Online sports betting is one of the most popular pastimes today. You will notice that more jurisdictions are warming up to the idea of hosting betting websites, and they, in turn, are providing sports fans with some outstanding options to bet on sports, get the best odds, pick a worthwhile bonus, and explore thousands of markets.
Betting is essentially becoming more accessible, and as such, you can enjoy many viable sportsbooks just waiting to accept your bets. You are the one who chooses where to register an account, though, although admittedly – having a few accounts will allow you to "shop around" for the best odds.
Nowadays, sportsbooks are constantly competing against each other, and as such, there are some small advantages you can gain by simply cross-referencing odds from one website to the next. Online betting makes this process very simple, as you no longer have to physically travel to a location to place a bet.
Instead, you can open a website, whether on your desktop computer or mobile device, and just look up the best odds for any given selection. Of course, online betting does have a few specific conditions that you ought to be aware of.
There are various bet types for one, and you will often see bonuses offered. If you have already glanced through some sportsbooks, you may have noticed that the formats of the odds are also different from one to the next.
Usually, this change is geographical, but we will gladly help you find out all there is about sports betting and how you can make it work best for you. There is a lot of ground to cover, but you will be much savvier about sports gambling in general by the end of it.
What types of bets are there?
Online sports betting means that you can move around and choose from dozens of odds coefficients and even wagering markets and bet types. Before we jump to the odds, though, it may benefit you to know a little more about the types of bets. There are usually two ways to look at them, such as sports specific and general bets that will be most likely available in every sport.
So, let's take it from the top. There are many possible types of bets out there. The main ones you should probably start with are:
- Win – The simplest is a Win bet, a bet you place on the winner of a game, match, or race. Of course, you are only trying to predict the winner, not bet after the fact. The Win bet may have other names as well. For example, in some parts of the world, it's called a Moneyline.
- Totals (Over/Under) – Then you have a Totals or Under/Over bet. In this type of situation, you are betting not so much on who wins but how many points the teams will score together and whether this amount will be under or over a certain level.
- Point spread – Next, you have the Point spread. That is an interesting type of bet, and it's very popular as well. The way it works is rather simple. You bet on a sort of a handicap whereby one team will get the points in the Point spread added to their final score, and the other team would get those points detracted. So, if you bet on the Portland Trailblazers winning +7.5 versus the Golden State Warriors, you are betting that the Trailblazers will be within 7.5 points of the Golden State Warriors. So, if the end score is 113-120 in favor of the Warriors, you still win your bet because 113+7.5 = 120.5.
Other bets to consider
Naturally, that is not the only type of bet you may place. Many other options exist, and they cover a variety of sports. For example, you have your accumulators, propositions, and in-play.
Accumulators are placed on multiple selections, usually at least two, but most often three or more. The logic here is that while your odds to win get slimmer as you add more selections, your potential payout increases exponentially.
Propositions are a unique market where each sportsbook or bookmaker will choose how to condition the selection. You may be asked to guess how many yards a quarterback in the NFL is going to clock in or how many points an English Premier League player will score in a game.
That brings us to the third type of market, the so-called in-play or live wagering. These markets are some of the most fun, but they also require a lot of skill, attention to detail, and knowledge of the game or sport you are watching.
In-play odds change rapidly in real-time with little room for error, which is exciting and precisely what sports fans worldwide want to see. There are more wager types to explore, including Place. A Place means that you are betting on your horse to finish no worse than second in a horse race.
Similarly, there is the Each Way bet where you argue that your horse will either win the race or finish no worse than second. With a Single bet, you bet on one individual outcome of the event, and if you want to kick things up a notch, you can use the Multipliers, whether they are Double, Treble or more. These types of bets ask you to make multiple selections and wager on them, and get a chance to win much bigger rewards.
The odds in online sports betting
There are generally three types of odds to consider – decimal, fractional, and Moneyline. But why are odds expressed differently? That is a great question. It has to do with what people around the world are used to.
- For example, the most common format for the United Kingdom is the fractional odds, expressed as a fraction, such as 4/5, 1/3, and so on. Reading the odds is easy enough, even if it's a bit different.
- Then you have decimal odds. They simply tell you how much you stand to win (factoring in your stake) per each unit you bet. So, if you did bet one unit, and the odds say 1.55, this means that you will win 0.55 units on top of the one unit you have a bet. This type of odds is very popular in Europe.
