How to Bet on Sports
Sports betting is one of the simplest and most common type of gambling both inside and outside of the casino. Sports betting is wagering on the outcome of a sporting event. The simplest type of sports bet would just be to try to predict the winner of a single game, but other types of sports betting does exist such as bets including parlays, point spreads, or if-clauses as is explained in the next section.
Note, however, that in the US, it is illegal to operate a sports betting scheme except in a few states. Additionally, only about 142 places in Nevada are authorized to take sports bets.
Types of Bets in Sports Betting
Proposition Bet- Bets made on a specific outcome of a single game, e.g. number of goals, which player will score, which team will have more rebounds.
Parlay- Multiple bets rewarding a single winner with a pooled large payout, e.g. betting a fixed amount on each game of March Madness and then the person with the most number of predicted wins takes the whole pot.
If Bet- Bet on at least two different events in a single game or multiple games joined together by an if-clause, e.g. you bet $30 that the Yankees will win the game if they have over 5 runs. Bet is nullified if first part of the clause never occurs.
Line Bets- Bets featuring a point spread for the favorite team to win, e.g. you bet $10 that the Bulls will win by at least 15 points. If the Bulls win by less than 15 points, your bet is lost.
Future Wager- Bet made on a long-term outcome usually spanning weeks or months, e.g. the Penguins will have over a 50% winning percentage this season.
Head-to-Head- Bet made against one other person on several outcomes of a single game, e.g. you and one other person each pick three drivers in the Indy 500 and the winner is whoever picked the best-finishing driver.
Second-Half Bets- Bet made during half-time of a sporting event strictly on the second half of a sporting event.
Odds and Payouts in Sports Betting
There are many different types of sports bets all with different odds and payouts. The odds of a straight bet on the winner of a given game should be available prior to the match. These odds can be determined by ranking the relative probability of winning for each time based on many variables such as their season winning percentage, if it is a home or away game, conditions for the game, starting line-up, etc.
Payouts too vary dependent upon the type of bet. Bets for teams that are favorites to win obviously pay less than bets for underdogs to win. This is why upsets result in so much buzz in Vegas because a team with a low chance of winning just allowed for betters to receive a much higher payout.
Sucker Bets in Sports Betting
Sports betting encompasses such a wide variety of different types of games and different types of bets that it is difficult to point to a single type of sucker bet. Primarily, you should avoid betting more than you can afford to lose. Sporting events, like all casino games, are random events meaning their outcomes cannot be predicted with 100% certainty. It is for this reason that you should never put too much money on a team, a horse, or a player that you just know is going to win. If there was no way they could lose, the bet would not be offered.
The second general sucker bet in sports betting is to let personal biases run how you bet. Just because you grew up in Boston all your life and have been to every Red Sox home game since the 80s does not mean that you should be betting on their success. While modest bets can help to make the games more interesting, just because you like a team does not mean that they are profitable.
Best Bets in Sports Betting
1. The first most important axiom in making great sports bets is to do your research on the teams. If you are making serious sports bets, you should have extensive knowledge about the sport, the specific match conditions, and both teams who are playing. Know their winning percentages, their rosters, and their respective winning probabilities. This figure should be available somewhere online before the event as it goes into helping the casino determine the payouts of every game.
Many sites exist that help to analyze the winning probability of each team for every game. These sites track hundreds of previous games, analyzing important statistics to determine each team’s chance of success. As said above, some of the most important variables in these decisions include: previous winning percentages, home or away, conditions, lineups, and when in the season the game is being played.
2. The second most important axiom in making great sports bets is to do your research into the types of bets that are being offered, the point spreads, and the payouts. This means going online or going to the casino beforehand and distinguishing between good and bad opportunities. Point spreads help to make bets much more complicated than just trying to predict which team is better. Additionally, point spreads can also help to create great opportunities to profit from underdogs upsetting favorites.