Types of Sports Betting

Sports betting has exploded since the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018, with new sportsbooks popping up everywhere that legislation allows. Fans now have hundreds of options for placing a wager on their favorite team or game. While winning bets may feel like a sure thing, it’s important to remember that profitable sports betting takes time, research, and discipline. Here’s a look at some of the most common types of sports bets.

Straight bets are wagers on a single outcome. For example, if you think the Toronto Raptors will win an NBA game, you can make a straight bet on them to win. A straight bet is based on the probability that an event will occur, so the return from a bet on the favorite is smaller than that of a bet on the underdog.

Spread bets are based on the margin of victory. In a spread bet, the sportsbook sets odds on both teams to win and lose. If you place a bet on the winner, the sportsbook will “give away” or take a certain number of points, goals, or runs to reflect the expected margin of victory. If you bet on the underdog, the sportsbook will “give away” more points or goals than it expects to lose, resulting in a higher return.

The Over/Under (O/U) bet is a popular way to make a wager on the total combined points scored in a game. This type of bet is based on the idea that a defensive slugfest will lead to low scoring and an Over, while a high-scoring affair will result in an Under.

Bettors should always keep track of their bets (a standard spreadsheet works fine) to monitor their results. They should also be aware that some sportsbooks are slow to adjust lines, especially props, after news about players or coaches. This means that if a player is injured, a line might change before you can place your bet.

It’s also a good idea to stick to sports that you’re familiar with from a rules perspective, as well as to update your knowledge of new sports that you want to explore. You can do this by reading up on the sport’s rules, watching matches, and keeping up with injuries and matchups.

It’s also a good idea to follow sports betting analysts for guidance and tips. However, winning sports bets doesn’t just come from following experts; it comes from diligent research and in-depth analysis as well as discipline and patience. Avoid getting fooled by promises of guaranteed wins and be sure to follow sound bankroll management practices. This will help you survive losing streaks and take advantage of winning ones. Good luck!