As sports betting emerges from the shadows and enters the mainstream, millions of new bettors are entering the market for the first time. Many will be making their first wagers with no idea how to proceed, or even what to expect. To help guide them along, here are 12 things all beginners should know about sports betting.
1. Understand The Math Behind It All
Sportsbooks set odds on the likelihood that something will happen during a game or event, and then allow bettors to place a wager on either side. A higher probability means lower risk and a lower payout, while a lower probability means greater risk and a larger payout.
2. Do Your Homework
One of the most important skills a bettor can develop is learning to analyze each individual situation and calculate the risks and rewards. It’s important to remember that no bet is a guarantee, and you should always keep your emotions in check when placing a bet.
3. Bet With Your Head, Not Your Heart
Being a successful bettor is about more than just being smart. You must also be able to remove your emotions from the equation, which is why it’s so important to do your research before placing a bet. This way, you can bet with your brain instead of your heart, and make more profitable bets.
4. Use Props
A prop (or proposition) is any bet that’s not a standard spread, moneyline or total. It’s a great way to bet on individual player performance, such as how many strikeouts Scherzer will have against the Reds, but you’ll usually have to pay a premium for these types of bets.