Sports Betting 101

A sports betting surge has changed the way American fans consume sports. It is now more common than ever to see advertisements for sports betting apps during a broadcast, and some fans have even started using them. But this infusion of gambling into the sport has a lot of people worried. Jon Wertheim, a senior producer at 60 Minutes, says it will make the sport unrecognizable. This is especially true for college sports, where he thinks the deluge of gambling-related advertising will cause some fans to stop watching altogether.

Before placing a bet, a sports bettor needs to decide on a bankroll – an amount of money that they are willing to lose if it all goes wrong. This is a crucial step because it can help prevent a bad outcome from spiraling out of control. In addition to setting a budget, bettors should also research the services they plan on using. This includes reading online reviews, contacting past clients and checking Better Business Bureau ratings. It is also important to avoid being lured in by sports betting services that claim they will guarantee winning bets. It is best to find a service that offers a free trial period, so bettors can test it out before spending any money.

Creating an account at an online sportsbook is relatively easy. All bettors must provide their name, address and a method of payment before placing a wager. In addition, most sportsbooks offer sign up bonuses and refer a friend bonuses for new customers. These bonuses can be used to increase your initial bankroll and give you more betting options.

Bettors can place a variety of bets on a game, including straight bets and parlays. Straight bets are based on the odds of a specific team beating another team by a certain margin. Parlays combine multiple straight bets to create a more complicated bet, with higher payouts if the bet is successful.

Another popular type of bet is the over/under, which is a total number of points scored in a game. This bet is particularly common in baseball and hockey, where games can end by one run or goal. The oddsmakers at a sportsbook will adjust the over/under based on the public’s opinion of the game. This is known as shading the number.

A good sports bettor will ignore the noise from the media and focus on the numbers. They should also be sure to check the weather forecast, as it can have a significant impact on the totals. For example, if it is windy at the stadium, it will likely lead to more home runs being hit than normal. This can change the entire tone of a game and make it more exciting to watch and bet on.