With the legalization of online sports betting in recent years, millions of Americans are betting on sporting events every single week. From the NFL to the MLS and everything between, betting on sports makes watching a game much more exciting, since you have some skin in the game.
But placing a bet on live sports is much more fun when you actually win some money. That’s what it’s all about, right? Few people make consistent income from sports betting. Most actually lose money, because they don’t understand the best way to bet on sports.
There are simple strategies available to those who are willing to learn how to make a profit when betting on sports.
How does sports betting work? And what are the best sports to bet on? Continue reading our guide on winning money with sports betting below.
Sports to Bet On
Are you just getting started with sports betting? There are sportsbooks available that offer virtually every sport in the world, including international sports.
And while it’s tempting to bet on any and every sporting event, just to try your luck, that’s not a good strategy. The best thing you can do is pick one or two sports that you are extremely passionate about and only bet on those sports.
Sports betting is much easier when you actually know about the sports you are wagering on.
That being said, the most bet on sports coincide with the most-watched sports. This includes the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL. MLS is a good option for soccer fans, though far fewer bettors are wagering on the MLS.
If you’re an avid soccer fan, consider the Premier in the UK or the Champions League across Europe.
Understanding Betting Odds
So you want to know how to bet on sports? It starts with understanding the odds. Betting odds give you an idea of which team is favored to win, and which team is unlikely to win.
When you bet on the favored team, you are more likely to place a winning bet. But because so many people are placing bets on this team, the payout is very low.
Betting on the underdog means you are taking a risk. But if they pull off an incredible win, you can win some big money compared to the size of your wager.
There are three main types of odds you are going, and knowing what they mean is the key to successful betting.
If you are going to stick with US sporting leagues, like the NFL or NBA, this is what you need to understand.
You can tell that odds are American when they begin with either a plus sign or a minus sign. The minus symbol before the number tells you a team is favored to win. The plus symbol means the team is expected to lose.
When placing a bet on the favored team, the number shows you how much you need to wager in order to win $100. So if you see -250, you will need to wager $250 for the chance at a $100 payout.
When betting on the underdog, the odds tell you how much money you can wind per every $100 wagered. So if you see +300, you’ll win $300 for every $100 you bet, if that team wins.
UK odds, or fractional odds, are what you’ll see when betting on English-based sporting leagues like the Premier League or cricket.
The team that has a smaller number in front is favored to win. For example, if a team’s odds were 1/4, you would know that team is expected to win. You would win $1 for every $4 that you wager.
If the number in front is larger, that team is the underdog. 7/1 odds show that for every $1 wagered, you would earn $7.
If you’re watching sports in the rest of Europe, Australia, or Canada, you’ll likely see decimal odds or European odds. These are simple to understand.
Just multiply the number by the amount you are wagering, and you have your payout. For example, if a team has odds of 2.50, and you wagered $100, you would win $250.
If a team had odds of 0.8, you would win $0.80 for every dollar you wager.
Finding the Best Way to Bet on Sports
Now that you know how betting odds work, you can use them to your advantage. The odds tell you who is favored to win.
If the odds are close, that means there is uncertainty, and the outcome will be more unpredictable. If there is a big gap, then one team is expected to dominate the game.
Betting on that team means the likelihood of winning is very high. But here’s how else you can push the odds in your favor.
Do Your Research
If you pair odds with fundamental analysis, you can increase your chances even higher. The analysis simply involves your knowledge of the two teams that are playing.
If you know a particular team is suffering from injuries to key players, they are likely to struggle. If you know a team has played more games in recent weeks than the other, they may be overly tired and not play as well.
That’s why it’s important to wager on sports you are most interested in so that you can spend time watching pre and post-game shows to know what is happening with each team.
Bet on the Home Team
In most sporting leagues, the home team has a clear advantage. They are more likely to win when playing at home versus playing away.
If you simply bet on the home team more often than an away team, there’s a chance you can win more bets than you lose.
This strategy is underrated, as many bettors are looking for more unique, exciting strategies. But sometimes, it’s the simple things that are the most effective.
Bet Smart, Bet Safe
Now that you know what sports you should keep your eyes on, and what the best way to bet on sports is, you can start making more confident wagers.
Just make sure to always start small, never go all in, and ensure your money lasts as long as possible.
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