Sports Betting 101


Betting involves placing a wager on the outcome of a game or event. Individuals who place a bet risk losing their stake but also have the potential to win something more than their initial investment. Bettors can choose from a wide range of sports and events to bet on. While betting is similar to gambling, it differs in that the former relies on pure luck and the latter requires research and a solid understanding of odds.

Developing an intuitive sense for betting value is a difficult but vital skill to develop. Successful bettors recognize the difference between a team’s chances of winning and the current odds on offer, and then make bets based on that information. In doing so, they can maximize their profits while minimizing their exposure to risk.

Some common betting terms to know include:

Favourite: A team or athlete that oddsmakers expect to win the game/competition/etc. Longshot: A team/athlete considered highly unlikely to win the game/competition/etc. Parlay(s): A wager that combines multiple selections into one bet for a larger payout.

Over/Under: A bet on whether the combined score of two teams will go over or under a set number (like 66 points for a football game). Oftentimes, betting lines are adjusted ahead of games or during them to account for injuries and other newsworthy events.

The key to success in any sport is having a clear understanding of the probability a team has of winning, and then making your bets based on that knowledge. A good rule of thumb is to only bet 1% to 5% of your bankroll on each play, and to never chase your losses.