Sports Betting 101

sports betting

When it comes to betting on sports, there are a lot of things you should know. It’s important to have a clear head (stop drinking before placing your bets), do your research and separate your fandom from the math. It’s also important to establish a bankroll that you are willing, in the worst-case scenario, to lose. This is a number that you should bet no more than, and it will serve as a guide for your wagers throughout the season.

One of the most popular ways to bet on a game is to place a wager against the spread. The spread is the number of points that a favored team must win by to cover the bet and is often expressed as a negative (+) or positive (-) number. This number is based on the likelihood that the favored team will win and can vary from sport to sport.

Another way to bet on a game is to make a moneyline bet. A moneyline bet is a single bet that pays out if the team you bet on wins. This bet type is commonly found in American football and basketball, baseball and hockey. A bettor can also place a total bet, which is a bet on the combined score of a given category in a game (e.g., goals, rebounds, saves, hits, rounds or birdies).

Finally, there are futures bets, which are bets that will pay out on a specific event in the future. These bets are typically available at most online sportsbooks and can be placed by clicking a button that says something like “Futures” or “Open Futures.”