We have titled this Sports Gambling For Dummies since it’s an instructional exercise for the individuals who want to begin betting on sports. We’ve all been in the situation of gaining some new useful knowledge. Don’t be humiliated in the event that you don’t understand some of these things right away.
If you are having trouble keeping track of the language and other basics of sports gambling, you have come to the right place. This article will focus on things like how read sports odds, what does minus/plus mean, giving points/taking points, and more.
We will painlessly explain all of the mysteries of sports betting 101 aka “Sports Betting for Dummies.” First of all, you have nothing to be ashamed of, you have taken the first and most important step of all – learning! Why waste money on a game that you don’t fully understand? You shouldn’t! That is why you are here now, to learn how it works and how to win!
Okay, you look at the games for Sunday and you see the betting lines displayed something similar to;
Warriors -5 vs. Cavaliers 190
You may look at that and be intimidated and feel helpless, but I’m going to decode this little bugger for you. This is the betting line – not the odds. The odds are what you are to be paid (covered later).
Whenever you see a team with a (-) negative number next to them, (-5 in this case), it means that team is favored to win by that number of points.1
The number after the matchup (190) is the projected total points to be scored by both teams added together. There are two options here. A player can choose to bet on the matchup, either San Fran -5 points or Cleveland +5 points.
For the player who wagers on San Francisco +5, they must win the game by more than 5. For those who bet on Cleveland -5, they must either win the game or lose by less than 5 points for this to win the bet. If the outcome falls on the number, the bet is declared a “Push” and your original stake amount gets refunded.
See, that wasn’t too difficult, was it?
Sometimes you will see the points displayed as half numbers like San Fran -5.5. If you bet on San Fran, and they win by 6, you win the bet. If they win by 5 or less, you lose. Clear? If not, submit your question in the form at the bottom of the page and ask me. I’m here to help.
Okay, so the other sports gambling option available to you is the total or ‘Over/Under.’ You can choose to bet that the total points between the two teams will either be greater (OVER) or less than (UNDER) the projected total. Again, if you bet either way and the game ends up being 93-97, for a total of 190 points, then you will receive a refund of your wager amount.
This is where you simply wager on which team will win the game outright, no point spreads, no BS…just the straight up winner. Although this may appear to be easier, you will pay for it as the odds (payout) will reflect the lack of a point spread. If you wager on a favorite, then you will win less than with a point spread. If you wager on the underdog…and win…you will receive and even greater win amount based on the higher risk taken.
The next step when sports gambling is to decide how much you will bet, and how much you will win. There are three ways that you will typically see odds displayed, as a fraction 2/1 (or 2 to 1), as a decimal 2.00, or “American Style Betting Odds” +100.
For reading the fraction odds, I strongly recommend converting them to a decimal. To do this, you take the first number and divide it by the second. So if your odds read 7/4, you simply divide (7) by (4), which equals 1.75. That is the decimal form odds, now you simply multiply (1.75) by whatever your wager amount is to figure out your potential profit. In this case, if you were to risk $100, then your potential win would be $175 profit! Also, you will receive your initial bet amount of $100, for a total of $275.
Now for American Style Sports Odds. Typically, when you are betting on the point spread, as in topic #1 above, the odds are displayed or implied to be (-110), which is known as American Style odds. The American Style odds format is based on $100. When the number, is displayed as a negative number (-110), it indicates how much money you must risk to realize a profit of $100. In our scenario, you must wager $110 to win $100 profit. If you do, you will receive $210 when you cash in…the winning amount PLUS your initial wager amount.
When you see the number displayed as a positive number such as (+150), it indicates how much money you will profit if you RISK $100. So, if you wager $100 on a team that pays (+150), and you win, you will receive $250. That is the $150 that you won, plus your $100 original stake returned.
Now that you have the basics of sports gambling down, there is only one thing left to discuss – where to bet that is safe. I strongly recommend that you start by wagering on only one pick per day. You don’t want to spread yourself too thin and have your hand in every match available. If you bet that way, you will surely get nickel and dimed out of your bankroll. Spend time studying the teams and choose your best selection available. Decide on a budget of how much you are willing to risk. Now you need a reputable online sportsbook (online sports betting site) to do business.
There are millions of sites out there, but only a handful that will treat you right. I deal with a few main sites in my personal online sports betting, LeoVegas, William Hill, and Snai.
Check these sites out and see which one fits you best. Maybe you will take advantage of the bonuses at those sites and then decide which one you want to continue to use. I prefer to use multiple sites, so I have a selection of lines to choose from to get the best available payout! Whether you want to bet $1 or $500, any of these sites will work just fine for you and pay you quickly when you win. If you want more details and options, just go to the sportsbook reviews and ratings page.