With legal sports betting now available in many states, millions of fans are eager to try their luck. But there are a number of things that you need to know before you place your first bet. These 12 sports betting tips will help you make the most of your time and money, no matter what sport or team you are bettin on.
1. Know Your Odds
In most sports, the odds are posted on the left side of the screen. The minus (-) sign is used to denote a favorite and the plus (+) sign is used for an underdog. It is important to understand the difference between these numbers, as it can make or break your bet. For example, a team with a negative number is expected to win the game by more than the total points. The underdog, on the other hand, is expected to lose by less than the total point. If a team wins by more than the total points, it covers the spread and turns a profit for those who bet on it.
2. Do Adequate Research
The more you know about the sport or team on which you are laying a bet, the better your chances of winning. This includes researching weather forecasts, injury reports, and even player performance against other teams. It is also important to stay current with all the news relating to the sport, including any potential scandals that may impact the integrity of the event.
3. Don’t Chase Your Bets
The worst thing you can do when betting on sports is to get emotionally involved in the outcome of a bet. This can lead to bad decisions that ultimately result in losing your money. If you are a huge fan of a certain team or athlete, it is okay to bet on them if you can remove yourself from their influence and select the most likely outcome based on actual facts. Otherwise, you should stick to the teams and events you are most familiar with.
4. Use Value Betting
Using a mathematically proven profitable strategy is the best way to make money in sports betting. This includes the use of value betting, which involves placing bets on teams with a higher chance of winning than the odds suggest. It is also a good idea to look for sports with low vig, which is the amount that the bookmaker charges to cover their operating costs.
5. Avoid Pushes
A push in a sports bet is when the final adjusted score of a game is exactly the same as the proposed total. This is a common occurrence and most sportsbooks will refund bets on pushes, though some will count them as losses.
6. Understand Sports Betting Scandals
There have been a number of major sports betting scandals in the past, ranging from point shaving and other methods of manipulating a game’s results to outright match-fixing. These scandals have affected the credibility of sporting events and led to calls for sports betting to be made illegal or at least regulated.