Betting on sports adds an entirely new element to the game. It makes it more exciting and fun to watch. Best of all, it is a simple activity, and it doesn’t take you much time to learn the basics of sports betting.
Plus, with the emergence of the online betting industry, you can conveniently place bets any time of day or night without even leaving your home.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should start betting right away if you’re an absolute beginner. You might be wondering how to bet on sports and where to even start learning if you’ve never done this before?
Luckily, you’ve come to the best online betting guide for beginners containing answers to all of your questions!
On this page, we’ll help you learn how sports betting works and share with you all of the fundamentals so that you can start the right way.
How to Bet on Sports? – Sports Betting 101
Sports betting has been around since the first sports were created. The basics of sports betting haven’t changed much through the centuries.
The activity includes two or more parties that agree on whether something will or won’t happen. There’s money involved, and the bet is placed at predetermined betting odds.
Whoever is correct wins the bet, and the losing party pays out the appropriate amount of cash.
Looking at sports betting through the modern lens, this principle remains the same regardless of whether you’re betting in a brick-and-mortar betting shop or placing your bets online.
In both situations, the sportsbook will offer you betting markets with predetermined odds. You can then choose what games, matches, or events you want to bet on and put in the amount of money you want to bet.
If you win your bets, the sportsbook will pay out your winnings right away.
Beginner’s Betting Guide: Key Things to Know
Placing a bet just for fun without researching can be exciting, but it most often results in a loss.
If you want to record consistent success and make a profit from sports betting, you ideally want to make educated decisions and understand why you’ve made a particular bet. Here are the key things you should always know before you place any sports bet:
What Are Moneyline Bets?
While most of the world uses the fixed-odds system, sportsbooks in the US mostly feature moneyline bets.
These bets work the same way, as you only need to pick the winner to win your bet. Moneyline bets feature a + and – format. More precisely, when you see this, know that the favorite is marked with the – and the underdog is marked with the +.
This is just sports betting 101, and if you’re to become successful in the future, you need to understand how these things work.
For example, if you’re betting on an NFL game between the New England Patriots (-120) and the Green Bay Packers (+140), the former team is the favorite in this matchup.
In other words, if you bet $100 on the Patriots, you’ll get back $183. This will be the $100 you placed and the $83 winnings.
On the other hand, if you bet on the Packers, you will get $240. This includes your initial $100 bet and the $140 profit from it.
How Do Spreads Work?
Unlike betting on fixed odds and placing moneyline bets, spread betting doesn’t involve betting on a simple win or lose outcome. Instead, the bettors get paid based on the accuracy of their bet.
Spread betting is most popular in the UK, although it also enjoys great popularity in the US. So, if you want to know how to bet on sports, spreads are another thing to learn.
Betting on spreads is a more challenging venture for beginners, which is why you should have a firm grasp on it before you place any real money on such bets.
How Do Over/Unders Work?
Over/under bets focus on a specific statistic in the match, most often a result to which both sides attribute to.
For such bets, the sportsbook will offer a specific score, and the bettors have to predict if the final total score will be lower or higher than what the sportsbook offered. We’ve decided to include it in this betting guide as these markets can be quite lucrative.
For example, a sportsbook will offer an over/under score of 201.5 points for a game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics.
If the bettor bets an over bet, the combined number of points must be 202 or higher for them to win. The same principle applies the other way around.
Who’s the Favorite and Who’s the Underdog?
When oddsmakers create the betting odds, they heavily analyze which team or player is the favorite and who’s the underdog.
Logically speaking, as the favorite is expected to win, the betting odds will be lower, and vice versa. In some scenarios, there won’t be a favorite, so the sportsbook will offer you a “pick” or “pick-em” bet.
How Much Money to Bet?
Lastly, after you decide on the previous aspects, you’ll need to set how much money you want to risk on your bet. For beginners and advanced bettors alike, the best rule of thumb is to only bet as much as you can afford.
Moreover, if you’ve set aside a betting bankroll, you should only bet between one and five percent of the total amount you’ve budgeted for your betting activities.
Best Tips for Betting on Sports
When you understand the basics of how sports betting works and start your betting experience, you’ll want to make sure it kicks off on the right track.
To do so, you’ll need to know the inside tricks that will help you maximize your betting success on top of general information like which teams has fastest soccer players and other info.
With that in mind, let’s take a close look at the best sports bet tips and some basics of sports betting you should always remember as a beginner:
Learn How to Read Different Types of Odds
You can’t ignore the odds and what they mean for every game, match, or event you want to bet on. Knowing how to read different types of odds can significantly contribute to your success, as you’ll be making more educated bets. With this in mind, there are three distinct types of odds:
These odds are the simplest to understand and the most popular ones in most countries worldwide. They are easy to calculate, as you only need to multiply your bet with the odds to know how much you can expect to win.
For example, if you bet $10 on a team with 2.20 odds, you get a return of $22 and a profit of $12.
