Sports Betting 101

sports betting

Sports betting is a form of gambling where bettors place wagers on different sporting events. In the United States, where the practice is legal, sportsbooks have exploded since the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in 2018.

There are many different types of bets on sports, and understanding each type can make a huge difference in your winnings. Some of the most common bets include straight bets, moneyline wagers, prop bets, totals, and futures.

A straight bet, also known as a single bet, is the most basic form of betting on a sports game or event. This bet simply picks the winner of the match. The odds are generally set to give the favorite a positive number, and the underdog a negative one. In this way, you’ll know how much you stand to win if you’re right and how much you’ll lose if you’re wrong.

Moneyline bets are probably the most common type of wager for the average bettor. They’re simple to understand and offer an excellent chance of winning. A moneyline wager simply bets on the outcome of a game, no matter how many points are scored.

Spread bets, also known as point spreads, are another popular way to bet on a game. They’re a good bet for fans who want to bet on a team that isn’t as strong as the team they think will win the game. The oddsmakers will assign a handicap to the game, and you’ll need to decide which side has a stronger record.

You can place these bets in a variety of ways, from online to at retail sportsbooks. You can also find sportsbooks that allow mobile sports betting, which is a growing industry in the U.S.

Some sportsbooks also offer live betting, which allows you to place a bet on a specific team while the game is happening. It’s especially great for baseball games, where you can bet between innings or before the game’s end.

There are several things to consider before placing a bet, including money management and knowing when to stop. It’s easy to get emotionally-charged and bet more than you should, but it’s important to keep your bets to a minimum so that you don’t deplete your bankroll.

If you’re a new bettor, it’s a good idea to start with small bets and increase them as you gain experience. Depending on how much money you’re willing to spend, some experts suggest risking between 1 and 5 percent of your bankroll on each bet.

Over/Under bets are also a fun option for new sports bettors. They’re a little more complex than straight bets, but they’re a lot more rewarding if you’re correct. This type of bet predicts whether a team will score more (Over) or less (Under) than the total amount posted by the sportsbook.

There are a few other types of bets, too, but these are the most commonly used and easiest to understand. They all come with their own rules, but they’re all designed to help you win extra money.