Millions of sports fans watch games and probably think to themselves “betting on these must be easy.” The truth is that betting is a complicated business. After accounting for vig (the house edge) even the most successful “experts” only get less than 60% of their bets right. However, there are certain things you can do to optimize your chances of success.
One of the most important things to do is to understand that betting on a sport requires adequate research. Whether it’s researching weather forecasts, staying current with injury updates, or learning the nuances of a game, these are all important components to being a successful bettor.
Another important thing to do is to avoid betting based on emotions. It is hard to make rational decisions when your emotions are involved. If you bet irrationally to try and recover losses, you will likely find yourself in a situation where you can no longer afford the size of your stakes.
A common bet is on a team to beat the spread, which is a bet that you think will win by more than half points. The more accurate you are in predicting the winners of a game, the more money you will make.
Another popular bet is on the total, which is a bet on the combined score of both teams in a match. The oddsmakers set the total number of points they expect both teams to score in a game and you bet on whether or not the actual combined score will be over or under that number.