New to sports betting? We’ve got you covered

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Sports betting has come into the limelight in the last few years. The big reason for that is the decline in the antigambling stigma paving the road for the sports betting industry to emerge in the American culture. Since sports betting is now legal, many Americans consider entering the betting arena. But doing so can be very daunting for someone unfamiliar with sports betting. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. This article will discuss where sports bets can be placed, who to bet on, and how to place bets.

Where to bet

There are many options and avenues for a new sports bettor, with sportsbooks varying state-by-state. A good idea would be to access sports betting resources such as a sportsbook. Sportsbook consists of all the teams from significant sports in the US with their odds of winning each game.

Who to bet on

One of the most fundamental concepts in sports betting is “favorites” and “underdogs.” Whenever oddsmakers make a betting line for a game, they decide which team should be the favorite and the underdog.

Each team is assigned a unique ‘rotation number.’ They are also referred to as the NSS number or the Vegas ID number. They are written to a team’s left in the sportsbooks or the sports boards. One can access sportsbooks, casino reviews, bonuses, and promotions for online bookmakers at, all of which are critical for sports betters.

How to bet

Each team has odds of winning the game. These odds are decided by bookies or bookmakers based on various statistics such as team performance. For instance, New York Yankees have odds of +8 of winning a particular game. This +8 would be referred to as the betting line or the moneyline. The moneyline, in the context of favorites and underdogs, is described with respective examples below.

  • The “favorite” team is expected to win the game, and there will be a negative (-) sign next to its odds of winning the game. If a favorite has odds of winning at -200, it means that you have to risk $200 to win $100. If the favorite team wins, you get $100, and if they lose, you lose $200. Since the favorite is expected to win, they are the riskier bet.
  • On the other hand, the “underdog” team is expected to lose the game, and there will be a positive (+) sign next to its odds. If an underdog has odds of winning at +200, it means that you have to risk $100 to win $200. If the underdog team loses the game, you only lose the $100. Since the team is expected to lose, they are the less risky bet.

Besides the moneyline, you can bet on the point spread, which is the margin of the victory. For instance, if the Celtics were expected to win by 10 points against the Heat, they’d be listed as 10-point favorites or -10. So if you bet on the Celtics, they would have to win by 11 points or more for you to be able to “cover” or win your bet. If they win by exactly 10 points, that would be called a “push,” meaning you will get the money back that you initially bet. If they win by nine points or fewer or lose the game, you don’t win anything and lose the bet. Contrastingly, if you are betting on Heat as the underdog, you need them to either win the game or lose by 9 points or fewer for you to cover your bet. Spreads are available for all sports and are mainly used for basketball and soccer.

Oddsmakers also set the odds for the “Total” number of points scored in a game. Bettors can hence wager on whether the game will go “Over” or “Under” the “Total.” Betting on Over/Under is simpler compared to spreads. For example, if the total for the Celtics and Heat game is set at 150, you could place your bet on Over 150 or Under 150. If you bet Over 150 and the total points scored are lower than 150, you lose your bet, and if the total is above 150, you win your bet.

Moneylines, spreads, and totals vary across sportsbooks, so one should go through multiple betting lines to find the best odds for you to place your bet. It’s also essential to track the bets you have set. You can do so manually or using a mobile application to track your bets across sports. Tracking your progress allows you to understand your strengths and weakness in sports betting. For example, you could be winning more bets in the NBA versus the NFL, or you could be doing better with totals than spreads. Both allow you to identify areas in sports betting you are thriving.

Final Thoughts

We’ve covered a few of the fundamentals of sports betting in this article. These should give you a good understanding of how bets are placed, the types of wagers that can be placed, and who you can place your bets on. You’ll learn more things along the way, but you can start exploring sportsbooks and place some small bets to begin!