Sports Betting 101

sports betting

Sports betting has exploded across America following the Supreme Court ruling in 2018 that struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. While it’s fun to bet on your favorite team or player, it’s important to always make an objective decision when wagering. Betting with your heart instead of your brain will almost always lead to a loss.

Before placing a bet, be sure to read the odds and know what terms are used. The odds are a way for sportsbooks to quantify the chances of a particular outcome. For example, if a team is listed as the underdog (plus sign), they are expected to win by a certain number of points. If the team wins by more than the number of points set for them, they have covered the spread and turned a profit.

Another important concept to understand is variance, or how often a bet loses. Even strong bettors who hit 55% of their plays will experience losing streaks from time to time. This is why it’s important to set aside a bankroll and establish a unit size for each wager so that you don’t deplete your entire account with one bad day of bets.

Finally, remember to always keep track of your bets in a spreadsheet. This will help you monitor your results and identify which strategies are working and which aren’t. It’s also important to follow the news closely so that you can quickly adjust your bets based on new information.