Sports betting has never been more accessible, but there’s a big learning curve to understanding how it works. The best place to start is with a basics of different bet types and how they work.
A straight bet is a wager on the outcome of a single game or event. The odds for a team are displayed as positive or negative, with the lower number signifying a favorite and the higher one signifying an underdog. The odds for a straight bet are calculated by multiplying the probability of the result with the amount you can win if it is correct.
Spread bets are based on the difference in points between the favorite and underdog. They are more risky than straight bets and offer a chance for bigger payouts. In addition to the point spread, sportsbooks also set moneyline odds for individual outcomes of a game. For example, the Blues are -170 to beat the Avalanche, which means you will have to risk more than a dollar for every two goals that the Blues score in order to win this bet.
Over/Under bets are based on the total number of points scored in a game. This can be a total for the entire game, a specific quarter in American football and basketball, fewer than a full inning in baseball, or a specific period in hockey. The over/under line is calculated by adding up the points scored in each period and subtracting the number of points allowed.
Futures bets are wagers on events that will happen in the future. These can include a team winning the World Series or a player winning the NHL All-Star Game. These bets typically have a longer deadline and thus have more risk associated with them.
The key to winning sports bets is doing your research and limiting your losses. A good rule of thumb is to risk no more than 1% to 5% of your bankroll on each bet. This way, you can enjoy the excitement of the games without worrying about losing your hard-earned money.
Aside from doing your research, it’s also important to find a sportsbook that offers the type of bets you like and fits your budget. A good sportsbook will accept your preferred method of payment and have a user-friendly website. It’s also a good idea to read reviews of sportsbooks before making a deposit. But remember that what other users consider a negative may not be a negative for you, so don’t take them too seriously. Also, don’t be afraid to try out new sportsbooks and see how they stack up against your current favorites. You might be surprised by the results!