- Not least, you have the Moneyline, which expresses the odds as -120 or +120. Essentially, this is the value you get per 100 units. The minus tells you that you need to bet as much to win 100 units, and the plus tells you that you stand to bet the amount that follows if you bet 100 units.
All three types of odds are interchangeable, and you will notice that every bookmaker makes a point of providing you with a drop-down menu which you can then use to select and pick your preferred format. It's simple enough, and it takes no time at all.
What odds you end up sticking with will be a matter of what odds you understand the easiest. Most people say that decimals make sense, but others prefer to stick with fractions.
Moneylines are the norm in the United States, and people tend to do very well reading them.
Besides, you can always count on the Bet Slip on each website to quickly calculate the potential gain for you, so it's really easy to keep track.
There are many betting bonuses out there, and they are all designed with a simple purpose in mind – helping sports fans get ahead in the game. To leverage these bonuses with success and use them smartly, you will need to know what they have to offer and how you can make the most out of that.
The simplest bonus to claim is the so-called sign-up offer. It's usually available at every sportsbook and can range from 100 to 1000 or more units. Each bookie will offer you a different match rate, but that is usually 100% or 250%, which is calculated off a small deposit, anything from 5 units to 20 units to qualify for this type of bonus.
Such bonuses, and most betting promotions for that matter, come with special terms and conditions known as "wagering requirements." The idea here is that no matter how much you claim of the bonus money, you will still have to wager that bonus at least one time (1x wagering requirement).
It's possible for some promotions to expect you to wager even more, but that is down to the bookie to decide in most cases. The sign-up offers are not the only ones you can get. In fact, many sportsbooks offer other options, such as risk-free wagers.
In this scenario, you will place a wager of up to 50 units, for example. If you lose your wager, the sportsbook will restore it automatically and give you another chance to bet. This type of promo is actually very popular, and you will definitely have nothing to worry about.
Another popular option that will add a lot of value to your gameplay is the cashback offer, where you will always get some money back on your losing bets. Yes, losing is not an attractive prospect, but you will have a bad beat on occasion, so why not make the most of it with a cashback offer?
- Arbitrage betting – is an interesting phenomenon in sports wagering, which postulates a curious situation where, because of differences in bookmakers' opinions, you may bet on two different outcomes and still end up winning, regardless of what you have placed as a wager. The practice is very popular with the so-called "odds hunters," who will always try to find the most favorable conditions to place a bet on. Finding arbitrage betting opportunities boils down to cultivating the right habits and mindset from the very start. In other words, you want to find great bookies you can trust and then reference the odds constantly. If you are betting on match winners, you should always cross-reference the odds with at least two operators; otherwise, you are possibly missing out on arbitrage situations.
Is arbitrage so important? Some may argue that this is not the case, but the truth is that if you want to make your sports wagers work for you, you will have to factor in every little step. Taking a quick look at a competitor's odds is not as if you had to expend significant effort, and it can have an immediate net gain to your efforts. Stick with the best bookies, and sooner or later, you will get your shot at arbitrage.
Football Betting ⚽
Football is without a doubt the world's most popular sport, and as such, you will find yourself excited to know that there are plenty of opportunities for you to place a well-thought-out wager. The world is full of great competitions that create many opportunities for competitive markets, which will help you leverage your knowledge of the sport.
The seasons usually run from the fall through early in the summer, and you will have numerous options to try, including but not limited to the English Premier League, Bundesliga, Ligue A, Serie A, LaLiga, and more.
UEFA Champions League is a perpetual source of betting action, and so are many other events. Euro and Copa are two other high-profile competitions to consider, and then you have the World Cup, which is yet another outstanding opportunity for you to check out what wagers are available.
You can bet on outright winners, place a future, or wait for a game to start so that you can place an in-play bet instead and make the most out of the experience. There are even more leagues to bet on as many of the main powerhouses in the world also have Second Division Leagues, which are still very competitive and could prove a great opportunity for you to place a bet.
The world is full of localized competitions in Europe, Latin America, Asia, Africa, and North America, and if you are truly looking for a lot of betting action, you will definitely find worthwhile options in football.
Horse betting 🐴
While not technically a sport, horse betting is very popular, and there is no denying that. You will find it to be an activity that has spawned a strong betting interest from the world over. There are numerous competitions you can be wagering on, and they include events on multiple continents.
There is the Grand National in the United Kingdom and the Melbourne Cup in Australia. However, the horse racing calendar would never be full without the Triple Crown events held in the United States, which are arguably some of the most important events to attend or bet on.
