Many people watch sports and think to themselves, “I could make money betting on those games.” Sadly, it’s not as easy as that. It takes a lot of work and research to be profitable in sports betting. Plus, it’s going to take time and patience to build up a cushion of funds that will help you survive the inevitable losing streaks.
There are many factors that can contribute to losses in sports betting, and a good place to start is understanding the basic fundamentals of the game. This includes the number of bets you should make, how much to wager, and what the odds are for each bet. A good rule of thumb is to wager more on a bet that you believe has a higher probability of winning, but don’t bet more than you can afford to lose.
Point spreads – Also called handicaps, these are bets that give one team an advantage over another when two teams are facing off. The goal of a point spread is to balance the bets and give the underdog a chance to win. Bettors can either take or give the points. For example, if the Dallas Cowboys are playing the Philadelphia Eagles and the spread is 5.5, you can bet on the Eagles to win by at least six points or better.
Hedging – Betting the opposite of a previous bet to guarantee a win and profit in some capacity. This can be done in a variety of ways, including placing bets on both sides of an event and parlays.
Handle – The total amount of money wagered on a single bet. This can be calculated by multiplying the amount of bets placed by the total odds of winning. It is also used to measure the size of a bookmaker’s commission, known as the juice.
The best and most popular way to make a bet is on the straight bet, which is a simple bet on the winner of a particular event. These bets are available on all major sports and can be made online or in person. Straight bets are usually offered at even money, while prop bets have varying odds.
Futures bets – These are bets on events that will settle further into the future, like who will win a division or championship before or during the regular season. They have higher odds than straight bets and often offer more substantial payouts.
Soccer is a difficult sport to bet on, as the game lasts 90 minutes, and can go into extra time and even penalty shootouts, which can change the outcome of the entire game.
The NBA is a great league to bet on, as it’s a highly watched and competitive sport. It’s also easy to find information on NBA games and players, and there are plenty of online resources that can provide you with helpful data. However, you should remember that it’s still possible to bet against the public and lose money, even if you are an expert.