Sports Betting 101

Sports betting involves placing wagers on the outcome of a sporting event. It is a popular form of gambling and has grown significantly since the legalization of sports betting in many states.

Bettors can bet on a variety of different bet types, including totals, spread bets and head-to-head betting. Each of these bets is made on an individual event, and each one has its own payout structure.

Totals, also known as the Over/Under bet, is a popular type of bet that revolves around the number of points scored in a match. A sportsbook will research each team, the players, the previous matches between the two teams, and countless other factors to determine how many total points are likely to be scored in a game.

A spread bet is another common sports betting bet, and it’s related to margins of victory. The odds on a spread bet will either “give away” or “take.” These are determined by the sportsbook and reflect the expected victory margin for each team.

Managing Your Bankroll

The first step in making a successful sports bet is to figure out how much money you want to risk. This is called your bankroll, and it’s important to remember that you may lose some of your money, but the payoff can be substantial if you manage your bankroll wisely.

Prop Bets

While other markets focus on the final outcome of a game or event, prop bets relate to an individual athlete’s performance–or something that doesn’t show up in the boxscore. These bets can be as simple as predicting Tom Brady’s total touchdown passes in a game (Over or Under 1.5 TD passes).