Mastering the Art of Sports Betting: Essential Tips for Beginners

The booming industry of sports betting is nearly impossible to get away from these days: whether you’re going out for a drive, watching TV at home, or even browsing the internet from your phone, you’re sure to have seen the rampant advertisements for some of the sports betting biggest brands like BetMGM. 

While it may all seem like a lot to take in at first (and understandably so: who doesn’t want to be cautious with the money they earn and spend), the growing popularity of sports betting simultaneously makes it easier than ever to get your feet wet with. Even if you aren’t a huge sports fan, there’s something for everyone when it comes to the sort of wagers you can place. 

With huge events like the Super Bowl, the kind of bets available stretch to almost everything, whether it’s the color of Gatorade dumped on the head coach whose team wins the game or whether Coca-Cola or Pepsi will run more advertisements during the big game. Even events that haven’t always been considered sports in their own right (like video game competitions) are getting swept up into the growing industry, and as it expands the potential for riches becomes even greater. 

Here’s a look at some of the crucial terms you’ll need to know to get started with sports betting, a sort of crash course to get you up to speed on what everything means, as well as some of the hottest betting trends in the industry right now if you want to get started right away.

What’s hot in sports betting changes on a cyclical basis, just as the seasons of each sport do. The industry waxes as each playoff tournament reaches its zenith, and wanes as the drag of the offseason sets in. Right now, the NBA Playoffs and the NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs are in full swing, giving you two of the four major sports to bet on at their peak. 

At the end of play on Friday, May 12, the Boston Celtics of the NBA and the Carolina Hurricanes of the NHL had the highest odds of winning their respective championships, listed at +165 and +200 at BetMGM Sportsbook: a nice thing about sports books like BetMGM is that they come loaded with Bonus Codes to get new bettors started, so your pockets get a boost as you jump into the action.

Now for the terminology. You’ve already come across one of the staples of sports betting in this article, the money line. Each outcome in a game is attached to either a (+), indicating a worse than 50 percent chance of it happening, or a (-), which means there’s a better than 50 percent chance of it occurring. If there’s a plus attached to the number, that means you win that amount of money with a 100-dollar bet: so, for the Hurricanes, you’d win 200 dollars if you bet on them to win the Stanley Cup right now (as well as regaining the 100 you wagered). If there’s a minus next to the number, that’s how much you have to wager to win 100 dollars. 

Up next is the spread. Betting the spread is one of the most common forms of handicapping in sports wagering today. Because it’s rare for two teams to be evenly matched (even if they’re similarly talented, the home team always gets a slight advantage, for instance), betting the spread increases your risk, as well as your potential reward. Say the New York Yankees are expected to defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates: the Yankees might be a 2.5-run favorite: if you bet on them to cover the spread, that means you expect them to score three more runs than the Pirates do.

 If you bet on the Pirates to cover the spread, that means you expect them to lose by two runs or less, or even win the game outright. In doing so, the odds you place your bet at draw closer to even, giving you a better chance of winning big than if you simply pick the (presumptive) better team to win. 

The third (and final) type of betting we’ll cover in this article is betting on the over/under. For this type of wager, it doesn’t matter which team wins: only how many runs, points or goals are scored in the game. Say the over/under for a Carolina Hurricanes vs Florida Panthers game is set at 6.5: if you bet the over, you expect the two teams to combine for at least seven goals, or six or less if you bet the under. The margins for these types of bets are almost always set at .5 so that there aren’t any pushes: a team can’t score half a goal, so every bet either wins or loses.


Related Posts