With sports betting becoming a huge part of mainstream sports culture (over $13 billion was bet legally last year), millions of sports fans are ready to try their hand at placing a wager. But before you place your first bet, you need to understand the fundamentals of the game.
There are many different ways to bet on a sporting event, including money lines and spreads. There are also more specific bets, such as over and under bets, which are based on how many points are scored in the game. It’s important to learn the different types of bets and how they work, as well as understanding the odds that are available for each.
One of the most common sports betting terms is “favorite,” which refers to the team or outcome that has a higher probability of winning. The other side of the bet, the underdog, has a lower chance of winning and therefore has a smaller return on the bet. The oddsmakers take into account a number of factors when making their decision, such as past matchups, home-field advantage and injuries.
However, a smart sports bettor knows not to bet with their heart and instead with their brain. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of the media noise machine and bet on a team just because they are popular, but this is playing right into the sportsbooks’ hands. A wise bettors researches everything, from weather forecasts to staying up-to-date on injuries.