Sports Betting 101

Since back in the day when dinosaurs roamed the Earth (well, maybe not that long ago) sports fans have enjoyed gambling on their favorite teams and events. Today, legal sports betting is booming across the United States and there are many options available for those looking to place wagers.

Betting on sports involves predicting an event’s outcome and then placing money on the chance that it will occur. It can include a wide variety of bet types like moneylines, spreads, and parlays. It can also include prop bets, which allow players to have a vested interest in more specific outcomes like how many points a player will score or how many home runs they’ll hit.

A key to success is knowing the rules of each sport you’re betting on, as well as staying up-to-date with any news that may affect team or individual performance. Professional sports bettors also keep near-obsessive records of their wagers and take the time to test theories, such as how left-handed pitchers impact team offenses.

Probably the most important rule is to bet with your head, not your heart. It can be tempting to bet on your favorite team but remember that sportsbooks set odds based on the probability that an event will happen, which means they’re making money when you place a bet against them. This is why you should always stick to sports you’re familiar with from a rules perspective, and be sure to monitor the lines, especially on props and team totals, after any news that might change the public’s opinion on a particular aspect of the game.