People bet on sports for all kinds of reasons. For some, it’s a way to show support for their favorite team or players while earning a little extra cash. For others, it’s a fun and challenging way to try to predict the outcome of sporting events. No matter why you’re betting, there are some basic principles you should keep in mind.
The first step to winning at sports betting is understanding how odds work. They don’t reflect the real probability of an event, but they do help you calculate how much money you can win or lose. The best way to think about them is as a price tag on the probability of an outcome. The higher the odds, the less likely you are to win. The odds also tell you how much money you’ll need to bet to make a profit. They can be displayed as American, decimal or fractional odds.
Whether you’re a seasoned gambler or just getting started, you’ll want to make sure that the book you’re placing your bets with is legitimate. Look for online reviews and Better Business Bureau ratings. Also, avoid any sites that promise guaranteed wins. It’s impossible to win every bet you place, but if you find the right book, you can significantly improve your chances of success.
Most bettors are sports fans to begin with. They’re passionate about a particular sport, a certain college or professional team, and want to use their knowledge of the game to earn some extra cash. The best bettors are able to remove their bias and pick the most likely outcome of a game. That’s why it’s important to study the game, understand the players and teams involved, and be aware of all the possible outcomes of a matchup.
It’s also helpful to learn some basic sports betting terminology and jargon so that you can understand the language used by the sportsbooks. A few words that you’ll need to know include:
Breakeven percentage – This is the number of bets you need to win in order to break even. It takes into account the vig (or juice) that the sportsbooks charge. Generally, you’ll need to hit 52.4% of your bets in order to break even.
MLB – In baseball you want to focus on over/under bets. Look for games with high over/under lines (+/- 7.5 runs) because those are games that are expected to have a lot of scoring.
Currently, Texas has no legal sports betting options, but one senator pre-filed a bill ahead of the 2023 legislative session that would amend the state constitution to allow sports betting. The amendment needs to pass the legislature and be approved by voters in November in order for Texas to begin offering sports betting. In the meantime, residents can legally place bets in Mississippi and Oregon, where sports betting is presently available at a limited number of in-person locations. Online sports betting is allowed in those states as well.