At its most basic, sports betting is putting money behind an outcome you think will happen during a game or event, and getting paid if that outcome occurs. It’s not as complicated as it sounds, and there are a lot of different types of bets you can place. But it’s important to understand the odds, implied probabilities and how they relate to each other in order to create value in your bets.
Odds are a key part of any bet, and can vary slightly from book to book. This is primarily due to the type of bettors that each sportsbook caters to. For example, one sportsbook may be geared toward baseball bettors and offer different odds for the same game, while another offers more football-specific bets and higher payouts on winning spread bets.
The most common bets are moneyline and point spreads. The moneyline odds tell you how much a team must win by in order to break even, while the point spread odds determine how many points better off one team is than the other. Point spreads can also be adjusted based on how strong or weak the teams are expected to be.
Futures bets are wagers on events that will take place in the future, such as a team winning next year’s World Series or a player being named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. These bets are generally accompanied by lower odds and a lower potential payout than other types of bets, but they can be very lucrative if correctly placed.