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Sports betting has exploded in recent years, and it seems like everyone you talk to is interested in getting a bet down. If you’re entirely new to sports betting, diving in and placing your first bet can seem daunting.

After all, what do all these numbers mean? Who is the favorite, who is the underdog? What are the best bets in sports betting, and which ones should I avoid?

We will answer the above questions and provide readers new to sports betting a full breakdown of how it works. If you’re new to sports betting and want to get started on the right foot when it comes to how to bet on sports, keep reading.

Understanding Sports Betting Basics

There are a few bet types to understand before you begin betting on sports. Still, before diving into those, it’s vital to understand American odds or moneyline odds before you start placing wagers.

These odds are going to be the odds that you’re going to see attached to all types of betting markets, including sides, totals, moneylines, futures, and so on.

The simplest way to understand moneyline odds to use a $100 wager. The standard betting fee on sports betting is -110 or 10 percent. This is also called the juice or the vigorish.

This means when an odds market has -110 in moneyline odds, you need to wager $110 to win $100. If you win your bet, your stake of $110 is returned to you, along with $100 in profits. If the bet loses, then you lose your $110 and gain no profits.

That’s how it works when there is a (-) or negative sign attached to the odds, but what about a plus sign? Well, a plus sign signifies an amount you will win based on a $100 stake, rather than the amount you need to bet to win a $100 stake.

The best way to think about moneyline or American odds is that when you see a negative number like -150 or -120, is that you need to wager that amount to win $100. However, when you see a number with a + sign, then it’s the amount you will win by placing a $100 wager.

Typically, the favorite is signified by the (-) or negative side, and the (+) or positive sign is the underdog. However, this is not always the case, as multiway markets may plus odds outcomes. Also, it’s worth noting that odds can also be even money or +100, which means you are betting $100 to win $100.

Different Types Of Sports Betting Markets

There are many different bet types that sportsbooks offer. We will go over them briefly, but honestly, each betting type deserves a more profound explanation but understanding different betting types is the key to gambling on sports.

Point spreads and moneylines are the primary ways to bet on most sports, with a (+) or positive sign for the favorite and a (-) or negative sign for the underdog. Point spreads involve a handicap, such as +6/-6 but still have attached moneyline odds, like the -110 or +150 we explained above.

Totals or the number of points scored in a game or match are known as total bets or over/unders. This allows bettors to wager if the number of points scored will go over or under a specific number. Such, as over/under 47 points in an NFL game or 220 points in a basketball game.

Of course, there are many other wagers, such as parlays, teasers, futures, propositions, and more. And, most of these betting markets are available for live betting, as well.

Sports Betting Strategies: The Best Tips For Newbies

As the old saying goes, “it takes a minute to learn and a lifetime to master.” That would also ring true for sports betting. Learning how to bet on sports as in what bet pays what and the different available markets is one of the easiest aspects of wagering on sports.

Getting started in sports betting can be tricky, but there are a few tips that can immediately put you ahead of the pack when learning sports betting.

Take Advantage Of All Bonus Offers

Bettors have so many excellent options for wagering on sports that they can easily get thousands of dollars in free play or bonus offers when they sign up at online sports betting sites. These bonuses come with rollovers (an amount you need to bet before you can withdraw any winnings) but still offer plenty of value to bettors.

Bonus offers are the best way to inject your bankroll with instant cash, which is vital for bettors that are just beginning to bet on sports.

Odds boosts or promotional odds on many different events are now available every day at many major online sportsbooks. They don’t all offer genuine value, but many do have off-market or better-than-market prices. These appear every day at various sportsbooks and are an excellent way to build your bankroll.

Forget About Parlays

One of the biggest mistakes new bettors make is thinking that sports betting is a get-rich-quick scheme. The reality is that it is a massive grind. Sportsbooks publish news stories about players hitting massive parlays because if all their customers keep betting parlays, they will have no trouble filling up their balance sheets with more profits.

