Sports Betting 101

sports betting

Sports betting is a popular way to place wagers on a variety of sporting events. It can be a fun and lucrative form of gambling for those who take the time to learn the rules and manage their bankrolls properly.

There are several ways to bet on a sports game, but the most common way is by placing a bet on the team or teams you think will win. These bets can be made online or in person at a sportsbook.

Betting on the Over and Under:

When you bet on the Over, you’re predicting that the team or teams you’re betting on will combine for more runs/goals/points than the total amount posted by the sportsbook. For example, if the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks are playing an NFL football game, the total is 42.5 points. So if you believe that the two teams will combine for at least 43 points, you would bet on the Over.


Futures bets are a fun way to get involved in sports betting. They allow bettors to predict whether the winner of a particular event will come out on top in the future, such as next year’s pro football season or a major golf tournament.

Bankroll Management:

One of the most important aspects of sports betting is deciding on a realistic amount to wager on each bet and keeping track of it. A general rule of thumb is to bet around 1% or 5% of your overall bankroll on each wager.


Whether you’re wagering on football, baseball or basketball, thorough research into the teams and players is crucial for making accurate predictions. This means looking at a lot of data, including statistics, injury reports and player stats. It also means building your own stats models and tracking the results of various statistical trends.


A sportsbook will display its payout percentage on its website and on the betting slip for each bet. Ideally, your wagers will yield more than their payout percentage suggests, but that’s not always the case.

If you’re a new sports bettor, it’s a good idea to open accounts with several different online books before deciding on a single one. These will give you more opportunities to find the best betting value and keep your bankroll safe by spreading your bets out.


Smart bettors often use sportsbook promos to their advantage, such as free bets or head-start bonuses. These are designed to entice new players and give them a little bit of extra cash for their first wagers. They can also help boost your winning percentage if you’re using a strategy to choose the right bets.


Sports betting on the go has become a hugely popular option for bettors since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2018. Mobile sports betting apps are available on most smartphones and tablets, and the convenience has been a big draw for many bettors. However, be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully before signing up for an account with any sportsbook.