Sports Betting- How to bet and Best sites for payment options
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How Does Sports Betting Work?
If you’re fairly new to the world of online sports betting, then you may be curious to learn about the different kinds of wagers and how they work.
Reading odds can be difficult if you don’t understand them, but luckily, there are still many beginner-friendly bets to browse at online bookmakers.
Sports betting involves straight wagers – money lines, point spreads, totals – as well as parlay bets and live in-game wagering. These are some of the most common types of bets you’ll see.
In today’s guide, we’re teaching you all about sports betting online and how it works.
Keep reading along to learn how to read odds, how to make certain bets, which bets are beginner- or expert-friendly, and the most common sports to bet on.
Stick around to the end, and find out which sports wagering mistakes you don’t want to make. Let’s get into it!
Sports wagering can be complicated if you go into it guns blazing.
But if you’re a beginner, we recommend starting out with a bankroll – an amount of money allocated specifically for gambling purposes – and sticking to it. You may even want to utilize self-exclusion tools at your chosen sportsbook to keep you from exceeding your limits.
You don’t need to be a sharp to try out sports betting.
You just need to know the basics, such as the difference between the “favorite” and the “underdog”, what a deposit is, what a wager is, what a potential payout is, and more.
We’ll be highlighting each of these aspects as we continue in this guide.
How to Read Odds
The first thing to know about odds is that they work somewhat differently depending on the type of wager.
For example, a straight wager like a money line is a single bet, whereas a parlay is multiple bets on the same wager.
The odds are less in your favor, meaning it’s a higher-stakes bet, if you choose a parlay bet.
However, the parlay does pose a higher potential amount should you win the bet.
On the other hand, the money line may have odds more in your favor, but the potential winnings will be nowhere near as much as the parlay’s potential winnings.
Understanding Favorites and Underdogs
To read the odds in money lines, spread bets, and totals (over/under bets), you need to know the difference between the underdog team and the favorite team.
- The favorite team is the team who is expected to win based on bookmaker stats and other factors.
- The underdog is the team who isn’t expected to win based on similar factors.
In sports wagering, the underdog is always assigned (+) odds, and the favorite is always assigned (-) odds.
Here is an example of +/- odds and what they mean for the bettor:
You bet on the favorite team, which has been assigned odds of (-150). Therefore, for every $150 you wager, you have the potential to win $100.
You bet on the underdog team, which has been assigned odds of (+300). Therefore, for every $100 you wager, you have the potential to win $300.
As you’ll see, betting on the underdog often provides a higher potential payout, although it can be riskier if the team is not up to snuff.
Money line betting is a beginner-friendly way to bet on your favorite sports.
It’s a kind of straight wager (a single bet), in which the player tries to predict which team will win the game or match. Odds and payouts vary depending on which team you choose.
How to Bet on a Moneyline
To bet on a money line, simply select the team or competitor that you believe will win the event – the favorite or the underdog. This is a pre-game bet, so you must make your wager prior to the event’s start.
Once the game is finished, you may or may not receive winnings based on the outcome.
Types of Lines
Money line betting is extremely common when it comes to American football games, soccer, basketball, baseball, hockey, and other popular sports.
However, when it comes to specific sports, the line is named differently. For example, in MLB betting, it’s called a run line.
In NHL betting, it’s called a puck line.
Money line bets are often available for the whole game. But some sportsbooks also offer money line markets for individual quarters or halves.
Spread betting is a bit more complicated than money line betting, although it is still a straight wager.
Again, there is an underdog and a favorite on the odds line, but instead of betting on who will win, you are betting on a margin of victory or loss.
How to Spread Bet
For each point spread, the two opponents are assigned a spread number.
This is the margin of victory/loss that is expected by the bookmakers.
If you spread bet on the underdog team with a +3.5 spread in an NFL game, for example, then that team must either win outright or lose by fewer than 3.5 points if you want a payout.
On the other hand, if you spread bet on the favorite with a -3.5 spread, that team must win AND win by more than 3.5 points if you want a payout.
When this occurs, it is called “covering the spread”.
Types of Spread Bets
Spread bets are common in soccer matches, American football games, hockey games, and other popular sports where goals or points are awarded.
Spread betting is especially popular when it comes to futures/outrights, which are bets placed months in advance of a championship event.
Over/under bets – also known as totals – are wagers placed on the odds line, where the bettor is trying to predict the final combined score of both opponents.
Instead of choosing the team that will win or the margin of victory, you try to predict whether or not the actual “total” will fall over or under the bookmaker’s set “total”.
How to Bet Over/Under
Select an over/under bet for your favorite sports market. Find out what “total” the bookmaker has set for that game.
For example, if the Patriots are playing the Jets with a total of 52. Before the game starts, you can make a bet that the total combined scores of the game will be higher or lower than 52.
Once the game is finished and the actual total is known, you will get a payout if you were correct.
Types of Over/Under Bets
There are lots of ways to bet over/under in sports betting. Sometimes, this type of bet is specific to the number of goals in a match. Sometimes, it’s specific to the number of points in a game.
But other times, it may even have to do with the number of rebounds or assists in a basketball game, for example.
As long as a sportsbook offers live markets, bettors of pretty much any experience level can partake.
How to Wager Live
Live betting is exactly what it sounds like – wagers placed after the start of an event. This is the opposite of pre-game betting.
Types of Live Wagering
You can live wager via desktop sportsbooks and mobile sportsbooks. Most popular sports are included in these markets, but you aren’t as likely to find live betting for a sport like darts as you are for football.
Some sites even feature live streaming along with the live wagering options.
Last but not least, you should be familiar with parlays, as they are a fun yet riskier way to wager.
Parlays are multiple bets on one ticket. The more legs (bets) you add to the ticket, the lower your odds are of winning but the higher your potential payout becomes.
These are not beginner-friendly wagers, as you must be correct about every single bet on the ticket to win at all.
How to Parlay Bet
- Make sure that your wager includes at least the minimum number of legs (bets) required by your bookmaker.
- Once you’ve selected your bets, you must wait until the game(s) complete to find out if you’ve won.
- However, should even one of your bets go wrong along the way, you are instantly out of the running for a payout.
Types of Parlay Bets
Parlay betting involves:
- Cross-sport parlays
- Same-sport parlays
- Same-game parlays
Most Common Sports to Bet On
These are some of the most commonly bet on sports online:
- College Football
- College Basketball
- Professional Soccer
Sports Betting Mistakes
When wagering on sports events online, try to avoid the following mistakes when you can:
- Don’t exceed your bankroll
- Focus on quality, rather than quantity, when it comes to sports bets
- Start with a simpler bet, such as a money line, rather than a parlay
- Don’t just always bet on the favorite just because they’re expected to win
Conclusion – Personal Take
Sports betting can be difficult to comprehend for beginners, but with a basic understanding of the odds and ways to bet, it gets easier.
From money line betting to parlays and point spreads, be sure to refer to our guide as you start placing your sports wagers. Good luck!