American odds, also known as moneyline odds, are more complex than decimal odds. They are called this because they are mostly available at US betting sites and sportsbooks.
We’ve previously explained how they work, and while they are complicated at first, it won’t take you long to master how this format works.
To make this betting guide as complete as possible, here’s another example. In the Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals game, the Cardinals are the favorite to win at -132. The odds for the Rams are set at +110.
If you bet $100 on the Cardinals, the winning bet will yield you a total of $175.76. The total profit is $75.76, plus the original $100 stake.
On the other hand, if you were to place $100 on the Rams, the total amount you’d get back is $110: your original $100 and $110 profit.
Fractional odds are the third most popular of the group and are primarily used by sports bettors in the UK and a handful of other countries. They are also the most complicated type of odds to understand.
An example of fractional odds is 3/1. In this scenario, if you bet $10, you can expect a return of $40 and a profit of $30.
But, this can quickly get more difficult to calculate once you find more complex fractional odds like 5/8 or 7/3.
Still, if you want to know how to bet online, you need to understand all these different types of odds. So, for the purposes of this betting guide, here’s another example.
We’ll keep things simple and stick to the same match, i.e., the Rams vs. the Cardinals. The same odds, when converted into the fractional system, would be:
- 11/10 for the Rams (the underdogs), calculated by dividing 110/100
- 25/33 for the Cardinals (the favorites), calculated by dividing 100/132 and rounding up
Always Start With Small Bets
It takes a long time to learn how to bet on sports properly and efficiently. While the learning curve will undoubtedly be steeper for some punters than for others, the best thing you can do as a beginner is make sure that you’re not betting too much.
So, even if you can afford a large sports betting bankroll, you should never start betting more than a couple of dozen dollars.
As you’re learning your way around different sports bets and honing your prediction skills, you will inevitably make mistakes. The less money these mistakes cost you, the better.
Don’t Get Overwhelmed By the Options
When you’re starting out, it’s easy to jump in headfirst and start betting on everything that looks interesting.
But, if you start betting on the football Champions League, NBA, and tennis, all at the same time, the chances are high that you won’t see any notable success in any sport you’re betting on.
Instead, try focusing on one sport, even better, on one league or competition. By doing so, you’ll be able to build your knowledge much quicker. Focus on the best sports to bet on and stick with it.
You’ll better understand the dynamics of the competition and the teams and players that make it. Once you specialize in betting on one sport, you can easily expand and add another sport you want to bet on.
Don’t Bet On Your Favorite Team
Most sports bettors bet on their favorite team, hoping that they can win some extra cash on the side whenever their team wins.
The problem with this is that their passion for the team often clouds their judgment. They bet when they shouldn’t and end up losing their bets more often than not.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with doing this if you want to spice up the big game, but it’s simply not the best way to go about it if you want to win in the long run, which is what this betting guide wants to teach you.
If you want to consistently win sports bets, you need to assess teams and players without any bias. Luckily, the solution for this is simple. You can still watch your favorite team. Just don’t bet on them or bet small, just for fun.
Avoid Betting on Big Games
The most popular games in big leagues often generate the most betting action. So, the sportsbook that’s drafting the odds doesn’t actually want to predict the outcome of these matches.
They always aim to create the odds that will generate the most bets on both sides. This helps the bookie get the most profit.
For this reason, one of the best sports bet tips we can give you is to avoid betting on big games. Be especially cautious when it comes to sports like football and basketball, as they will generally have tighter betting lines.
This is not to say that you should only bet on obscure games in unpopular competitions. But, if you avoid the most popular games, you’ll always find more favorable betting odds and get the best value for your money.
Treat Sports Betting As a Business
Even though you’re just beginning your betting experience, you should take it seriously from the get-go.
In fact, this is the perfect time to develop the mindset of treating your betting activities more like a business than a pastime hobby activity.
By doing so, you’ll be much more responsible with your bankroll and automatically make more intelligent and more calculated bets.
Once you get some experience, you can also start tracking your betting results to see which sports, bets, or even specific days give you the best results.
How to Bet Online
Now that you have a good grasp on how to bet on sports, you can move to the most exciting part of the experience, the part when you actually start placing bets.
Like with the previous tips, we’ll first look at the basics of how to bet online. To make it simple, here’s a straightforward betting guide for online bookies:
- Pick a betting site and create an account.
- Make your first deposit on the betting site of your choice.
- Research favorable games to place your bets.
- When you accumulate enough winnings, withdraw them into your real money account or continue betting online.
This four-step process will apply to every online betting site you sign up with, no matter which brand you choose. Hopefully, by following this blueprint, you’ll have an easier time getting around the online betting site as a beginner.
Ultimately, starting out as an absolute beginner can be challenging. But, if you remember all of the tips and advice we’ve shared with you in this betting guide, you won’t have to wait a lot of time to notice the improvement in your betting results.
And, once you master the basics, you can move on to more advanced betting techniques and strategies that will only help you make an even better and more consistent profit!
If you are ready to jump into it, make sure to check break down of different be types you can make.