Sports Betting Explained: The Basics
For example, a bookmaker may offer the following point spread on a football match between the San Diego Chargers and the Indianapolis Colts. What this spread means is that, for the purposes of wagering, the Chargers will have 3. For a bet on them to be successful, they would therefore have to win by four points or more. The Colts, on the other hand, will have 3.
A bet on them would be successful if they won the game, or lost by 3 points or less. Totals are just as easy to understand. With these, the bookmaker posts an expected total for the amount of points scored by both sides. On the previously mentioned match between the Chargers and the Colts, for example, they might set the total at You then have to decide whether to bet on the over or the under.
A wager on the over will win if the combined score from the two teams is 49 or over e. Chargers 29, Colts A wager on the under will win if the combined score from the two teams is 48 or less e. Chargers 19, Colts Before we go onto explain some of the other types of wagers you can place, there's some very important information that we need to mention. However, they are usually priced up by bookmakers at odds of 1.
This is because bookmakers are in business to make a profit, so they effectively charge a commission for taking wagers. This commission is known as the vig, short for vigorish, and it's one of the ways that bookmakers stay profitable. They don't charge it just for points spreads and totals either, as it's built into the odds for every wager that they offer.
If you have any ambitions of being a successful bettor, we strongly recommend reading our article explaining vig and how bookmakers make money.
In addition to point spreads and totals, there are three other types of bets that are commonly used for wagering on football. These are as follows. We'll now provide a brief overview of each of these, and point you towards some additional information on each one too.
A moneyline wager is very simple. It involves simply backing a team to win a match, with no point spread involved. The odds for moneyline wagers are based on each team's relative chance of winning. For example, the moneyline on a game between the San Diego Chargers and the Indianapolis Colts might look like this. Initial stakes are returned too of course. The Colts are the underdogs, so backing them means the potential for higher payouts relative to the amount staked.
Again, initial stakes are also returned. For more information on moneylines, and the strategy involved in placing them, please see the following article.
Props, short for propositions, are wagers on outcomes that are decided during a football game, but are not necessarily directly linked to the final result. Some examples include the following. These are just a very small selection of some props. Many bookmakers offer dozens of different options, particularly on high profile matches.
Props are generally considered a fun type of bet rather than a way to make money, but it is possible to make consistent profits from them. We explain more about props on the following page, where we also offer some strategy advice. Futures are wagers on how teams, or individual players, will fare over the course of an entire season. A wager on a team to win the Super Bowl, placed at the start of the season, would be considered a future. So would a wager on a team to be the National Football Conference champions, or a wager on a player to win the Most Valuable Player award.
There isn't a lot more to explain about futures, and there isn't really much in the way of specific strategy for them either. We do go into a bit more detail on them on the following page though. A lot of people like to bet on multiple games at once, as this can provide the potential for big payouts. It's not something we particularly advise beginners to get involved with, but it doesn't hurt to understand the options available.
The main ones are as follows. A parlay basically combines several different wagers into one. For example, a parlay could be made up of five point spread wagers on five separate games. The payout for such a wager could be very attractive, but only if ALL the wagers were correct.
Just one wrong pick would mean the whole wager failing. That's why these are considered quite risky. They're a bit more complex than the previous wagers mentioned, but we won't go into any more detail here. We do on the following page though. Teasers and pleasers are essentially types of parlays that use modified point spreads or totals. With teasers, the spreads or totals are moved in the bettor's favor.
With pleasers, they are moved in the bookmaker's favor. There's plenty more to explain about these wagers, which we do on the following pages. Now that you know about the different wagers you can place on football, the next step is actually placing them. This is frequently seen in championship boxing matches, where the general public turns out to place their money on a popular fighter. Teaser Bets — A wager on two or more teams where the line for each has been moved to favor the bettor.
In order to win a teaser, the gambler must get each choice right. Across the Board — Betting on a horse to win, place, and show. Chalk — The favorite to win in any competition. First Half Bet — A wager that only applies to the first half of a sporting event. Oddsmaker — The person who creates the betting lines used by bookies. Push — A bet that ends without a winner or loser.
Runline — Often used in baseball wagers in place of the moneyline. Store — A location where sports wagers legal or otherwise can be made. They simply enjoy putting their sports knowledge to the test, and giving themselves the opportunity to win some money. We do recommend learning at least the basics of what to do, but they are all that's needed if you just want to have some fun and place the occasional wagers on your favorite sports. As fun as sports betting can be, it's important to recognize the fact that it does involve risk.
Even if you mostly back big favorites, there's still going to be the occasional upset where things don't turn out as expected. Risk is a part of any form of gambling, so don't let this put you off betting on sports. It's just that you need to be prepared for the possibility of losing money. Most people do lose money overall, and there's a good chance that you will too. This is why you must gamble responsibly.
You should set a budget to bet with, and only ever use money that you can afford to lose. Even though most people lose money through sports betting, this doesn't mean that you have to. The bookmakers do have an advantage because they set the odds, but their advantage is not impossible to overcome. It's not like playing casino games where there is a house edge that cannot be beaten.
There's still some luck involved of course, but there is no reason at all why you can't take from the bookmakers if you know what you're doing. If you plan on taking your betting seriously, and are aiming to make consistent profits, then you need to go a step or two further than just understanding the basics.
Success takes hard work and commitment, and there's a lot to learn, but with enough knowledge and the right approach you can be a winner. The following two sections of our sports betting guide can help you to achieve your goals. The information in this beginner's guide is all relevant regardless of how you actually choose to place your bets.
The advice it contains applies regardless of whether you bet over the phone, in a bookmakers shop, or with a casino sportsbook. Seeing as the most popular way to bet these days is over the internet, however, we've also produced a section dedicated to betting online.
Check out our page that discusses both methods. This section covers each of the following topics, and also includes a step by step guide to joining a sports betting site and placing wagers. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, we also recommend the top sports betting sites in several different categories.
We'll help you to find the very best sites that are the most suitable for any personal preferences or requirements you may have. Each one of our recommendations is reliable and trustworthy, so you can be sure of a safe betting experience.
A Complete Beginner's Guide to Sports Betting This guide is aimed primarily at people who have never bet on sports before , and know very little about what's involved. The Basics Benefits of Sports Betting. Online vs Brick and Mortar Sports Betting. What Is A Value Bet? How Much Should I Stake? Should I Pay For Tips. Live Betting Exchange Betting.