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A brief Introduction To Sports Betting For The Beginner


An Introduction to Sports Betting

If you love watching or playing sports, and you have a knack for picking winners in basketball, football or baseball (or any other sport for that matter), sports betting could be a great way for you to enjoy the games even more. And of course, you could score a little money. Maybe even a lot of money. But there are risks involved, and there are things to know before you bet and pitfalls to avoid at all stages of the gambling game.

The most important thing is, of course, to know your teams inside and out. The best sports gamblers study the stats and injury status of all the players, not just the star players. Beyond that, there are things you must know about the sports betting process. Here’s a quick guide that will teach you some of the basic rules and concepts of sports betting.

Odds and Payouts

Probability plays a huge role in sports betting. To place a smart wager, you should know what odds apply to your specific bet. If, for example, you bet on a highly favored team, then the odds of that team winning go up. Expressed as a fraction or ratio, like 2-to-1, or 3-to-1, the odds of a long shot winning a game are low, as expressed in a ratio such as 300-to-1.

Those numbers and ratios also indicate the payout for each bet. If you bet on a long shot at 300-to-1, for instance, and you win, then it pays out $300 for every $1 that you put in. Conversely, if you bet on a heavily favored team, say at 2-to-1, the pay out is only double of what you put in. This works the same way in most games you wager money on. In roulette for example, betting on a certain number pays 35-to-1 while a bet on red only doubles your wager.

Point Spreads

To level the playing field and do away with confusing odds and ratios, sportsbooks will offer a spread bet. In a spread bet, the sportsbook designates a favored team for each game, and assigns them a negative point spread (an amount of points to be added to the team’s score at the end of the game). So if Team A plays Team B, and Team A is favored by a five-point spread, then they are said to have a spread of “minus five.” Team B is said to have a spread of “plus five.” If team A wins by only four points, then Team B wins the bet. If the score comes out to a tie after applying the spread, then the bet is a push and you get your wager back untouched.

Odds and point spreads can be a little confusing at first, but if you can identify when the odds makers have made a mistake in who they think will win, then you can improve your chances greatly.























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