So you’re wondering how to bet on sports? We have you covered. Welcome to the KofSports sportsbetting 101 guide to provide you with the knowledge and information to help you get started and win at sportsbetting. This guide will consist of a series of topics that will give you the sportsbetting tips that you are looking for whether you are new to sportsbetting or are a long term sports bettor. In this guide we will cover the sportsbetting basics, review the different types of sports bets, how and where to place a sports bet, sportsbook reviews, explain how to read the betting lines and Vegas odds, bankroll management, common mistakes sportsbettors make, and close it out with some sportsbetting advice and the strategy you should use. Let’s get started.
So you are just getting into sportsbetting and you might be asking yourself, “where do I even start?” Before you dive into making your first bet, you should get a basic understanding of how sportsbetting works. Let’s start by reviewing the different types of sports bets that bettors can make.
Chapter 1: The different types of sports bets that bettors can make.
Moneyline: Moneyline bets are the simplest type of sports bet that you can make. You are betting on the team to win the game. You don’t have to worry about them winning by a certain amount of points, or scoring a certain amount of points, you just need them to win the game for you to win your bet. The odds will vary depending on the matchup and we will touch on how to calculate those odds. The odds will reflect the likelihood of the matchup. For example, if the teams are evenly matched, you will likely see the odds at or close to even money. If you are betting on a matchup that has a heavy favorite, the odds will offer much less of a return. So how do you read the moneyline betting odds? I can give you the simple calculation which anyone can do and I can also give you the formula to show how these odds are calculated. Even money means, you risk $100 to return $200. Let’s say you have one of those favorites we talked about and the odds are showing -200. This means that you need to risk $200 to return $300. So you are risking $200 to win $100. Here is the formula, = 100 / (-1*-200/100) set your formula up like this and the only numbers you need to adjust are the 100 which represents the amount of money you are betting and the -200 should be adjustable to the moneyline odds (we used -200 for this example). This will help you calculate your risk and return for betting on moneyline favorites. The easy way to calculate this is taking the moneyline odds and realizing that is the amount you would need to risk to win 100. Examples, -170 means you would need to risk $170 to win $100, -140 would mean you need to risk $140 to win $100, and -120 would be you need to risk how much to win $100? Yes, risk $120! So that is a quick summary on how to calculate moneyline odds when you are betting on a favorite. Now let’s talk about the odds when you are betting the moneyline for an underdog. The underdog moneylines offer more of a return because the likelihood of them winning the game is not as high of a percentage as the favorites, but underdogs win all the time in sports. When you look at a moneyline for an underdog, you will see a + in front of the number like +150. This means that if you risk $100, you would profit $150 for a total return of $250. Yes, betting on underdogs can be profitable if you are betting on the right ones. Stephen F Austin beat Duke on November 26, 2019 as one of the largest moneyline underdogs of all-time when they cashed at +8500 odds. So anyone who bet $100 on them to win, profited $8,500. Moneylines are the most simple form of sports bet that you can make.
Spread: Betting the spread is when one of the two teams in the matchup is favored by a specific amount of points. The team you bet on must cover the spread in order for you to win your bet. The spread will vary depending on the matchup and the sport. Let’s look back at SuperBowl 54 between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49’ers for this example. The Chiefs were (-1.5) point favorites in that game. A sportsbettor who bet on the Chiefs would need them to win by 2 or more points to “cover” the -1.5 and win their bet. A bettor who bet on the 49’ers would need them to come within 1 or win the game to “cover” the -1.5 spread and win their bet. The Chiefs won 31-20 so sportsbettors who backed the Chiefs to cover the spread won their bets. The same concept holds true across all sports. Typically the spread is -1.5 in Major League Baseball and National Hockey League games and it can be found all over the place for NBA and NCAA basketball games. It’s a simple concept, if a team has a – sign in front of the number, they need to win by that many points and if a team has a + sign in front of the number, they can lose but they need to come within those points. If the spread is set at a number without the half point added and the team wins or loses by that amount, it’s considered a “push” and you get your money back. There you have it, betting the spread is explained.
Over Under: Over Under bets allow sportsbettors to bet on the total score of the game, either over or under. The standard over under bets consists of a point total for both teams combined and you either put your money on the over (more points) or the under (less points). Let’s take a look back at Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals in 2019 between the St. Louis Blues and the Boston Bruins. The over under betting line was set at (5.5) for the game. If you bet the over, you need 6 or more goals to win your bet and if you bet the under, you needed 5 or less goals to win your bet. The Blues won 4-1 so the under hit and the under bettors got paid. If a line is set at 5 and the total score is 5, it’s a “push” and you get your money back.
Moneyline, spread, and over under bets are the three most common betting options that you will find and the lines are usually pretty similar for each game across different sportsbooks.
Parlay: If you’re wondering how to bet on sports, there’s a good chance that you heard about someone winning a parlay and that spiked your interest. A parlay bets offer bettors a chance at a low risk, high reward. A parlay bet consists of multiple bets (two or more) and you are required to win each bet that has been added to your parlay bet in order to win. Example – an NFL three team parlay of Chiefs moneyline, Saints moneyline, and Patriots moneyline would require the Chiefs, Saints, and Patriots to all win their games straight up for the parlay bet to win. NFL Sunday parlays can be really fun and the odds build up based on how many different bets you add to your parlay. Typically, you can add moneylines, spreads, and over unders to parlays although some sportsbooks will not allow you to add a spread and over under from the same game. If you put together a parlay picking the winner against the spread and a few underdogs on the moneyline for each NFL game, you could be looking at turning $1 into over $100k if you hit! Parlays can be a lot of fun to chase but stay away from parlays if your goal is to win consistently.
Teaser: Teaser bets allow bettors to take the standard spread on a game and move it by a certain amount of points. Teaser bets are similar to parlay bets in the sense that they require a bettor to make two or more selections. Teaser bets are very popular in NFL betting but they can also be done for basketball. A standard teaser bet for NFL allows the bettor to move the spread by 6 points in their favor. Let’s take a look at an example – Kansas City Chiefs are favored by (-9.5) and the Chicago Bears are (+3.5) point underdogs. If you decided to do a teaser bet including the Chiefs and Bears, you would get to move the Chiefs spread from (-9.5) to (-3.5) and the Bears spread from (+3.5) to (+9.5). To win this teaser bet, you would need the Chiefs to win by 4 or more and the Bears to come within 9 or win the game outright. You can also include over unders in teaser bets as well. The odds will vary depending on how many teams you add to your teaser bet.
Player Prop: Player props are bets that allow bettors to bet on the performance of individual players. Player prop bets can be found across all sports but are the most popular in big games like the Super Bowl. Some examples of player prop bets would be the total passing yards for a QB (over or under), total receptions for a WR (over or under), will a certain player score a touchdown (yes or no)? There are many different types of player props across each sport and they can be a lot of fun.
Future Bets: Future bets are exactly what they sound like, bettors can bet on the future result of a team or player. A popular type of futures bet is to bet on a specific team to win the championship prior to the start of the season or mid season. Other future bets on specific players allow bettors to bet on statistical results for the entire season (like total touchdowns) or to win awards such as the league MVP. One of the popular future’s bets was on the 2018-2019 Texas Tech Red Raiders to win the NCAA Basketball Championship where a better put down $1,500 before the season started for a potential profit of $300,000 before Texas Tech lost 85-77 to Virginia.
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Next up on our how to bet on sports series: How and where to place a bet.