Sports Betting – 5 Things to Know Before You Start

As gambling has reclaimed its rightful place in American culture, millions of sports fans are jumping on the bandwagon to start betting on games. While this can be a fun and exciting way to wager, it’s important that you keep a few things in mind before you start placing your bets.

1. Don’t let emotions get the best of you.

It’s important to avoid making rash decisions when it comes to your betting habits, especially if you’re looking to turn a profit over the long haul. Getting too emotional can prevent you from thinking clearly about what’s most likely to happen, and this can lead to some disastrous bets.

2. Understand how odds are created.

It takes months, if not years, to turn from a rookie to an expert bettor. One of the most important factors to consider when attempting to place bets on sports is how odds are created. There are a number of different factors that go into determining whether a team is a favorite or underdog, including injury data, home field advantage, and current form. These factors are weighed carefully by the oddsmakers at each sportsbook, and they can significantly affect the outcome of a game.

3. Know your moneyline, spread, and total bets.

A moneyline bet is a simple wager on the winner of a game, and it offers the biggest payout out of all the different types of bets that can be placed. A spread bet, on the other hand, involves a line that is shifted in favor of the bettor or against him, and it has a lower payout than a straight bet. A total bet is a wager on the number of points scored in a game, and it can be combined with a moneyline or spread bet in a parlay.

4. Don’t be afraid to shop around for the best lines.

Sportsbooks often post different lines on the same game, and this can be a huge advantage for sports bettors. For example, if the Cavs are a -7 favorite at one book and a -6.5 favorite at another, this is a difference of half a point. This can add up quickly, and having access to several sportsbooks will allow you to get the best lines on each game.

5. Cover up the names of the teams you’re betting on.

This tip may sound a bit counterintuitive, but it can dramatically improve your betting accuracy. By covering up the names of the teams you’re analyzing, you can force yourself to look at the matchup objectively and not through the lens of bias. This will make you less likely to talk yourself into a bad bet, or away from a good one.

6. Practice discipline and always bet within your budget.

Sports betting is a risky pastime, and it’s easy to lose more than you win. It’s also a bad idea to bet more than you can afford to lose, and that goes for even your winning bets. It’s a good idea to keep track of your bets in a spreadsheet, and it can help to have a set bankroll that you’re willing to play with.