Beginners Guide – How to Bet on Sports

How To Bet On Your Favorite Sporting Events

Online sportsbooks have made it easier than ever to place a wager on your favorite sporting events. You can join one of many online sites that accept wager on sporting events of all kinds. Whether your interests lie in something as common as American football or international soccer, or in less conventional sports like darts and cricket, there is an online sportsbook out there setting odds on your favorite sports.

The following guide will give you a step by step walk-through of how to start betting on sports.

Step 1: Choose a Sportsbook

Choosing the right online sportsbook is extremely important. You want a site that accepts wagers on your sporting events of choice, of course, but also one with a good reputation. It should present good odds on all sports and a wide range of betting types. The online sportsbook should also be open to punters from your country. If you live in the USA or Australia, for example, your choices might be more limited. You may even wish to join more than one online sportsbook to cover all of your sports betting needs.

Read More: Choosing the Right Sportsbook

Managing Your Bankroll

When you first join an online sportsbook, you’ll need to make a deposit to establish a bankroll. To make a deposit, go to “My Account” and choose to make a “Deposit”. You’ll have a list of payment methods to choose from. Select your preferred method of deposit and follow the instructions.

With your bankroll established, properly managing that bankroll becomes very important. You don’t want to wager everything on a single sporting event. No matter how sure you are that you’ll win the bet, it is always possible for things to go the other way. It is best to divide your full bankroll by 10 and only wager that much on a single sports bet. This way, should the worst happen, you still have plenty of funds remaining to carry on.

Read More: Establishing and Building a Bankroll

Making your First Sports Bet

If you’ve never placed a bet on sports, you may be surprised at just how many types of bets there are. As a new punter, it is highly recommended to stick to the basics, at least in the beginning. The most common bets are called ATS (Against the Spread) and Over/Under bets.

An ATS bet is a wager on a contestant to win over another contestant, based on who is favored to win. If one team is favored to beat another by 3 points, the “Spread” is 3. The favored team gets a -3 spread, while the underdog gets a +3 spread. So if the match-up were to end at 17-14, with the favored team winning, it would actually be a tie by sports betting standards. The underdog gets 3 additional points, resulting in a 17-17 tie.

An Over/Under bet is based on the total score of both contestants at the end of the match-up. It has nothing to do with a point spread. In the above example, the final score was 17-14, for a total of 31. If the expected total score was 28, a bet on Over would win, because the score was “over” the expected total. If the expected total was 35, a bet on Under would win.

Reading Betting Slips

Here is an example of a typical sports betting slip with ATS and Over/Under bets.

Team-A        |-3 (-110)    |28 (-110)    |
Team-B        |+3 (-110)    |28 (-110)    |

In this match-up, Team-A is favored to win over Team-B by 3 points. The -3 under SPREAD shows that Team-A loses 3 points, and Team-B gains 3 points. If Team-A beats Team-B by more than 3 points, a bet on Team-A will win. Conversely, if Team-B loses to Team-A by less than 3 points, or beats Team-A outright, a bet on Team-B wins.

In the TOTALS column, we see that the expected total score of both teams combined is 28. This is the Over/Under section of the sports betting slip. If you bet Over, you are betting that the score will exceed 28 overall. An Under bet would be that the total score will be under 28.

The -110 after the Spread and Totals shows the commission rate taken by the online sportsbook. It means that for every $100 you bet, $10 is taken as commission (10% commission). So if you want to win $100 on a contest, you’ll need to bet $110 to cover the commission. Betting an even $100 would only award about $90 on your winning wager.