Sports Betting 101

After the Supreme Court struck down federal laws that restricted sports gambling, betting on all manner of sporting events has become a common pastime for many fans. From making wagers with your friends to placing a bet online, there are hundreds of betting options available to you. But with that comes new challenges that threaten the well-being of student-athletes, the integrity of NCAA competition and the overall enjoyment of the sports you love.

Profitable sports betting requires research and objective analysis, not letting your feelings for a team or player guide your decisions. It also takes patience, discipline and a long-term mindset. It’s crucial to keep track of your bets and learn from your mistakes.

Betting lines are adjusted by sportsbooks for a variety of reasons, including lopsided action on one side (indicating that the initial line was not very sharp) and as more information becomes available about players or coaches. This is called “price adjusting” and is a vital element to winning bets.

The most basic type of bet is the straight bet, which is a wager on a single outcome. For example, if you think the Toronto Raptors will win an NBA game, place a bet on them to win. Another bet type is the spread bet, which involves laying points, goals or runs. The point spread is the difference in the odds between the underdog and favorite, and reflects the expected margin of victory. The higher the spread, the more difficult it is to win the bet.

Posted in: Gambling