Besides that, there are well-developed localized tracks that run races almost every day, and you have a lot of wagering options. However, you ought to understand that placing a wager on the ponies is a little different than most traditional sports.
For one, the language and nomenclature change completely. You have bets as trifecta, exacta, and other specific terms. The odds are calculated slightly differently, and overall, there is a lot you need to learn to make sure that you fully comprehend the market.
Otherwise, the horse racing market is busy and active pretty much all year round. One important thing to keep in mind is that you won't find every sportsbook offering horse betting because that is usually put in a separate skin of the operator known as a "racebook."
So, is horse betting a worthwhile market? It most certainly is. However, the small drawback here is that it requires a lot of specialized knowledge. If you do love betting on the ponies, though, there are many opportunities for you to do just that today.
Cricket betting 🏏
Cricket may appear a bit like a niche sport, but Oceania, India, and Pakistan are huge fans, and understandably, they have a bit of a monopoly on the most significant events in this sport. In other words, you will find many reasons to want to follow the competitive cricket scene in these regions as it would quickly provide you with the necessary information to understand better what betting markets work and what may be best left out.
Cricket is definitely a specialized sport, too, so you will need to cultivate your knowledge of the game and the competitive scene over the years with unflagging precision and dedication. Cricket markets are usually available from the early spring through the fall, and they provide you with extensive wagering coverage and opportunities.
There are hundreds of possible markets ranging from match winners to tournament champions to proposition bets and even in-play selections. Cricket also invites some unique bets that are popular among bettors. For those of you looking forward to the most significant events, there are quite a few to pick from, including the ICC Cricket World Cup, ICC Champions Trophy, T20 World Cup, Ashes Series, and so many others.
Sports like cricket have some specialized and popular wagers. While you still have over/under, you get many exclusive ones such as the method of dismissal, most run-outs, toss combination, odd/even runs, and others.
UFC Betting 🥊
The UFC is arguably the most popular mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion and deservedly so. The organization is one of the most significant parties in the fighting scene, and it has created a sustainable competition that fighters from all over the world are willing to partake in. Not only that, but the betting markets associated with the UFC are some of the busiest wagering options you will find today.
The UFC hosts its events in the so-called "Fight Night" format whereby the organization assigns the Main Card and an Undercard, splitting the fights between established fighters and those up-and-coming ones who want to make it to the very top. There are numerous options to wager on associated with these events.
To know whom to back, you will have to look at what fighters are popular and why. Some have posted a speckles track record and are bound to win every fight they go up against, but others are only getting started, and their track record, while seemingly perfect, may not have stood the test of time.
The good news is you have dozens of viable options when it comes to placing a bet on mixed martial arts, whether you bet on futures, outright winners, or a fight going the distance, or some preposition bet. UFC events run pretty much all over the year, and they are determined by the promotion, which is looking for the best slots to fill with promising fighters and add entertainment value to fans and bettors alike.
Every sportsbook in the world supports UFC markets because of how popular the sport has become and how much betting handle it has been generating successfully over the years. Popular options here include Method of Defeat, that is KO, TKO, UD, and Round of Victory.
Election Betting Odds
Election betting is not supported by every bookmaker, but the most significant international players would never miss the opportunity to run such lines. Election wagering is a long-term form of wagering, and it's one that depends on many factors. Some of the most heated presidential debates have been between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump and then Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
While political betting has always had a part to play, nothing has quite pushed the total betting handle as much as the participation of Donald Trump in politics. Bookies from all over the world have been running all sorts of markets to make sure that they get in on the handle.
If you are keen on betting on the election, though, you will find out that there are many viable opportunities to do just that. Bettors who follow politics can definitely explore these markets as a viable opportunity to place a bet. But what markets are there really?
Outside of the US Presidential Election, there are a few other events that draw the same attention. However, more controversial regimes, such as North Korea and even Russia, often spur a bit of excitement at the bookies. Is Vladimir Putin going to step down as president of the Russian Federation? Is the Chinese Communist Party going to elect a new President?
Of course, these are more of proposition bets, and the most popular election betting odds have to do with presidential runs in Europe, North and South America. However, bookies will make sure to cover every important electoral run!
NFL betting lines 🏈
The National Football League (NFL) is the biggest sports competition in the United States. It runs from the fall through February, when the Super Bowl takes place. Super Bowl is the single event that arguably generates the biggest sports betting handle, and while you may be thinking that only people from the United States bet on the Big Game, it turns out that the event is pretty popular all over the world.
