Sports Betting 101

Sports betting is the act of putting money behind an outcome you wish to win. It can be a fun way to watch games, but there is a learning curve involved when it comes to understanding all the different bet types.

In the US, sports betting started to grow in popularity in the 19th century and continued to rise until the 1919 World Series game-fixing scandal shook public confidence. After that, a wave of lawsuits and congressional legislation dampened the industry. In 1992 Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which restricted sportsbooks to Nevada and three other states. This ban would remain in place until 2018, when it was finally overturned by the Supreme Court.

One of the biggest challenges when starting to bet on sports is making sure you’re clear-headed and that you separate your fandom from your bets. Too many people bet on teams they love to win and this often leads to them losing. You can avoid this by doing your homework, not only learning about both teams, but injuries and other factors that could affect a game.

It’s also a good idea to have a plan as you start placing bets. This should include a budget and the initial amount you’d like to risk throughout the season. Additionally, be sure to track your bets using a spreadsheet or betting software. This will help you keep an eye on your profit and loss margins, which are a big part of any winning wager.