Sports Betting 101

Sports betting is in the news, and with good reason. The Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act last month, opening up sports betting to states that hadn’t previously done so. Until recently, most people who wanted to wager on sports had to go to Las Vegas or find an illegal bookie. Now, sports gambling is legal in eight states and booming, as shown by this year’s record $10 billion in March Madness bets.

While some people do make a living betting on sports, the majority are not profitable on a consistent basis. This is because there is no such thing as a foolproof system for picking winners, and even the best handicappers will lose some bets. It is hard to imagine anyone beating the books on a regular basis, even with the right knowledge and tools.

The key to sports betting is to be objective and not bet with your heart. Betting with your emotions can lead to big losses, especially when you bet on teams you support. It’s also important to set a budget for your bet size and stick to it. This way, even if you have an off day or two you won’t blow through your bankroll and risk going broke.

In addition to straight bets, you can place Over/Under bets. This type of bet is based on the combined score of a game or other statistic. The Over/Under total can be for anything from points to rebounds, wins, saves, birdies, or hits in golf.