Sports Betting: Top Tips for Beginners

Sports are already fun to watch, but a great way to make them even more fun is to add a little gambling to the mix. To get started, let’s say that the Kansas City Chiefs and the Carolina Panthers are playing in the Super Bowl, and you want to make a bet.

Tip #1- Learn the 3 Most Common Bets 

Money Line Bet- Betting that one team will outright win.

Example: You bet that Kansas City will beat Carolina. If Carolina beats Kansas City, you lose your bet. 

Over/Under- Betting that both teams will score either more (over) or less (under) points than the total that the book gives you.

Example: Your Sportsbook predicts that the total points scored by both teams will equal 42. If you bet under and they score 43 or more, you lose. If they score 42, you simply get your money back in what’s known as a “push.” 41 or less means you win. 

Point SpreadsBetting that a team will either win or lose by a certain amount of points.

Example: Your Sportsbook predicts that the Chiefs will lose by 7/The Panthers will win by 7. You bet that Chiefs will beat the spread, meaning they either have to win the game or lose by less    than 7 for you to win. If they lose by more than 7, you lose. A loss by 7 results in a push. 

Tip #2- Learn to Read the Lines 

In a money line bet, you may see the odds listed as Carolina -120, Kansas City +120. This means that KC is considered the underdog. And no, that’s not a typo. The minus sign always refers to the favorite and the plus sign always refers to the underdog. What the numbers mean is simple- if you bet $100 on the Chiefs winning, you’ll make $120 on the bet. If you bet $100 on the Panthers winning, you’ll only make $80 (this is in addition to getting your original $100 back). You may also see those odds listed as Carolina 1.83, Kansas City 2.22. The plus/minus signs are called the American system, while the decimals are known as the Decimal system.

Tip #3- Do Your Research 

It’s incredibly important that you do your research in order to make an informed decision on the outcome of the game. Learn which stats to look at so that you’re not just making a wild guess that the Chiefs will pull off this victory despite the fact that they’re listed as underdogs. By doing research on players, teams, past performances, etc., you may find an exploit in a book’s line that show they’re underestimating the Chiefs.

Tip #4- Pick the Right Sportsbook 

Different books have different lines and offer different bonuses just for signing up. Spend a good chunk of time researching different books to find ones that are going to give you the biggest opportunity to make money (for instance, one book may have Carolina -120, Kansas City +140 odds, meaning you’ll make more money if you win your bet).

Get to Betting! 

While this article was geared toward football, these tips are valid for any sport that you bet on. Now start looking at books and get ready to win!

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