Sports betting is all about predicting what will happen during a game or event and placing a wager on the outcome. Whether you’re new to the sport or a long-time fan, there are many different ways to bet on sports and understanding how each type of wager works is important.
Point spreads, or lines, are a way for sportsbooks to handicap uneven games and favor one side over another. They do this by adding or subtracting points from the final score of a game and forcing a favorite to win by a certain number (or cover the spread) for bettors to win their bets. Oddsmakers also often include a half-point in the numbers (for example, Patriots 2.5) to avoid the possibility of a push, meaning both sides would get their money back.
Over/Under bets are a little different from point spreads because they’re focused on the total score of a game rather than who will win. By predicting if the teams will combine for more (over) or less (under) runs, touchdowns and other total points than the line set by oddsmakers, bettors can make this type of wager before a game even starts.
While most sports bettors will experience losses, the key to being profitable is to practice good bankroll management, doing research and seeking advice from winning sports bettors. It’s also important to understand that it takes time to become profitable, so it’s crucial to start small and build up a cushion before betting big.