How to Bet On Sports

Sports betting has grown into a billion dollar industry over the past several years and there is no end in sight for this growth in what has become one of the best ways to add even more excitement to the world of sports.

If you are looking to get in on all the action, but not really up to speed on how to actually bet on sports, a good starting point is to gain a working understanding of some of the basic types of bets you can make. When it comes to very popular sports such as American football and basketball, the most common wager that is made is a straight bet with the use of a point spread. The spread is not a predicted margin of victory between the favored team in a matchup and the underdog, rather it is a betting handicapping tool that is designed to create an equal amount of betting action on either side.

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The betting public normally leans towards wagering on favorites, so many times there may be a built in edge betting on the underdog with the point spread. Either way, the winning team needs to cover that spread for you to win your bet. For example; if Dallas is a seven-point favorite against Washington in a football game, then the Cowboys need to win that game by more than seven points for any bets on them to pay off. If the exact margin of victory happens to be seven points then that bet is considered to be a PUSH and no money changes hands.
When it comes to sports such as baseball and hockey, the primary way to bet on the games is with the use of a money line. Starting with $100 wager, you will have to risk more money to bet on the favorite, while you can collect more than your $100 bet if you pick the underdog and they go on to win. An example of a money line bet in baseball might looks like this:

New York Yankees +125 Boston Red Sox -135

In this scenario, the Yankees are an underdog on the road and if you bet them to win this game straight up and they do, you would collect $125 for your $100 bet. If you bet on New York and it loses the game, you would owe $100. To bet on Boston as a home favorite, you would need to risk $135 to win $100. If the Red Sox do go on to win, you would win $100. If they happen to lose that game, then you would owe $135.
You can bet on money lines for all the major sports including football and basketball. They are just more prevalent when it comes to betting on MLB games or hockey games in the NHL.

The final basic bet that makes up the majority of the money that is bet on sports is the total line. This is a bet on the OVER or UNDER on the combined score in a particular game. The best thing about betting on the total line is that there is usually one posted for every game of every major sport. It does not matter which team wins or loses that game, it just matters how many points, runs or goals have been scored.

The betting public tends to lean towards the OVER when it comes to betting the total line, so sometimes there can be a slight built-in advantage for a play on the UNDER. Keep in mind, that over the course of any sport’s season, the actual betting results for the total line tend to even themselves out one way verse the other.

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