shows how much you will get back if you win.
Let’s say that the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens are going to play in an NFL game soon. The game’s money-line odds are:
- New England Patriots: -180
- Baltimore Ravens: +160
In this case, the odds are that the New England Patriots will win, and you’d have to bet $180 to win $100. On the other hand, the Baltimore Ravens are the underdog. If you bet $100 on them and they win, you’ll get $160 back.
If the New England Patriots win the game, a bettor who put $180 on them would win $100, while a bettor who put $100 on the Baltimore Ravens would lose their bet. On the other hand, if the Baltimore Ravens win the game, a bettor who put $100 on them would win $160, while a bettor who put $180 on the New England Patriots would lose their bet.
2. Bet on Point Spread
A point spread bet is a bet on how many points the winner will win by. The point spread for the favorite team is minus, while the point spread for the underdog team is plus. You bet on which team will beat the spread by the most points.
As an example, let’s look at the same NFL game between the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens. The game’s point spread odds are:
- New England Patriots: -4.5 (-110)
- Baltimore Ravens: +4.5 (-110)
In this case, the New England Patriots are the favorite to win, and they need to win by at least 5 points to cover the spread. On the other hand, the Baltimore Ravens can still cover the underdog spread even if they lose by up to 4 points.
Those who bet on the New England Patriots at -4.5 would win their bet if they win the game by 5 or more points. If the New England Patriots win by 4 points or less, or if the Baltimore Ravens win the game outright, a bettor who bet on the Baltimore Ravens at +4.5 would win their bet.
3. Totals (Over/Under) Bet
A totals bet is a wager on how many points, goals, or runs will be scored in a game as a whole. You bet on whether the final score will be more than or less than what the sportsbook thinks it will be.
Let’s say that the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants are going to play in an NFL game soon. The total number of points for the game is set at 48.
- Over 48: (-110)
- Under 48: (-110)
In this case, a bettor can bet that the game’s total score will be over or under 48 points.
Result: If the game ends with a score of 28-21, the total score is 49 points, and anyone who bets “over 48” wins their bet. On the other hand, if the game ends with a score of 24-14, the total score is 38 points, and a person who bet on “under 48” wins their bet.
4. Parlay Bet
A parlay bet is a single bet that combines two or more bets. With a parlay bet, the odds are better, but the risk is also higher because you have to win all of the bets in the parlay in order to win.
Let’s say a bettor wants to place a parlay bet on two NFL games: the New Orleans Saints vs. the Atlanta Falcons and the Los Angeles Chargers vs. the Las Vegas Raiders. Here are the odds for each game’s point spread:
- New Orleans Saints -3.5 (-110) vs. Atlanta Falcons +3.5 (-110)
- Los Angeles Chargers -2.5 (-110) vs. Las Vegas Raiders +2.5 (-110)
In this case, the bettor wants to put $100 on the New Orleans Saints at -3.5 and the Los Angeles Chargers at -2.5.
To win the parlay bet, both the New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Chargers must win their games and cover the point spread. If both teams win and cover the spread, the bettor wins their parlay bet, which pays out at better odds than if they had bet on each game separately.
For example, if the New Orleans Saints win by 7 points and the Los Angeles Chargers win by 3, the bettor’s parlay bet would win.
It’s important to remember that parlays can be risky because the bettor must win all of their bets to get paid, and if they lose any of their bets, the whole parlay bet is a loss.
5. Teaser Bet
Teaser bets are like parlay bets, but you can change the point spread or totals to your advantage. Even though the odds are lower, the risk is also lower. For example, if the point spread is -3, you can change it to -2 to increase your chances of winning, but the odds will be lower.
