How to Win at Sports Betting

If you want to win money betting on sports, you need to be able to predict what’s going to happen. That’s why most pro sports bettors keep near-obsessive records of their wins and losses, analyzing everything from player forms to weather conditions. This type of analysis should be the foundation of your betting strategy.

There are many different types of bets you can place. Moneyline bets are straightforward and are great for beginners, but you can also make spread bets by predicting how far one team will win or lose by a certain amount. You can also place over/under (total) bets, which are based on the total points scored in a game. If the total is exactly the same as the proposed number, the bet is a push and most books will refund your wager.

Point spread bets are more sophisticated, and require a better understanding of the game’s dynamics. They are designed to level the playing field between a favorite and underdog, making a game intriguing despite an apparent skill difference. They also offer higher payouts and can add a whole new layer of complexity to your betting experience. But they can also be risky if you’re not careful. The first step in becoming a more successful sports bettor is to learn about value betting, where you bet on outcomes with greater chances of winning than the odds suggest. This can be done by studying the past performances of teams, players, and even individual statistics like Expected Goals in soccer or Player Efficiency Rating in basketball.