Sports betting has become a massive industry as millions of fans take advantage of the recent legalization in many states. But, like any form of gambling, it carries inherent risks and should be done responsibly. With that in mind, here are 12 things every beginner should know before placing their first bet.
The first thing to understand when betting on sports is the concept of odds. Odds are the probability that a specific outcome will occur, and they are listed on each event. They can either be positive or negative, depending on the direction in which you are betting. In addition, odds are a good way to gauge how much risk you are taking on a particular bet.
You can find odds on sports betting sites and in most books, though some have more extensive and varied offerings than others. It’s worth doing some research to see if your favorite sportsbook offers the best odds for the teams or players you want to bet on. You can also use software designed to make better bets, such as ours here at Odds Assist, which identifies the best odds and lines and uncovers arbitrage opportunities for you.
Another popular type of bet in the world of sports is a futures bet, which is a wager on an event that will not take place until the future. This can be as simple as a team winning the next season’s Stanley Cup, or as complex as a country winning soccer’s World Cup. Generally, futures bets offer greater odds-and therefore larger payouts-than straight bets.
Ultimately, one of the most important things to remember when betting on sports is that you’re not likely to be profitable on a consistent basis. Even the most seasoned and successful sports bettors get less than 60% of their bets right. Moreover, there will be some bad days mixed in with the good ones. That’s why it’s important to treat your betting as an investment and only risk 1% to 5% of your bankroll per play.
Point spreads are created by the sportsbook in order to give the underdog a chance to win by covering the gap in strength between two opponents. The point spread is calculated by subtracting the favorite’s total points from the underdog’s, and the potential payout is shown on your bet slip. Often, this will include the amount you wagered, so it’s a good idea to check your betting slip before leaving the sportsbook.
While some people are hesitant to wager on sports events, the majority of Americans are ready to do so. This is especially true now that the anti-gambling stigma has largely faded, and most states now allow some form of sports betting. In fact, the industry is expected to grow to more than $70 billion by 2022. That’s why it’s important for everyone to be informed about the rules and regulations of their state’s laws before they decide to make a wager. In some cases, this may mean consulting an expert attorney or looking for a sportsbook with the lowest possible vig.