Sports betting is a fun, legal way to place wagers on your favorite teams and events. But it’s not without risks, especially if you’re new to the hobby. That’s why we’ve put together this list of 12 things every beginner should know before placing their first bet.
1. Understand the odds.
In sports betting, as in any other form of gambling, odds are the numbers that indicate how likely a specific outcome is to occur. The higher the odds, the more money you can win if you’re correct. However, the number of wins and losses in a given period will still depend on your bankroll size and risk tolerance. The best way to manage your risk is to always bet only what you can afford to lose and to start small.
2. Keep track of your bets.
Keeping a record of your bets is a crucial step in becoming a profitable sports bettor. This can help you identify trends and patterns and make more informed decisions. For example, if you’re consistently losing bets on the same team, it may be time to switch to another team. Similarly, if you’re consistently winning, it may be time to increase the amount of your bets.
3. Know how to read spreads and totals.
In addition to basic point spreads, you can also place bets on team totals, aka “over/under” bets. In a totals bet, you predict whether the two involved teams will combine for more (over) or fewer (under) runs, goals, points and so on than the total amount posted by the oddsmakers.
4. Check out the betting markets at each sportsbook you’re considering.
While user reviews can be helpful, don’t treat them as gospel. What one individual sees as a negative, another might view as a positive, and vice versa. It’s also important to look at each sportsbook’s betting menu and types of bets, as this will vary from site to site.
5. Understand that it’s not easy to make money sports betting.
If you’re like most people, you watch a game and think to yourself, “I could make some money if I only bet on this.” However, making a consistent profit in sports betting is not as simple as it sounds. Even the most successful “experts” only get about 60% of their bets right, and they endure long cold streaks mixed in with their wins.
The bottom line is that sports betting is a marathon, not a sprint. It will take a lot of research, patience and discipline to become a profitable sports bettor. But it’s definitely worth the effort if you’re willing to work hard and follow sound advice. We’ve compiled a list of tips for beginners that will help you get started in this exciting, lucrative and legal industry. So, good luck! And remember to always bet only what you can afford and to have fun. And don’t forget to tip your bookie! 😉 (That’s the spirit of the game, after all.)