Sports betting has become more popular than ever, but it can be confusing for new bettors. The good news is, there are a lot of resources available online to help beginners understand the basics of sports betting.
The simplest way to think about sports betting is to place money behind something you believe will happen in a game or event. Oddsmakers will set odds for these occurrences based on their probability. If you think the outcome you’re placing a bet on is more likely to occur, the bet will pay out less than something with a lower probability.
Straight bets are the most common type of bet and are wagers on a single outcome. Point spreads are designed to make uneven games even and require the bettor to decide how much stronger one team is than the other. If the favorite wins by a greater margin than the spread, the bet is considered to have covered the spread and you’ll win.
Totals, also known as over/under bets, are a form of handicapping that predicts how many combined points, runs, goals and other statistics will be scored during a game. For example, if a game has a total of 42.5 and you expect a defensive slugfest with low scores, you’d bet the under. Props are also a great way to bet on things like how many strikeouts a pitcher will have or how many yards a running back will rush in a game.