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Online Sports Betting

It’s hard to say when and how betting first took place, probably in the cave man era, but betting is one of the few intangibles that have carried over as competition and man have evolved. Sports wagering is an outlet for the intrinsic desire of competition and risk. It helps keep the heart rate up.

We all love sports, but not everyone can shoot a basketball like Michael Jordan or swing a golf club like Tiger Woods. So for the rest of us, we do it everyday in business. We compete for raises, promotions, and invest our money in stocks. It all adds up to taking risks. Today, the stakes have evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry, and we wager with dollars and cents. Little can match the intense rush feeling when watching a game you placed a wager on with your hard earned cash.

The Basics of Online Sports Bets

The remainder of this article will help guide the novice bettor through the sports betting basics and terminology you will need to place that first bet, and start you on your path to winning.

First, you will want to decide on a sport to bet on and a sportsbook to make your wager.

In the old days, it used to be much more difficult and secretive finding a “bookie” or “bookmaker” to place your bets than it is today. Due to limited options, it often resulted in odds stacked against the bettor and a lingering apprehension when it came time for payouts because of what the “bookie” could cover. Not a good situation for all parties involved.

Now days, as sports’ betting has become a larger and more accepted practice, online sportsbetting sites have risen to the forefronts in this digital age. Online betting websites now have the security of being a large company ensuring the best benefits for the people who place bets with them, their customers. Sportsbooks will take your bets in exchange for “juice”; a straight percentage from the total amount of money wagered on bets, or is figured into the odds. Unlike the past, most sportsbooks in today’s world don’t care who you bet on because they simply take half of their bets on each side and make their commission. With the convenience of today’s technology, you have the opportunity to place bets on just about any sport you would like, from baseball to soccer to MMA (mixed martial arts).

Money Management

The next thing is to think about money/betting management. Most beginners looking to start a consistent and long-term run at sports betting often fall into this trap. They simply pick an arbitrary bet size and fire away. This strategy, or lack thereof, can often be risky unless you are an occasional bettor. But, if you are looking to get serious in sports betting and incorporating it into your weekly routine, it’s smarter to manage and budget your bankroll to help decide how much to place on each bet.

It’s natural to think you will win every bet you place, otherwise you would never place a wager in the first place, but in reality you need to set your ego aside and accept this will not happen. Research and statistics show that the best sports betting professionals in the business rarely win 60% of the time. Most these experts achieve 55% – 59% on a long term basis. However, don’t be discouraged. If you win roughly 52.5% of the time, placing the same dollar amount bet, it will be profitable. 55% – 59% is very profitable. Most experienced sports bettors are successful by applying a disciplined approach over a long period of time.

How to Bet Over/Under

So, you are armed with the knowledge of the sportsbooks, money/betting management, and winning percentage expectations. Now, once we teach you the “spread” and “over/under” options, you will be ready to place your first wager!

In order to help explain the two most common types of betting, ATS or “Against the Spread” and “Over/Under”, we will use two NFL football teams as an example. Let’s say the Minnesota Vikings are playing the Chicago Bears. You have done your research on both teams and you like the Vikings because they are having a great season with a solid win record, great in-division record, prolific passing offense, and a strong running defense. Since both teams have a very strong offense and have been putting up lots of points each game, you think the score is going to be high.

Lets say you find a football betting site you like, and find this NFL match-up. You will probably find the following:

Team: Spread/Lines: Over/Under:
Minnesota Vikings -6 (-110) 46 (-110)
Chicago Bears +6 (-110) 46 (-110)

In this scenario, the Vikings are favored by 6 points. One team will always be favored which allows odds makers to level the playing field, and making the bet attractive to both sides. If you place your wager on Minnesota, they will have to beat Chicago by more than 6 points to win your bet. If the Vikings lose to the Bears or win by less than six points, you will lose your bet. If they win by exactly 6 points it is considered “no action” and all money is returned.

The number 46 is the Over/Under total score. By betting the Over, you are putting money on the combined score of being greater than 46 points at the end of the game. If the final score is Minnesota Vikings 28 and Chicago Bears 21, the total score equals 49 points and you would have won this bet.

The numbers in parenthesis, in this case -110, simply means how much money you will win in relation to how much you wager. Basically, you will have to risk $11 for every $10 you wish to win. If you are looking to win $100, you would need to place a bet of $110.

Now here you are. You placed your bets on the Vikings in hopes of winning $100 from the Spread and Over/Under, so you placed two $110 bets. The Vikings scored a touchdown on the final drive with only seconds remaining, and ended up winning the game 28-21. The Vikings won by 7 points and the total score equaled 49 points. This is great news for you! In this scenario, you covered both the 6 point and 46 point spreads. You are a Winner! You risked a total of $220 to win $200, which in this case you successfully achieved your goals. Not to shabby for your first bet!