Sports Betting Basics

Whether you’re a die-hard fan of sports or just want to make some cash off your favorite team, sports betting can be fun and lucrative. However, you need to know the risks and take proper precautions when placing a bet.

The most common types of bets include a straight bet, parlays, futures, moneylines and point spreads. Each of these wagers has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to understand how each one works before placing your first bet.

Straight Bets

A straight bet is the most basic and simplest of all wagers. It’s also the most popular, and it’s what a lot of beginners start with.


A parlay is a series of multiple bets made on different games in the same sport. It’s a great way to increase your odds of winning by increasing the number of teams you bet on.


Over/unders are a popular wager that tries to determine how many points a team will score in a game. These bets are usually offered at 11 to 10 odds, which means a $10 bet will payout $21 if you win, or $110 if you lose.

Lines vary based on the sportsbook, so it’s important to check with a few different bookmakers before making your bet.


A moneyline is a bet that pays out only if the favorite wins. This type of bet is often the most popular, because it allows you to predict how the final score will end up without predicting the winner.

Unlike straight bets, these bets are more complicated, so it’s important to understand the rules and how they work before making a bet.


Prop bets are another form of sports betting that’s becoming more popular. They aren’t as profitable as a straight bet, but they do offer an edge over the books because they have more margins of error.

These margins of error can add up to big money over the long run, so it’s important to pay attention to how they’re priced.

The public likes to bet on the favorite, but there are sometimes cases when a team is getting overhyped and they’re being moved up in price. This makes it a good time to take advantage of this by betting the underdog instead.

Bankroll Management

It’s important to manage your bankroll before placing any bet. This is especially true for beginners, because it can help you keep from depleting your account with a single bad bet.

To maintain your bankroll, it’s recommended to only bet 1% to 3% of your funds on each individual bet. This means that you only risk $10 to $30 per game or outcome, which is enough for you to feel comfortable with any losses.

In addition to these guidelines, it’s always a good idea to stick to your personal rules and discipline yourself when gambling. This will make your dollars go a longer way, and it’s much more fun to watch your bankroll grow than to watch it dwindle away.