Sports Betting: A Beginner’s Guide

Sports betting is a billion-dollar industry, and the relaxation of sports betting laws in the U.S. is only going to make it bigger. If you're new to sports betting, then there are a few things you should know before you place your first wager.

From understanding the odds to the nuances of player and team bets, this guide to sports betting will help beginners to make more educated wagers.

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Understand the odds

While there are plenty of people that can mindlessly fritter away cash, you and I know that there's little sense in making blind bets -- if you're going to place a sports bet, you need to know how likely it is to be successful.

This means understanding the odds of sports betting and the simplest way to do this is by using an example.

If the odds of a bet are 4/1, it means there's a 20% chance of success. The calculation works like this: 1 ÷ 4 + 1 = 0.2, giving you your 20%.

Adopt this approach to all the odds that you see and you'll have a clear understanding of whether you're making a good bet or a bad one.

Know how to place a bet

Once you've nailed the odds, you need to know how to place a bet. There are other levels you can go through to make the best bets (which are explained later in this article), but just knowing the odds are fine if you want to stick to the basics.

Luckily, placing a bet is the simplest part of sports betting.

Sports betting sites guide you through the process of placing a wager, giving you clear instructions every step of the way.

All you need to do is find the best sports betting sites and you can do this by checking review sites like Online Casinos.

Stick to what you know

There are so many different sports that you can bet on, from the major ones (basketball, football, baseball, and ice hockey) to more left-field options (like pool).

As a beginner, I recommend that you stick to what you know.

Why? Because you'll have some knowledge about the teams, players, and league formats that will inform you research and help you spot undervalued bets.

Do some research

Research may feel like the domain of more experienced sports betters. You may just want to get to grips with the odds, know how to place a bet, and wager on the sports that you know.

And that's fine if you want to do this.

But if you want to spot bets which could give you a higher than expected return, then you need to do your research.

Look at the form of the team or player you're betting on and their opposition. Are they hitting form or dropping off? Are injuries being carried or is everyone in peak condition?

You should also consider the fixture schedule - has there been enough time between games for your bet pick to operate at max capacity?

These are all important questions you should ask yourself because they may expose the odds to be over or under generous.

Player vs. team betting

Not only are there many different sports that you can wager on, but there's also a split between betting on players and betting on teams.

Neither is the right or wrong approach, but there a couple of nuances to consider before deciding which of the two options you're going to bet on.

Betting on an individual player puts the variables on one performance. This means that if your player has an off-day, then you don't have as much backup for your bet -- sure, your player's teammate(s) can help them out, but they can't quite score points for them.

Betting on a team (or teams) closes off some of the variables because if one player isn't doing the business then their buddies can help them out.

I've given you a few pointers that can be applied to almost every sports betting scenario. But using these won't offer you any guarantees -- the beauty of sports betting is that you simply can't predict what will happen.

However, if you apply the methods in this guide, then you'll have a much better understanding of what you're betting on and if your wager has a good chance of success.

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