Sports betting has become a huge business, bringing in billions in wagers and generating revenue for states that allow it. But if you’re looking to make money from your wagers, it takes a sound strategy and some basic knowledge. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Know your stuff
One of the most important things to understand in sports betting is odds. Odds are the probability that something will happen during a game, and they determine how much you win or lose on a bet. Typically, something with a higher probability will have a lower risk and pay out less than an event with a lower chance of occurring but greater reward. For example, a pitcher’s strikeout total against the Reds might be set at 7.5, but bettors are more likely to take the under because they believe that Scherzer will have more than eight strikes.
The plus (+) and minus (-) symbols on a bet slip refer to the point spread or betting odds. A plus sign means that the favored team must beat the spread by at least seven points to win. A minus sign means that the underdog must win by at least seven points or more to cover the spread.
A parlay is a group of bets that are linked together in a single ticket and has a higher payout than individual bets on each sport. A parlay requires a minimum of three teams and can include straight bets or props such as the winner of a specific game. A bettor can also bet on the number of touchdowns scored in a game with over/under bets.
Know your math
If you want to make money from your bets, you’ll need a solid understanding of mathematics and statistics. The best way to do this is by studying statistics and learning the basics of probability theory. There are a number of free online resources available that can teach you the basics.
Keep your head in the game
It’s important to separate yourself from your fandom when you’re placing bets. Too many people make decisions based on their emotions, and this can lead to bad results. The term “going on tilt” was coined because of this type of emotional gambling, which is why it’s important to have a plan and stick to it.
Keep your wagers small
It is recommended to open a dedicated bank account to place your sports bets in. This will ensure you don’t deplete your bankroll with a few bad bets. The amount you dedicate to each wager should be between 1% and 5% of your bankroll. This will be enough to sustain losses while slowly building a profit over time.
Another way to increase your chances of winning is by having access to multiple sportsbooks. This allows you to shop for the best lines on a bet. For example, the Cavs may be a -8 favorite at one book while another has them as -7.5. The extra half-point might not seem like a big deal, but it can be the difference between making money and losing it all.