How to Bet on Sports: Online Betting Explained 101 Guide

Here is our easy and effective guide on how to bet on sports, divided into the 11 most important tips to help you attain success.

Sports betting is now part of the mainstream, and that has been the situation during the last four years.

The long-standing taboo against gambling swiftly vanished from American popular culture, creating the conditions for the vast, multibillion-dollar sports betting market.

Millions of sports fans will be looking to enter the betting industry for the first time now, and giving offshore sportsbooks a try is the best way to go.

So, where do you start?

How to Bet on Sports: Betting for Novices, 11 Tips

Here are 12 things that every new sports bettor needs to know related to how to bet on sports:

How to Bet on Sports: 1. Favorites versus Underdogs

First in our how to bet on sports guide, let’s talk about favorites vs underdogs.

Deciding which team should be the favorite and which should be the underdog is the most important job for oddsmakers before posting a betting line for a game.

The minus sign next to a team’s odds indicates the favorite since it has a higher chance of winning the game.

The underdog receives a plus sign because it is predicted to lose.

The line at looks like this:

How to Bet on Sports: Betting Line
How to Bet on Sports: Betting Line

In this case, the Super Bowl odds show the Eagles as -1.5 favorites to get the victory while the Chiefs are +1.5 underdogs to win the game.

Books will label the game as a “pick” or “pick’em” if it truly is a 50/50 toss-up.

How to Bet on Sports: 2. What Does the Number -110 Next to My Bet Mean?

Next in our how to bet on sports guide, let’s see what the -110 next to your bet means. it can also be a figure such as -105 or another number.

With many bets, you might see two numbers: a spread, such as -4.5, and odds, such as -110, next to it.

  • The spread is the amount by which your side must win to cover
  • To wager on that spread, you must pay the -110 odds

Say you’re placing a wager at on the Eagles:

  • Given the -1.5 line, the Eagles must win by at least 2 points to cover your wager
  • The juice is -105. In order to win $100 on that spread, you would have to wager $105, or $10.5 to win $10

NFL betting lines are typically -110 on both sides. However, the juice will change depending on the disparity in skill levels between the two teams for something like an MLB spread, where the line is nearly always -1.5 for the favorite and +1.5 for the underdog.

How to Bet on Sports: Betting Types

Let’s continue our how to bet on sports guide with the different betting types:

3. Spreads

Now in our how to bet on sports guide, let’s talk about spread betting.

You can wager on a favorite or an underdog on the margin of victory. An example from will be used here:

In Week 1, the Eagles are a -4.5 favorite over the Lions. As a result, anyone placing a wager on Philadelphia must expect the Eagles to win by at least five points. Any wagers on Detroit require the Lions to either win or lose by less than five.

For team talent and a variety of other considerations, point spreads are modified. Although spreads are available in all sports, they are particularly popular in high-scoring ones like football and basketball.

4. Moneylines

Let’s continue this how to bet on sports guide with information on the moneyline.

The moneyline is the second option to wager on a favorite or an underdog. A moneyline bet employs American odds to determine the payout and only requires you to select the game’s winner.

In America, the odds are primarily based on earning $100.

Therefore, if you bet on a favorite who is a -200 underdog, you must risk $200 to win $100, or any percentage of that amount, such as $20 to win $10, $2 to win $1, etc.

If you wager on an underdog (+200), you will receive a return on your investment of two times your stake ($100 to win $200, $10 to win $20, $1 to win $2, etc.).

Example: Eagles-Chiefs. The Eagles are considered to be a slightly stronger squad by oddsmakers. Consequently, you must take a risk if you bet on Philly simply to win the game.

The Eagles are -375, which indicates that you must wager $375 in order to win $100 or $37.50 in order to win $10.

Kansas City is +300. You’ll win $300 if you wager $100. You may also win $15 if you wager $5.

All sports have moneylines available to wager on, although lower-scoring games like baseball, hockey, and soccer are the most common ones.

5. Over/Unders (Totals)

The total amount of points scored by both sides in a game will also be determined by oddsmakers in addition to lines for the favorite and underdog. The total or over/under is for this.

Then, bettors can place a wager on whether the total will be exceeded or not in the game. You’re not attempting to estimate the exact result (though that bet is available, too).

The total for Eagles-Chiefs is 50.5, which is around normal for an NFL game.

  • You need 51+ points to win if you bet the over
  • 50 points or fewer are required if you wager on the under
  • Bets are reimbursed if it exactly lands on the number, which is considered a push

There are many different types of bets that use the over/under principle:

  • Over or under Tom Brady’s throwing yardage of 295.5
  • LeBron James has more than 7.5 assists
  • Yankees over 93.5 victories

6. Parlays

Next in this how to bet on sports guide, let’s talk about parlays.

A parlay is a sort of wager in which two or more bets are combined into one wager with a higher reward, but all the wagers must succeed.

You can place a single $10 wager that will pay out more if all teams win, as opposed to placing three $10 wagers on separate games. But you forfeit your $10 if even one loses.

Depending on the number and cost of the bets you include, different payouts will result.

This MLB parlay with the Marlins -134, Mariners +114, and Mets -220 pays +443.

Same-game parlays are extremely common for stand-alone NBA and NFL games.

7. Props

For most people, betting on spreads and totals is no longer sufficient.

Any wager that is not a typical point spread, moneyline, or total is considered a prop bet.

However, when individuals discuss props, they frequently mean player props like:

  • Over or under Steph Curry’s 5.5 assists
  • Over or under 7.5 strikeouts for Max Scherzer
  • Derrick Henry is the first TD favorite at +500

With props, you frequently have to pay the associated cost, just like with point spreads.

