Sports Betting 101 – 12 Things Every Beginner Needs to Know Before Placing Their First Bet

The Supreme Court’s recent ruling on sports betting has unleashed a new era of legal wagering in America. As the anti-gambling stigma fades, millions of sports fans will be entering the betting market for the first time. But where do you start? Here are 12 things every beginner needs to know before placing their first bet.

1. Know the difference between a straight and a spread bet.

Straight bets are simply wagering on a single outcome, such as the winner of a game or fight. For example, if the Toronto Raptors are playing the Boston Celtics in an NBA game and you think the Raptors will win by more than 5 points, you place a straight bet on the team. A spread bet, on the other hand, involves “giving away” or “taking” a number of points, goals or runs that reflects the expected margin of victory for either team. For example, a UFC fight between champion Francis Ngannou and challenger Ciryl Gane features an Over/Under total of 42 points.

2. Understand the value of a value bet.

Value bets are wagers that provide positive expected value (EV) over the long term. This is achieved by creating your own projections and using an odds value calculator to compare them with the probabilities listed by the bookmakers. This approach takes a significant amount of work and knowledge, but can be profitable in the long run.

3. Understand the importance of team and player form.

Successful sports betting requires a keen understanding of team and player form. This can include analysis of a team’s recent performance, injuries and overall morale. Understanding these factors will help you predict how teams will perform and which bets are worth taking.

4. Know the importance of proper money management.

Sports betting is a marathon, not a sprint, and it’s important to be able to manage your bankroll properly. A good rule of thumb is to risk no more than 1% to 5% of your total bankroll per play. This will ensure that you have enough capital to cover bad days and make a profit on good ones.

5. Keep in mind that finding value is not easy.

Sportsbooks run a tight ship and use big data to determine the likely outcome of an event, but there are still opportunities to find value. One way to do this is by following bet lines and determining why they are moving. For example, if a popular team is getting a lot of action from casual punters, the line will move in their favor, making it more profitable to back them.

The most important tip for beginners is to be patient and take their time when researching a team or matchup. It’s not uncommon for a beginner to lose their first few bets, but learning from those mistakes and sticking with a strategy will allow you to build your bankroll over time and eventually make consistent profits. By implementing these tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a winning sports bettor!