If you’re new to sports betting, then it’s always fundamental to start with the basics. And there is no better starting point than learning how to place a sports bet. In this guide, we will take you through some of the sports betting basics, including a step-by-step on how to place a sports bet.
There are multiple markets you can place a bet on. We will go through them, while also explaining odds in sports betting and how they work. Once you have everything down pat, it will finally be time to move on and learn how to place a sports bet.
The Basics of Sports Betting
Whether you are new to sports betting or an experienced bettor, the goal is very much the same in both cases: winning. While there are professional bettors out there, the majority usually bets for fun. That, however, doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to make a profit.
The basics of sports betting can also apply to both professional and amateurs, to experienced and new bettors. You will be wagering money from your account balance on the outcome of a match or tournament. This isn’t restricted to the final result either. There are multiple options available, called betting markets, which include many other outcomes such as individual stats, handicaps and more.
Understanding Odds in Sports Betting
Odds are, by far, the most important factor to take into account when betting. But what are the odds in sports betting, and how do sports betting odds work?
How much money you make depends on the odds set by the sportsbooks. In sports betting, just as we mentioned earlier, you will be placing wagers on potential outcomes. These outcomes carry odds, which indicate how probable it is for the outcome to take place. Shorter odds mean that the outcome is very likely to happen, while longer odds indicate the opposite.
Shorter odds also mean a smaller return, which is quite logical. After all, it makes no sense from the operator’s perspective to offer a high payout on a safe bet. Longer odds offer a better return, but also come with a much higher risk. There is no right or wrong here – it is all about finding the right opportunities and knowing which odds to pick.
Odds can be shown in three different formats. The payout is always going to be the same for all three. This is simply a convenient feature that allows users to choose whatever odds format they feel more comfortable with.
American Odds: As the name suggests, American odds are commonly used by American operators. This odds format takes $100 as a base value. Negative odds indicate your profit from a $100 bet. Positive odds indicate how much you need to bet to make a $100 profit.
British Odds: This format, which is the go-to option for British bookmakers, uses fractions to indicate your profit. At 1/2 odds, you would get $0.50 back for every $1 wagered.
Decimal Odds: Unlike American and British odds, decimal odds indicate your total return – the wagered amount plus profit. In other words, you need to subtract your initial bet from the total return in order to find out the profit. Betting $1 at 1.5 odds, you would get $1.50 in total – your original $1 bet plus $0.50 in profit.
Sports Betting Markets
Now that you already have an understanding of how odds work, the next step is to learn about betting markets.
The most common bet is the moneyline, which is simply wagering on the result of a match. Future bets -such as picking the tournament winner- are also relatively common. But what most newcomers to sports betting probably don’t know is that there are many other markets available.
Before you move on to place your first bet, it’s always nice to have a few more alternatives available. Future bets can be a bit risky, and one-sided matchups usually offer uninspiring moneyline odds. And that’s why other betting markets exist. You can always look for different ways to profit. Here are some examples of betting markets:
Over/Under: This is a favorite among bettors, and the second most common betting market after moneyline. The sportsbook sets a line for the total combined points scored in a match. You can bet on whether the total stays under or goes over that line.
Points Spread: This bet sets a handicap for the favorite team, indicated by a negative number. In order to cover the spread, the team must win by a large enough margin to overcome that handicap. If a team is a -5.5 favorite, then it must win by at least 6 points to cover the spread. The underdog, on the other hand, will have a positive handicap. It needs to either lose by a margin smaller than the spread, or downright win the match by any margin in order to cover.
Prop Bets: if you are having trouble with betting markets, then proposition bets (props for short) can be a true life saver. These bets refer to either team or individual players’ stats, such as points scored by a single team or total shots on goal by both teams combined. Since prop bets aren’t necessarily tied to the match outcome, they usually offer some very competitive odds.
Tips on How To Place a Sports Bet
There are a few things to watch out for when placing a bet.
Make sure you are using a legal online sportsbook. Legal operators must provide their license information, which ensures that you are using a trusted website. Licensed sportsbooks employ all necessary internet security measures to protect their users’ information.
Pay Attention and Avoid Mistakes: Double-check everything so you don’t end up placing a wrong bet. Take a good look at the betting market, and the odds, and carefully go through your betting slip to confirm everything.
Compare the Odds Between Different Sportsbooks: This is the best way to make a decent profit in betting. Odds vary from operator to operator. Creating accounts on multiple sportsbooks and comparing the odds is usually a good choice.
Examples on How to Place a Sports Bet
Now that you know the basics, it’s time to place a bet. The whole process of placing your first bet is actually quite simple:
Choose the betting market: moneyline, future bet, prop bet, points spread, or any other market you want.
After choosing your market, click on it. The site will show the odds available.
Next, click on the odds you want to bet on. The site will then open up your betting slip.
Fill your betting slip with the amount you want to wager. The site will show your potential return.
Finally, click on the button to confirm and that’s it – you’ve successfully placed your bet! Now you can just sit back and wait for the result.
Pros vs Cons
Have Fun: Whether you are doing it professionally or simply as a hobby, betting is about adding even more excitement to sports.
Profit: These two aren’t mutually exclusive. You can bet for fun and still make a hefty profit.
Risk vs. Reward: There are no guarantees in betting. Even a heavily-favored team is still susceptible to suffering an upset.
Losing Control of Your Bankroll: Trying to chase losses in betting is never a good idea. You can easily lose track of your spending and end up digging an even bigger hole.
Placing bets is very simple and straightforward. Sooner than later, it will become second nature to you, as well as figuring out the best odds and betting markets for each game and tournament.
Getting started always seems daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it, you will find out how fun and rewarding betting can get. Again, understanding how odds and betting markets work is a good starting point. Only place your first bet once you are absolutely confident.
How to Place a Sports Bet – FAQs
1. How Do You Place a Sports Bet Correctly?
2. How Do I Win Every Bet?
3. What Is the Easiest Bet to Win?
4. How Do You Successfully Bet on Sports?