Sports Betting 101

With sports betting now legal in more states than ever, the wagers are growing more diversified and include bets that have nothing to do with the game itself. This is a major threat to the integrity of college-age athletes and the integrity of the sport, Lopez said. In addition to moneylines and spreads, sports bettors can place Over/Under bets on the total number of points scored in a game and combine multiple bets into parlays.

Odds specify the implied probability of an outcome, and they can be displayed as American (decimal) or British (fractional). Understanding how odds work is key to understanding sports betting. In addition, the plus and minus signs indicate whether a team/player is considered the favorite or underdog. The size of the odds, which can be expressed as a fraction of 100, determines how much a bettor stands to win.

One of the most popular bets is on the Over/Under, or Over-total, of a game. The Over/Under line is an estimate of the total combined points scored in a game, and it can be made by placing a single bet on either side.

In order to be a profitable sports bettor, it is important to understand the profitability of teams on both the moneyline and against the spread, as well as when betting totals (over/under). One way to do this is by using Sharp, an online tool that evaluates a team’s historical profitability on the moneyline, against the spread, and on Over/Under bets. By comparing teams’ profitability, Sharp helps bettors find the best teams to back.

Posted in: Gambling