Sports Betting 101 – Understanding How Odds Work

sports betting

Sports betting has been around forever, but it became a major part of sports culture when it was legalized in 2018. The industry exploded in the United States, with over $13 billion wagered legally in 2019. It’s important for new sports bettors to understand how it works before they place their first wager. Learn about different ways to bet, popular terms and tips, as well as some general advice about the sport of your choice.

Understanding How Odds Work

In sports betting, the odds of a team or individual winning a game are determined by a combination of factors including past performances, current statistics and injury updates. These are known as implied probabilities, and they determine how much you can expect to win on a bet. The more research you do, the better your chances of making a smart bet.

Another key to making a smart bet is staying away from emotions. Sports fans are often incredibly passionate and excited during big games, which can lead to them making bets they’ll regret later. Try to remain objective and look at the numbers – not who you’ve been rooting for since you were a kid.

Lastly, it’s important to know the differences between moneylines and spreads. The “plus” and “minus” signs in a bet’s odds tell you how risky your wager is. A minus sign means the team is a favorite, while a plus sign means they’re underdogs. A bet on a team with a plus sign has the potential to earn you more money than one on the favorites, but it also has a higher risk of losing.