Sports Betting Explained: How to Bet on Point Spreads, Over/Unders & Money Lines & Win

Sports betting has become increasingly popular and is drawing in both newbies looking to try their luck, as well as experienced bettors. If you’re wondering how to get started, this comprehensive guide can help: It will provide a full rundown of the fundamentals, from mastering odds and different types of bets through picking a reliable sportsbook online all the way up to creating an unbeatable strategy for success. With these tips at hand you’ll be ready to take on any challenge related to placing bets on your favorite sports!

Key Takeaways

Understanding Sports Betting Basics

Sports betting is an incredibly popular and lucrative market, so any bettor looking to get ahead should know the basics. To that end, it’s necessary to understand how odds are set by oddsmakers as well as which teams are favored over their opponents.  This knowledge will give a person more insight into making savvy bets.

Allocating only what you can afford in wagers and responsibly managing your bankroll allows sports bettors greater chances of success when placing their money down on games or events with low competition levels for potentially bigger wins than seen elsewhere.

Having knowledge about different types of bets such as moneylines (which team will win), point spreads (who’ll be victorious within pre-determined points) and over/under totals (total scores exceeding stated number) could help too. This also applies to understanding reading betting lines for knowing how to convert payouts into your probability estimates.

Types of Sports Bets You Can Make

Sports betting offers bettors numerous types of wagers to choose from, each with its own risks and rewards.

Moneyline bets are a popular choice among novice bettors due to their simplicity—bettors must predict which team will win the game without factoring in any point spread.

On the other hand, point spreads level the playing field by making underdog teams more attractive for those looking for bigger payouts when they place their wager on a bet slip.

Over/under bets rely on predicting whether or not both teams’ total points scored together surpass an established number while bonus bets can increase potential wins if successful.

Parlays consist of two or more bets that all need to be accurate predictions for you to have success.

You can bet on player props which are individual stats as well as specific match events happening during a contest.  There are also other kinds of props that are their own little game within the game like first team or player to do something, matchups on stats, or whether a particular play occurs during the game.

Understanding what is available in terms of different kinds of sports gambling options, allows one to build a solid foundation concerning strategy execution within all of the world’s major sporting markets.

Reading the Different Formats for Betting Odds

Sports betting is largely dependent on the odds used to calculate potential returns and the implied probability of a particular outcome.

The three main formats are American, Decimal, and Fractional.  You’ll need a general understanding of all of them to make informed decisions about your wagers.

American Odds use both positive & negative numbers indicating underdog or favorite respectively and are listed with a denomination of 100.  For example, a favorite would be shown as -150 and would indicate that for every $150 you wager, you would win $100.  Underdogs are displayed as +130, letting you know that for every $100 you wager, you would get $130 in profit for a win.

Decimal represents total payout including the initial stake for any wins.  An example here is odds of 3.  This means that for every $1 you wager, you are returned $3 if you win, $2 in profit, and your original stake of $1.

Fractional shows possible profit against an original amount staked, making these typically popular with horse racing events and with futures wagers. An example would be Super Bowl odds on a team at 20/1.  This means for every $1 you wager on that team, a Super Bowl win would net you $20 in profits.

By understanding what each type of odd implies you can evaluate risk versus reward more accurately allowing you access to a better value within the sports betting market as well as increasing your chances of winning overall.

Choosing a Reputable Online Sportsbook

Now that sports betting has grown so much in popularity there are a lot of different options to choose from. The key elements to evaluate when deciding which one to go with are legal compliance (follow the law), bonuses, customer support, convenience, and a variety of available wagers.

The best internet-based bookmakers provide competitive odds, quick payouts, and plenty of market options coupled with attractive promotions that make for an enjoyable overall experience while guaranteeing secure bets.  You also have to know what kind of wagers you enjoy making and ensure the books you choose have those options.  It doesn’t make sense if you like live betting and you go with a book that has terrible live options.

States Where Sports Betting Apps Are Legal

Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming have all legalized sports betting to some extent.

Some of those states allow mobile betting, others require you to be on the property to place your wagers.  The legal landscape changes fairly quickly so be sure to check on your individual state if you are unsure.

What you can bet on changes from state to state.  You may not be able to bet on any of the university teams within the state or player props.  I think almost all have restrictions on high school sports or with athletes under the age of 18.  You can not yet bet on elections, weather events or reality TV either.

There are plenty of well-known sportsbooks that have entered the scene in the United States: Bet365, BetFred, BetMGM, BetRivers, Betway, Caesars, Circa, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Fanatics.

Best Sportsbooks in Las Vegas

Those looking to place bets and watch games will find no better destination than Las Vegas.  It’s a popular spot during major sporting events, like football season, March Madness, and the World Cup, but it can be tough to decide where to set up shop. Let’s give you a few of our favorites and why we like them.

best sportsbook in Vegas - circa


Hands down this is the best sportsbook in Vegas.  It’s downtown, which isn’t everyone’s favorite spot but it’s worth the cab ride down there.  The odds makers run the best sportsbook in town with the highest limits and early posting of the numbers.

