Sports Betting Basics

Since online sports betting, or sports betting in general can be a bit confusing and overwhelming as you get started; there’s a few things to know and remember, and the first thing is that sports betting isn’t quite as overwhelming as it seems.  When most people think of making a “bet”, you think of- “I’ll bet you that Tommy can’t eat 20 crackers without water in under 30 minutes”.  Oh if only it was that easy; there are odds, lines, run lines, over/unders, point spreads, prop bets, and so much more.  But don’t stress, in reality sports betting is easy, and here are 5 key things that’ll make your life easier:

5 Keys to Sports Betting:

  1. The “line” of a game is the most popular thing bet on, but not always the best thing to bet on.  Betting the spread of a game can be tough, and also you need to watch for “trap lines”, which are lines that seem too good to be true.  Always check out the “over/under” on a game if you’re up in the air, sometimes over/unders can be the best bets on the board.
  2. Don’t bet TOO many games.  This is a tough one to stay away from, you see 10 games that look good, and 8 over/unders… resist the temptation.  The best way to lose a lot of money is to bet too much on things you “have a feeling about”.
  3. If you don’t know a certain sport that well, don’t try to convince yourself that you do.  If you LOVE the NFL and NBA, but don’t know anything about MLB…bet the NBA Playoffs and stay away from Baseball.  Don’t bet just to bet.
  4. Keep all options open for betting.  Some of the best bets are the ones you don’t even see: game props, player props, futures bets.  You can get some great player props in games, so especially check them out for the tough games that you can’t figure out.  Check the latest scores on ESPN scoreboard for updates.
  5. Don’t be afraid to bet on the “money line”.  The money line is betting a team straight up.  So if a team is favored by 4 points, the money line odds may be -200.  Sure, you aren’t getting the best odds, but it may be one of the best bets on the board.

Sports You Can Bet On:

The best part about sports betting is that you can bet on pretty much any sport you can think of: the popular ones like Football, Baseball, Basketball, Hockey, and even other sports like Soccer, Auto Racing, Horse Racing, Golf, MMA, Boxing, and Tennis.  Some sites even offer more than that!  Now each sport has different types of bets though, and these are the basics:

  • Football: Point Spread, Over/Unders, Money line, Futures, Game props, Player props.
  • Basketball: Point Spread, Over/Unders, Money line, Futures, Game props, Player props.
  • Baseball: All point spreads in baseball are set at 1.5, but odds will vary.  Point spreads (odds), Money Line, Futures, Game props, player props.
  • Hockey: Works the same way as baseball with the point spreads being set at 1.5 with odds varying.  Also can bet on Money line, futures, game and player props as well.

As you can tell, the betting options are pretty standard across the board; but some sports (Hockey and Baseball) give you different odds based on a 1.5 run/goal line.  And you have to be very careful when betting those lines at 1.5, because you’ll get better odds if you think a team will win by 1.5 runs- but you’d be surprised at how many games actually end with the favored team winning by 1 run or losing outright.  American Football includes College football betting and NFL betting.

And as previously mentioned, although sports betting can seem overwhelming- just take it one step at a time.  Also, knowing the sports betting terms will help eliminate some of the confusion..  When you’re doing online sports betting, no one’s rushing you, so take your time and think about each bet carefully!