Sports Betting Basics
Sports betting is the act of placing a wager on a specific outcome in a sporting event. It can be done online or offline, depending on state laws. In the United States, it is legal in 30 states and the District of Columbia.
The most important thing to remember when you begin sports betting is to have a set amount of money you are willing to risk on each bet. This is your bankroll. Once you have determined this amount, you can start to make bets.
A common mistake that many sports bettors make is to get too emotional when betting on a particular team. This can lead to making bad decisions and losing their bankroll.
Track Your Bets
One of the best ways to track your bets is by using a spreadsheet or tracking app. This will help you keep track of which sportsbooks you bet with, what type of bets you make and the odds you are getting. This will also help you keep an accounting of your profits and losses.
Establish Your Unit Size
Generally speaking, a successful bettor will hit a minimum of 55% of their plays. This is the magic number for winning a reasonable amount of money on a consistent basis. If you are not consistently betting this amount, you will have a hard time winning and you will likely go broke.
Establish Your Unit Size
A good rule of thumb for unit sizes is 1-2% of your bankroll on a per play basis. This will allow variance to play out and will protect you from going broke if you are on a cold streak.
If you bet more than this, you will have to spend more of your bankroll on each bet. This can leave you with less money to bet on other events, such as futures.
You can also choose to bet on spreads. These are bets on the total number of points that will be scored in a game. This number is often calculated in increments of half-a-point to eliminate the possibility of a tie.
The spread (line) handicaps teams and favors the underdog. This is a popular strategy for betting on American football. It is also used in other sports where the favorite can be expected to win, such as soccer or boxing.
A push is a bet that doesn’t come out as a winner, though most sports books will refund this type of bet. A few will still count a push as a loss.
Taking Advantage of the Spread
A good way to take advantage of the spread is by betting on games that have a high amount of variance, such as college football and basketball. These sports are known for their frequent upsets and big-time surprises, so you can expect to make more bets than you would on a regular basis.
Be sure to read the terms and conditions when placing a bet on these types of events. The terms and conditions can include rules that prohibit you from betting on certain teams.