If you’re a sports fan, you know that there’s more to betting on the games than simply placing your bet and hoping for the best. Betting on sports can be a great way to increase the excitement of your favorite game, and it can also be a source of income if you know what you’re doing. The best sports bettors can win money consistently by following certain strategies, and these strategies can vary from sport to sport.
The key to winning is finding an edge, or some sort of advantage that the oddsmakers don’t account for. This is why pro bettors are math freaks and study the numbers of every matchup. They look for weaknesses in the lines that bookies offer, and they keep near-obsessive records of their bets so they can test theories like this one: “It’s always better to bet against left-handed pitchers.”
There are many different types of sports bets, including spread and totals. In a spread bet, the bookmaker gives one team points and takes them away from another in order to create a point-spread. Most sportsbooks will display these odds in increments of half-a-point (.5) because it’s easier for both sides to understand what they need to do in order to win their bets.
Another common type of sports bet is a futures wager, which involves making a bet on the eventual champion of a particular event or league. These bets are generally available year-round, but their payouts may not be received until the end of the season or event. A good example is the Super Bowl, which you can place a futures bet on well before the season begins.