Sports Betting 101

Sports betting is quickly becoming a part of American culture, but it’s still a very risky endeavor. While many people will win some wagers, most will lose more than they win. The key to success is to limit your buy-ins, be patient and understand that there are no guaranteed ways to make a profit.

There are thousands of different sports betting options, but they all have the same basic premise: you’re betting on the likelihood that an event will happen. Bettors can place straight bets, parlays or over/under bets. Over/under bets are based on the total number of points, goals or runs scored during a game. They are calculated using a variety of factors, including past events, weather conditions and player and team performance.

If the total score ends up exactly on the number predicted by the bookmakers, you’ll get your money back. However, this is very rare and usually occurs in cases where the total was set at a half-point (like 66) and then the final combined scores were 67.

Other types of bets involve predicting how a team or individual player will perform during a game. These bets are referred to as props and can range from the number of TD passes thrown by Joe Burrow to the color of Gatorade that douses the coach of the Super Bowl-winning team. Props can be extremely profitable if you can find the right match-ups. To do this, you’ll need a tool like SBD Sharp, which allows users to evaluate teams as investments over time and see how much they’d earn or lose on the moneyline, against the spread or when betting totals (over/under). Try it out for yourself here.