There are two levels that give stadium seating, a back row with video poker machines, and VIP lounge areas.

The other option is to bring your swim trunks and go to Stadium Swim.  You can catch all of the action on the giant screens while sitting in the pool and sipping cocktails.  It’s really a first-class experience.

The app isn’t the best one in the world, but its offerings and limits more than make up for it in my mind.


The second-best sportsbook is the Westgate Superbook.  It’s got over 30,000 square feet of betting space with giant televisions tuned in to all of the action.  The only problem is that it’s off-strip so a bit of a haul if you aren’t staying on the property.

You’ll get all of the odds and bet types that you want.  It was the place to bet on sports in Las Vegas for decades until Circa started to challenge them.


I’ve always had good experiences at the Bellagio sportsbook.  It’s spacious with a lot of televisions.  The people at the counter are friendly, and it’s part of the MGM family so the app is fantastic.

You really can’t go wrong with any of the three above, but the Aria, Mandalay Bay, Caesars, Cosmopolitan, Wynn, and Resorts World are a few others you should check out.

Reputable and Reliable Online Sportsbooks

When it comes to sports betting online, selecting a trustworthy and dependable platform is of utmost importance. It doesn’t matter how good you are at picking winners, if you don’t get paid then it was all a waste.

Online sportsbook operate in an uncertain legal environment.  You are going to have to check with a legal professional if you are unsure if you can place bets at the following sportsbooks, but they are ones that I trust when it comes to paying promptly.  These two are the gold standard: BetOnline and Bookmaker


You won’t find many books that get higher reviews from their users than BetOnline.  They are great about posting odds early, so you don’t have to delay if you like a certain team.

They also are quick with their customer support and offer generous bonuses and fast payouts.  The software is easy to use so it’s really a no-brainer to use if you have the option.

how to bet on sports at bookmaker


One of the forefathers of the industry, Bookmaker is recognized as a world leader in online gaming.  They provide high limits, good odds, and easy payouts.  You really can’t go wrong with their betting options either.  I highly recommend this place as one of your outs.

Betting Responsibly

Betting responsibly is a key component of sports betting that should not be overlooked. Here are some guidelines to help you stay in control and avoid any possible issues:

  1. Establish rules on how much money you’re willing to put at stake.
  2. Set boundaries concerning the amount of time devoted to sports gambling activities.
  3. Carefully manage your bankroll, so as not to gamble beyond your means.

With these tips, it can become an exciting yet secure experience when taking part in sports bets, but if you ever feel like you are having trouble there is plenty of support available such as counselling services or support groups.  They can assist individuals who have trouble controlling their wagering habits.

Developing a Betting Strategy

For long-term success in sports betting, it is essential to form a successful betting strategy. By utilizing available resources and tools such as risk vs. reward assessments and statistical analysis, you can be more informed when placing bets. This includes managing your bankroll responsibly while balancing potential gains or losses with each bet size accordingly. Establishing practical goals is also important for ensuring that the outcome of the wagers meets expectations.

Implementing this methodology implies following your plan consistently and adapting it where necessary based on results obtained from prior bets placed during sports gambling sessions. Thus enabling better chances at succeeding overall through being mindful of associated risks every time stakes are made.

Making use of an organized technique tailored towards winning helps improve sporting betting experiences by increasing winnings if executed correctly – all of which starts off with becoming aware of how best to approach gaming opportunities presented throughout various competitions within athletics events around the world!

One thing to consider is how you are going to win at a rate strong enough to overcome the juice.  The easiest way is to sign up with one of the best handicappers in the world offered at our site.  We have vetted a lot of cappers so that when you buy a picks service you know that you are getting someone who can perform.  We’ve also had them offer free sports picks so you can see which ones match your style.

Once you can win more bets than you lose, it’s time to think about risk management and mistakes to avoid.

Understanding Risk vs. Reward

Maximizing potential profits in sports betting entails balancing risk and reward. To do so, you must understand the odds of a wager as well as its implied probability for success. Depending on these details, you may decide to take a bet with low implied winning chances but a high payout possibility or pick one that is less risky yet has lower payout options if it comes through.

When making any decision relating to bets placed on sports events, factors like teams/players playing plus the type of bet involved should all be taken into account before placing your money down. This helps guarantee successful decisions made and finding value in the sporting betting market without taking unnecessary risks.

Utilizing Betting Tools and Resources

Sports bettors can gain an edge by utilizing the various resources and tools available for sports betting. By comparing odds at different bookmakers, you’ll be able to identify which offers the best value for your wager. Calculators are useful in estimating potential returns of bets as well as determining their probability of winning. Thus helping you make more informed decisions when placing a bet.