Let’s take as an example the same two NFL games. The person wants to make a teaser bet on both games instead of a parlay bet. The teaser odds for the two games are as follows:
- New Orleans Saints -3.5 to -2 (teased 6 points) vs. Atlanta Falcons +3.5 to +9 (teased 6 points)
- Los Angeles Chargers -2.5 to +3.5 (teased 6 points) vs. Las Vegas Raiders +2.5 to +9.5 (teased 6 points)
In this case, the bettor wants to put $100 on the New Orleans Saints at -2 and the Los Angeles Chargers at +3.5.
The result of a teaser bet is the same as that of a parlay bet in that the bettor must win all of their bets in order to get paid. Teaser bets, on the other hand, let the player change the point spread in their favor. In this case, the bettor has moved the point spread for both games by 6 points, making it easier for both the New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Chargers to cover the spread.
If both teams win and cover the teased spread, the bettor wins their teaser bet, which pays out at better odds than if they had bet on each game separately.
For example, if the New Orleans Saints win by 7 points and the Los Angeles Chargers win by 3, the bettor’s teaser bet would win.
Even though teaser bets give the bettor a better chance of winning, they pay out less than parlay bets because the bettor changes the point spread to their advantage.
6. Futures Bet
Futures bets are long-term bets on a team or player to win a championship or award at the end of the season. For example, before the NFL season starts, you can bet on a team to win the Super Bowl.
Let’s say someone wants to bet on who will win the Super Bowl in the future, before the NFL season starts. Here are the odds for the different teams:
- Kansas City Chiefs: +600
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: +600
- Buffalo Bills: +1200
- Los Angeles Rams: +1300
- San Francisco 49ers: +1400
In this case, the gambler wants to bet $100 that the Los Angeles Rams will win the Super Bowl in the future.
If the Los Angeles Rams went on to win the Super Bowl, the person who made the bet would get $1,400 back ($100 bet plus $1300 winnings). It’s important to remember that future bets are usually made a long time before the event, and that the odds can change as the season goes on and teams get better or worse.
In American football, a season win total bet is another type of bet on the future. For this kind of bet, you bet on how many games a certain team will win over the course of the whole season. The Buffalo Bills are a good example:
- Buffalo Bills Regular Season Win Total: Over 10.5 (-110) / Under 10.5 (-110)
In this case, the bettor wants to put $100 on the Buffalo Bills to win more than 10.5 games during the regular season.
If the Buffalo Bills win 11 or more games during the regular season, the bettor wins. The future bet would be a loss if the Buffalo Bills won 10 games or less.
7. Prop Bets
Prop bets, also called proposition bets, are bets on specific things that happen in a game, like a player’s performance during the season. Most of the time, these types of bets are more creative and fun than traditional bets, and they can give you more ways to bet.
A prop bet in American football looks like this:
- Player A Total Receiving Yards: Over 75.5 (-110) / Under 75.5 (-110)
In this case, the bettor wants to put $100 on Player A having more than 75.5 yards receiving during the game.
If Player A finishes the game with 76 or more receiving yards, the bettor wins their prop bet. If Player A ends the game with 75 receiving yards or less, the bettor loses their prop bet.
In American football, another type of prop bet is a bet on the outcome of a certain play, like the first play of the game. Let’s look at this as an example:
- First Play of the Game: Pass (-115) / Run (-115)
In this case, the gambler wants to bet $100 that the first play of the game will be a pass.
If the first play of the game is a pass, the bettor wins their prop bet. If the first play of the game results in a run, the bettor loses their prop bet.
It’s important to remember that prop bets can be very different from one game to the next and can be about a wide range of things that could happen in the game.
They can also be very creative and fun, like betting on how long the national anthem will be, what color the Gatorade shower will be at the end of the game, or even what the halftime performer will be wearing. Prop bets can make watching a game even more exciting and entertaining, and they can also give you the chance to win big money on small bets.
How to Bet on Sports: Choosing a Sportsbook
To have a good time betting on sports, it’s important to pick the right sportsbook such as YouWager.lv. Here are a few things to think about when choosing a sportsbook:
Do some research on the sportsbook’s reputation and read reviews from other users to make sure it’s a good one.
