Sports Betting 101

sports betting

Sports betting is about predicting the probability of an event happening during a game and risking money on it occurring. It can be done on anything from a team to win a game to a specific player scoring a goal. Sportsbooks set odds on these occurrences which allow bettors to place a bet on either side of the line. If you’re right, you get paid. If you’re wrong, you lose.

In addition to a strong ability with numbers, successful bettors also do extensive research before placing their bets. This includes weighing things like weather forecasts, staying current on injury reports, and comparing team strengths to their opponents. It’s also a good idea to track your bets in an Excel document or even a old-fashioned notebook, as this can help you see which teams and bets are making you money versus those that aren’t.

Aside from point spreads and moneylines, sportsbooks offer a wide variety of props. These are wagers that aren’t standard in terms of how they are structured, like an over/under total on a team’s total points scored. A bettor can bet on whether the total points will go over (more than predicted) or under (less than predicted).

Another type of wager is a futures bet, which is placed well in advance of the season to make a prediction on the eventual champion. While this type of bet can have a long horizon, it can also have very high payouts.