Millions of sports fans around the world think to themselves “betting on sports must be easy,” but there is no such thing as a sure-fire way to make money betting on sports. In fact, even professional handicappers with high hit rates only get less than 50% of their picks correct and every bettor goes through hot streaks and cold spells. However, by taking some time to learn the rules of the game and focusing on making smart bets, it is possible to turn a profit over the long haul.
Sports betting is simply predicting what will happen during a sporting event and risking money on the outcome. Oddsmakers set these odds based on the probability of an occurrence, which allows bettors to place bets on either side of a game. The higher the probability, the lower the risk, and therefore, the smaller the payout.
The vast majority of bettors are fans to begin with and just want to put a little extra cash on the line while watching their favorite team play. Some bettors take their knowledge of a sport and of individual players to the next level, however, by handicapping a game and picking out winning bets. This is known as sports betting and it’s a huge industry.
There are many different types of bets in sports betting, but the most common are straight bets and spread bets. Straight bets are wagers on the winner of a game or an individual player and are usually the easiest to win, with the lowest odds. Spread bets, on the other hand, are a bit more complicated. They involve a number of calculations and require some math, but they’re usually easier to win than straight bets.
In addition to straight and spread bets, there are also futures bets. These are bets on an upcoming event or future performance, such as a team to win the Super Bowl in 2022 or a golfer to win the Masters tournament in 2022. These bets typically come with a much longer horizon, and they tend to offer better odds than a straight or spread bet, but the payout won’t be realized until the event has taken place.
Regardless of what type of bet you place, there are a few key things to remember. First and foremost, it’s important to always track your bets (a standard spreadsheet works fine) so that you can see your net profits over the long haul. Secondly, it’s important to only bet on sports that you understand and follow closely, and to never bet more money than you can afford to lose. If you do these things, it’s possible to make a consistent profit and, over the long run, even turn a profit with some of the largest bets in history. Good luck!