2. Bonuses and special deals
Look for sportsbooks that offer bonuses and promotions, like free bets or matching deposits, for both new and existing customers.
3. User interface
A user-friendly interface can make it easier and more fun to place bets and move around the sportsbook.
4. Several sports and betting options
Look for sportsbooks like YouWager.lv that have a wide range of sports and bets so you can find the best value and chances for your betting strategy.
5. Customer support
Look for sportsbooks with good customer service that will help you if you have any problems or questions.
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How to bet on sports: Your Plan
To increase your chances of winning, you should come up with a plan for sports betting. Here are some ideas to think about:
1. Set a budget
Before you make a bet, decide how much money you are willing to spend. Keep to your budget and don’t try to make up for losses. If you bet more than you can afford to lose, you could get into debt or become addicted.
Find out about the teams or players, how they’ve been playing lately, and if there have been any injuries or suspensions that could change how the game goes. It’s also important to learn about the sportsbook you’re using and compare their odds with those of other sportsbooks to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
3. Figure out the odds
To make a good sports betting strategy, you need to know how the odds work. The odds show how likely something is to happen and how much you could win if it does. If you want to bet wisely, you need to know how to read and understand the odds.
4. Only play one or two sports
It’s best to focus on one or two sports and get really good at them. This will help you learn more about the teams or players and their strengths and weaknesses, which will make it easier for you to bet in a smart way.
5. Don’t bet based on how you feel
Emotional betting, like betting on your favorite team, can force you to make bad decisions and bets. It’s important to stay neutral and make decisions based on facts and research, not on how you feel.
6. Keep track
Keeping track of your bets and how they turned out can help you evaluate your performance and find ways to improve your strategy for betting on sports.
7. Bet responsibly
Bets on sports should be fun and exciting. It’s important to bet responsibly and not chase losses or bet more than you can afford to lose.
8. Find Value Bets
Finding value bets is a key part of a winning strategy for sports betting. A value bet is one where the odds of a certain outcome happening are higher than what the bookmaker is offering. By finding value bets, you can increase your long-term chances of making money.
To find value bets, you’ll need to do research and compare the odds offered by different sportsbooks. Look for differences between the odds that different bookmakers offer and compare them to how likely you think the outcome is to be. If the odds of a bet are good, it might be a good value bet.
9. Bankroll Management
For long-term success in sports betting, you need to know how to manage your money well. It’s important to set and stick to a budget for your bets. This means resisting the urge to try to win back your losses and only betting what you can afford. Many sports bettors with a lot of experience say that you shouldn’t put more than 2% of your bankroll on each bet.
10. Timing Your Bets
When you place your bets can have a big effect on how they turn out. It’s important to think about things like injuries, suspensions, and other news that could change how the game turns out. You might be able to find better-value bets if you read up on the latest news and wait until the last minute to place your bets.
11. Find the best odds
There are different odds for the same event at different sportsbooks. To make sure you’re getting the best value for your bets, you should look around at different bookmakers and compare their odds. By finding the best odds, you can increase the amount of money you could win.
10. Keep track
Keeping track of your bets and how they turned out is important if you want to get better at sports betting. By keeping track of how well you do, you can figure out your strengths and weaknesses and make smart choices about your next bets. Your records should include the date of the bet, the amount bet, the odds, the outcome of the bet, and any notes about why you made the bet.
11. Don’t go after your losses
One of the worst things that people who bet on sports do is chase their losses. When you lose a bet, you might want to make more bets to try to get your money back. But this usually causes even more losses. Even when things aren’t going your way, it’s important to stay on track and stick to your plan.
Sports betting can be a fun and profitable hobby, but you should go into it with a plan and a sense of responsibility. By learning about the different types of bets, coming up with a strategy, and finding the right sportsbook, you can increase your chances of winning and make better betting decisions. Don’t bet more than you can afford to lose, and never bet more than you can afford to lose. Good luck with your bets!