Whether you’re a longtime fan or just starting out, sports betting is a part of the modern sports culture. But before you make your first wager, here are a few things to know.
Understanding how different bet types work can help you maximize your profit potential and minimize your risk. A straight bet is the most basic type of wager, and involves placing a bet on a single outcome of a game or event. Oddsmakers set the odds for a game based on the probability that something will happen. If the odds are higher for a particular team or outcome, it’s considered a favorite. If the odds are lower, it’s an underdog.
Another way to place a bet is with a spread, also known as a point spread. These lines are designed to level the playing field between two teams or competitors. When you bet against the spread, you’re essentially telling the bookmaker that you expect one side to win by more points than the other. The oddsmakers then create a handicap, forcing the stronger team to cover the spread (aka win the bet) or lose by less than the spread (aka push the bet).
One of the most important things to remember is that you’re not going to be profitable on a consistent basis. No matter how much research you do or what strategy you use, there’s always the chance that you’ll lose a bet. That’s why it’s so important to only bet with money you can afford to lose.