In this instance, Scherzer had 7.5 strikeouts against the Reds. YouWager’s lines, however, indicate that he will most likely go under, therefore betting the under is more expensive than betting the over.

Props are a wonderful place to start if you’re serious about betting on sports to make money.

The fact that U.S. sportsbooks provide hundreds of props on every game increases the attack surface because they are unable to price them all fairly. Even if you don’t develop your own statistical models, keeping track of particular props and learning how they are valued can offer you an advantage against bookmakers.

How to Bet on Sports: 8. Best Online Sportsbooks for Placing Bets

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How to Bet on Sports: 9. Purchase the Best Line

Because different sportsbooks serve different types of customers, lines might change depending on the sportsbook. The Cavaliers can be given a score of -8 in one book but -7.5 in another.

Having access to multiple sportsbooks enables you to compare odds. Gaining a half-point more might not seem like much, but over time, it adds up and improves your chances of winning.

The best line for each game will be displayed automatically on our live odds website.

How to Bet on Sports: 10. List Your Advantages and Disadvantages

Last but not least, let’s talk about the advantages and disadvantages.

You need to be sure that you are monitoring your progress because this is not Monopoly money. The simplest way to accomplish that is using an app, which not only allows you to manage all of your wagers across almost every sport but also includes fantastic features like live bet cover probability and odds shopping.

And that’s useful because you can see your advantages and disadvantages before you start betting. Do you have more luck placing bets on the NBA than the NFL?

Do you do well with player props or over/under wagers? Knowing all of these is beneficial and can help you increase your profits.

How to Bet on Sports: 11. Bankroll Management

Let’s continue our how to bet on sports guide with information on bankroll management.

You need to have a plan as you begin your sports betting journey in addition to maintaining a cool, collected head when you bet and conducting your research. Establish your bankroll by deciding how much you wish to risk over the course of the season.

Decide how much of your bankroll you want to risk per game or per week—and keep to that amount if you want your bankroll to last. Because losing severely depletes your bankroll, don’t put too much into one game.

Don’t become cocky and increase your wagers the following week if you win. Don’t try to make up for losses the following week by placing larger wagers. Both possibilities are calamities waiting to happen.

Even the novice, regular bettor needs to think about their bankroll finances, even if they only bet on the Super Bowl once a year. These few small mathematical concepts will be helpful to anyone who wagers for an extended period of time.

Step 1: Calculating the Size of the Bankroll

The first step from this section of our how to bet on sports guide is to calculate the size of the bankroll.

Developing a thorough awareness of your financial status is probably the most significant component of bankroll management. The correct amount of financial investment in oneself can help to reduce gambling’s tendency toward emotion and, thus, many poor choices.

How much money can I afford to lose? is the first thing you should consider when deciding how much money to invest. Abort the operation as soon as possible if your response to that question is less than what you have invested.

This figure will vary greatly across bettors and is entirely dependent on your financial situation and level of risk tolerance. Don’t deposit $1,000 into your account if you have rent or a car payment to make with that money.

Instead, you should choose an amount from your savings that is both acceptable and one that you are willing to lose in the worst-case scenario. You may also choose to make a certain cash deposit every month, for example.

Step 2: Bet Sizing

The second step from this section of our how to bet on sports guide is bet sizing.

Determine the size of each of your individual wagers after you’ve determined your bankroll. You shouldn’t stake your entire $1,000 sportsbook investment on a single wager just because you made the initial investment.

Your prospective losses surpass your possible profits. A win would be ideal, a doubling up undesirable. Never overextend yourself to the point where a single loss, or a string of losses, is enough to empty your bank account.

Instead, pick a portion of your bankroll that you feel comfortable putting toward each wager. The three kinds of gamblers—risk-averse, risk-neutral, and risk-loving—relate to the preferred bet sizing methods of conservative, average, and aggressive, respectively.

A prudent bettor should generally stake 1% to 2% of their bankroll per bet, an average bettor 3%, and an aggressive bettor 4% to 5%. Your typical stake amount should fall between $10 and $20 if you use a conservative approach and have a bankroll of $1,000, for instance.

Step 3: Adjusting Risk And Bankroll

Last but not least in this section of our how to bet on sports guide, the third step.

Your bankroll will fluctuate as you place more bets. Any adjustment may be required if the size of the bankroll changes, which is undoubtedly for the better. What should you do if your bankroll increases to $1,500 if you started with $1,000 with an aggressive strategy, playing $50 every wager?

The first thing you can do is make no changes. With those $50 wagers, you can aspire to keep winning. The more money you win, though, those $50 wagers would represent a less and smaller amount of your bankroll.

As a result, your risk management approach would change from aggressive to average if you continued placing $50 bets once your bankroll hit $1,500.

You can adjust your bet sizing whenever your bankroll changes to prevent this result. If you wanted to keep the previous example’s 5% stake amount, you would increase your regular bet from $50 to $75.

Recalculating your wager size after each win or loss may sound a little monotonous, and it is. Most gamblers prefer to adjust their bankroll on a regular basis, possibly once per month.

Withdrawing money is a third choice. You could opt to withdraw any winnings that surpass your $1,000 primary investment if you feel comfortable placing $50 wagers and wish to retain the proportionality required for an aggressive strategy.

Alternatively, you may employ a hybrid approach and withdraw, say, half of your gains each month. With this approach, you might steadily increase your bankroll while also securing some of your winnings.

Thank you for checking out our how to bet on sports guide, we wish you the best of luck with your future action!