Frequent analysis by reading current news stories, performance data, and trends may also assist in spotting opportunities that could lead to bigger winnings from correctly predicting outcomes or events in sports. There is plenty of accessible knowledge online with experienced gamblers sharing tips within communities specifically set up around this purpose, giving beginners insight into what strategies work best where possible if they put effort into researching them beforehand. Utilizing all these capabilities will give any sports fan who wants to have a punt the opportunity advantage over his competitors – improving chances of attaining successful payouts off future draws!

Common Mistakes to Avoid

For sports bettors, mistakes such as emotional betting and chasing losses can lead to significant financial harm. Emotional betting involves decisions that are based on feelings rather than facts or data. Conversely, it is important that bets be rooted in objective information. Chasing losses complicates the problem by involving continuous wagering after a negative result with the aim of recovering what has already been lost – instead, accept the outcome and focus on making well-informed choices for future plays. Good research must not be overlooked when placing bets: staying informed about teams, players, and odds related to specific events can mean all the difference between success & failure.

Advanced Betting Techniques

Skilled bettors looking to up their sports betting can use various advanced strategies. These approaches will help them refine and optimize their approach, giving them more chances of winning a wager. Through incorporating numerous techniques and tactics, they can stay on top of the changing market conditions while having access to more varied betting opportunities.

Two such methods are in-play/live betting and arbitrage bets, both perfect for experienced punters who want an advantage over others participating in similar activities at online bookies or other places where one may place a stake on games like football or horse racing, etc..

Live betting strategies involve making real-time adjustments based on live data when gambling during ongoing matches.

Whereas arbitrage bets utilize varying odds across different establishments by taking simultaneous positions with diverse outcomes so as to guarantee profits regardless of results shown after completing the race/game itself.

Live Betting Strategies

In-play or live betting is an exciting way of gambling that enables bettors to make wagers on a game once it has already started. This form of sports betting offers the potential for high rewards if gamblers can capitalize on fluctuations in odds and other developments within the match itself.

Important aspects of live wagering include being able to place bets based on continuously changing lines, not needing approval from anyone when altering those same stakes, as well as taking full advantage of events happening during real game time.

Being aware of what’s going on throughout any given event is extremely essential while attempting these types of tactics. For example, if a team was better than expected you might decide to take benefit from its improved line by risking your money for their victory or conversely – cut losses short ahead of schedule.

The only way to win those is to have current data.  Your television feed is likely behind.  The sportsbooks have better access so I wouldn’t recommend betting during actual game time.  Wait for a commercial break or a stoppage in the action so you are just as up-to-date on what is going on as they are.

Arbitrage Betting Explained

Arbitrage betting, a form of wagering that covers all potential outcomes in order to guarantee profits regardless of the outcome, takes advantage of differences between sportsbook’s odds. This method entails making bets at favorable rates so you can cash out no matter who wins.

An example probably explains this the best.  Let’s say in baseball you have Boston playing New York.  One book might have Boston at +125 while another has New York at -120.  You can bet on both sides and guarantee yourself some profit no matter which team ends up winning.

The problem is that books are pretty savvy if you are picking up on off-market lines and might limit you in the future.  There’s nothing like getting one side of the arb down for a large amount, then going to place your other side and seeing your account is restricted to a small amount.  Now your risk-free bet just turned into quite a sweat!


At the end of the day, getting involved in sports betting can be an exhilarating experience with potential for rewards if one takes the time to learn its basics, select a trustworthy bookmaker, and come up with an effective wagering strategy.

Knowing different kinds of bets, studying odds accurately, and being mindful when gambling is vital to success in this pastime – you need all these tools at your disposal plus staying informed on what’s happening so that you make smart moves within reasonable limits.

Now armed with the knowledge as well as resources required to successfully excel in sports betting activities – it is now just about using them correctly and to benefit from your expertise!

Frequently Asked Questions

How should beginners learn to bet?

When betting as a beginner it is essential to be aware of the bonuses and rewards available so you can maximize them.  You want to ensure you are doing plenty of research on the games beforehand while remembering lines represent bets rather than score predictions.  You also want to make sure you have set yourself an amount that once won should mean quitting.

What is the right way to bet on sports?

In order to bet on sports effectively, you need to practice bankroll management, shop around for the best lines and odds, and embrace data.

Don’t get too confident when winning and avoid using emotions to decide your wagers.

What happens if you bet $100 on a money line?

When it comes to a moneyline bet of $100, success could result in the reward of an additional 100 dollars if your chosen team wins. When the odds are +100 and you don’t win, that wager is forfeited without profit. In summary. By placing this type of bet one might potentially gain or lose depending on which outcome takes place.

How can I legally bet on sports online?

Betting on sports online is available to US players in most states through legal, regulated apps.  You can also use a top online sportsbook like BetOnline or Bookmaker.

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