Sports betting is an ever-growing part of the overall gambling industry. In 2019, Americans wagered $13 billion on sports, and it’s clear that many people enjoy placing wagers on the outcomes of games and events. While sports betting is a fun pastime, it’s important to remember that it’s also a risky one. As with all gambling, more people lose than win. To minimize that risk, bettors should understand how to make the most of their bets and follow a few key tips.
Know Your Bet Types
Sports bets can take on a variety of forms, from simple straight bets to complex parlays. The most basic bet is a straight bet, which involves betting on a single team or event. In order to be successful, you’ll need to be clear-headed (so avoid a beer until after you place your bets) and do your research on both teams. This includes not only their past performance, but any injuries or other information that could impact the outcome of a game.
Another popular type of sports bet is the Over/Under, which is a total score bet on a specific game. The over/under number is set by the bookmaker and consists of two numbers, a positive or negative sign, and a decimal point. The higher the over/under number, the more likely it is that the game will be high-scoring; the lower the number, the more likely that the game will be low-scoring. When making a totals bet, it’s a good idea to remember the saying, “It’s never Over until it’s Over!”
Lastly, bettors can place futures bets, which are wagers on an outcome that will occur in the future. This is a good option for those who are unsure of their skills in predicting the winner of a particular game or event, and it can also be a way to increase your payout if you happen to win. However, keep in mind that futures bets can carry a much larger variance than other types of wagers.
There have been a lot of scandals involving the integrity of sports, including point shaving (players altering their shooting or passing abilities), spot-fixing (specific player actions being fixed), and overall match fixing (the result of a whole event being fixed). While there are always risks to gambling, sports betting can be a profitable venture for those who are clear-headed and do their homework.
To make sure you’re managing your money correctly, it’s a good idea to open a bank account that you use exclusively for betting on sports. This will allow you to track your bets and ensure that you’re not spending more than you can afford to lose. A good rule of thumb is to use anywhere from 1-2% of your bankroll on each bet, so that you can withstand a bad run and still come out on top.