There’s a lot to know about sports betting. As more and more states legalize sports gambling, the market is opening up to new audiences all the time. For those interested in betting on sports, now is a great time to learn! Most major sports are still shut down, but we do know when some leagues such as the NBA are coming back and that’s really exciting. While some are able to make betting into a science, for us Regular Joes there are some basics to know and a lot you learn through trial and error. If you aren’t looking to make a living off of sports betting, and just want to know how to make sports bets period, this is for you.
First things first, you might be wondering what the minus and plus signs in front of all of these different numbers are. You might be looking at a matchup and the Lakers are listed at -250 odds. What does this mean? Well it’s telling you a couple of things right off the bat. It’s telling you that in order to make $100 off of your bet, which is the standard measure, that you will have to put down $250 on the Lakers. If there’s a plus sign in front of the odds, say the Lakers are playing the Celtics and the Celtics are listed as having +125 odds, then that tells you some more things about this matchup. It lets you know the Lakers are the favorite, they have the best odds to win in this case, and it tells you that if you bet $100 on the Celtics and won the bet you would make $125.
While there are professionals out there with all their tips and tricks and little tidbits of anecdotes here and there, betting is a largely luck-based endeavor. When LeBron and the Lakers go out on the court against the Hornets, you have a pretty good idea who is going to win but have no control over the game itself. One of the best things you can do as a beginner and as a bettor overall is to keep bets consistent. If you have a budget to spend $200 on a weekend of games, don’t put $150 on one game hoping that it will allow you to hit it big. Maybe find four or five games to bet on at consistent amounts that way you aren’t going to go bankrupt on one bad break, it DOES happen. Or spend your money however you want, you’re an adult.
The most important thing to learn as a beginner is that sports betting is a harsh and unforgiving mistress, one must have respect for it and respect themselves. Always know when enough is enough No one wants to be the old guy at the horse track wearing a 1996 Santa Anita Derby hat and making dollar bets so please, be responsible.