The truth is, straight wagers have much smaller for sportsbooks compared to parlays, teasers, and many other exotics. This knowledge should be sports betting 101, but in fact, it seems as if bettors do the opposite. Their betting slips are full of 10 team parlays rather than straight wagers on markets that offer value.

It’s not to say there is no reason to bet parlays. They’re the best way to clear bonuses and freeplay, but sports bettors bet far too many parlays and not enough straight wagers. Don’t play right into the hands of the sportsbook by wagering on the markets with the highest edge.

Use Multiple Sportsbooks

There are no successful sports bettors that just use one sportsbook. Not only is using multiple sportsbooks going to get you access to more odds and markets, but you will be able to receive deposit bonuses, reload bonuses, and take advantage of odds boosts.

Having access to more odds allows you to line shop and get the best price you can on your wagers. It also allows you to utilize different types of sportsbooks, such as reduced juice, another geared towards recreational bettors, and one geared more towards professional bettors or market makers with higher limits.

Three Tips On How To Bet On Sports

I can’t give you a full sports betting guide, but I can offer three tips that will instantly improve your betting skills and put you on a faster path to learning sports betting. This will move you past the sports betting for dummies phase and into learning sports handicapping properly, and hopefully, growing your bankroll along the way.

Bet Propositions

One of the areas that sportsbooks are the weakest is proposition bets. Props are things like, will a player score a touchdown in a game or the number of yards or catches an NFL player might have in a game. In basketball, the number of points a player might score (over/under) or who will score the first basketball in the game.

The list of propositions can get crazy when it comes to massive events like the Super Bowl, but there are props every day for just about every sport out there. Betting limits are lower on propositions, but that is because sportsbooks are a lot less confident on their odds when it comes to props.

Propositions are one of the best markets to attack as a new bettor, and it’s the area when you can gain a much larger edge compared to other markets.

Focus On Live Betting Or In-Play Betting Markets

Like propositions, live betting is an area that sportsbooks have not fully figured out yet. There can be a lot of mistakes when it comes to live probabilities compared to pre-game markets.

It’s entirely possible for a sportsbook to be slow with updating its live odds or not adjust to specific game situations. For example, a starting pitcher may leave a baseball game in the 2nd inning due to an injury, but the live pricing doesn’t consider this pitching change.

Like propositions, live betting or in-play betting forces oddsmakers to adapt on the fly and quickly adjust their odds to the game situations. It’s one of the best areas to look for slow-moving odds o the live algorithm not appropriately pricing certain situations.

Adopt A Bankroll Strategy

Bankroll management won’t save you from losing all your money if you’re a losing sports bettor, but it can make a winning bettor into a losing one or put them out of action. Understanding bankroll management and proper staking are vital to your success as a sports bettor.

A basic staking plan of 1-5% of your bankroll on each play works great for new sports bettors. The bets with the highest edges would be 5% of your bankroll, and the lowest would be 1%. You should find yourself in between those numbers most of the time, with standard plays being around 2 or 2.5%.

Bankroll strategy can get a lot more complicated than the above, but that’s a great place to start. Bankroll management is a factor that bettors neglect entirely and end up going broke because of it. You simply are not giving yourself a chance to become a profitable bettor if you don’t adopt a bankroll management strategy.

What Are The Safest Online Gambling Sites?

Many online gambling sites offer excellent bonuses and great odds for bettors. Right now, we will give you our top two recommendations for online sportsbooks and some of their best promotions and offers.

BetNow accepts players from most US states and offers all users a 100% Bonus up to $1,000 for new users. This is also a cash bonus versus a freeplay bonus which offers bettors more value. Payouts are extremely fast. There is a VIP program and tons of betting options.


There is no online sportsbook with a better reputation than Bovada. They have been in the business for more than 20 years and haven’t had a blip on the radar in terms of payouts. They have massive betting limits for NFL, a VIP program for players, and a 75% match bonus up to $750 on your first deposit.

Final Thoughts

Profiting from sports betting is extremely difficult, even if you understand how sports betting works. It takes a serious time commitment and effort even to become a breakeven sports bettor.

However, by following our above tips and sticking with top-rated online betting sites – you are starting your betting career off right.