Sportsbooks from all over the world try to cover the entire NFL season in detail, providing you with a full variety of markets, from Moneyline to spreads to over/under, and many propositions. In fact, the Super Bowl has one of the busiest proposition markets where you can pick from virtually anything.
You can bet on how many yards a quarterback is going to run, but you can also bet on what the outfit of the Super Bowl singers will be. The Super Bowl is more of a festival celebrating the entire NFL season with a lot of things to do outside of watching the game, and as such, bookies make sure to come prepared, bringing a wholesome variety of things to do, see and try.
Regardless, the NFL season is quite busy offering you some 10-16 games a week to bet on and giving you plenty of markets to do just that. Once the regular season is over, the playoffs begin, with half of the teams falling off the competition. The Conference Championships decide which teams will make it all the way to the grand finale.
All of these games, from September through January, are covered by bookmakers who issue competitive markets and allow you to discover the best odds to place on the NFL. You will have plenty of such options to choose from as well.
NBA betting lines 🏀
So far as basketball goes, the NBA is the crowning championship that is watched by fans from all over the world. Players are tuning in to watch the entire season and playoffs, which are distributed globally by numerous telecommunications companies and broadcasters who are keen on getting the action direct to fans. The NBA has cultivated a strong interest from viewership which is growing on all continents, with people interested in following both the Eastern and Western Conferences and rooting for teams that they may not be associated with in any way.
The popularity of the National Basketball Association has allowed it to quickly progress as one of the most significant sports wagering events, too. The games played in a single week allow people enough action to follow and enjoy, whether they are casual or hardcore bettors. NBA's season runs from the fall through late spring, covering a broad time window that makes it possible for many sports fans to place a wager. As you can expect, the markets are quite busy but also very accessible.
You will have immediate access to a variety of viable betting opportunities such as Moneyline, Totals, Spreads, and in-play betting options if you are inclined to place a wager in real-time and see if you can extra maximum value. The conferences and playoffs are filled with interesting rivalries, with players giving their best to perform better and bring their team one step closer to victory. Debacles are not very common in the NBA, and unlike the NFL, where the final game is usually a bit one-sided, the five or 7-series finals in the NBA will have you in suspense and have two evenly-matched teams vying for the title.
In betting terms, there is a lot of value to get out of the competition. Whether you are betting on regular games or on the final series, you will always find yourself in a good position to find a value betting market and place your wagers on it.
Esports betting 🎮
Esports is a very popular activity, and it's gaining even more popularity in betting markets today. As a result, you can expect to find many traditional sportsbooks to also provide selections for popular video games played in a competitive format.
The idea of video games played in tournaments may sound a little bizarre to a traditional sports bettor, but there are many games today that require a lot of skill and commitment to be played well. As a result, there are busy betting markets built around these games, including:
- Call of Duty
- Dota 2
- League of Legends
These are just a few of the games you can place a bet on. There are more, such as Rocket League, Valorant, Overwatch, and more. These games are well-developed markets that have numerous high-profile events where the prize pools range from just $500,000 to $40 million for a single event.
As such, the viewership and player interest are high, and sportsbooks make sure to cover these betting markets. CS:GO betting sites focus on providing players with a constant stream of new betting markets and options to try their hand at.
Most of these esports markets follow the same logic as traditional sports, but the things that change here have to do with what you are betting on. Put another way, and you will need to familiarize yourself with how this segment works to fully comprehend what markets are viable.
If you are new to esports betting as a whole, you can focus on Win bets, as they seem to be the simplest. You would benefit from following some of the most bet on games as the information about those would be more readily available. Sports fans and esports fans share many of the same qualities as well.
College Football Betting Lines 🏉
College football betting is quite a bit. In fact, it's so big that in many places in North America, these markets are now completely legal to help jurisdictions retain some of the revenue that is otherwise going to competitors' for the lack of betting options closer to home.
One of the places where college football truly shines is the United States, where the sport is so popular that it's played professionally, even on a school level. Many universities field their teams and try to win the College Bowls, special events that attract a fair bit of interest from fans and a strong betting handle.
Played in a regular season as well as playoffs and a final showdown, the college betting action attracts action from all over the world. However, before you can place your first bets on any college game, you will need to be familiar with the stronger conferences.
College football is split into conferences and divisions in North America and the USA in particular. Historically, Big 12, Atlantic Coastal, and Pac-12 seem to be the strongest ones. Of course, you can also explore college football around the world and bet on it, but nothing quite rivals the games that take place in the above conferences.
Familiarity with each school and their football experience will help guide your bets and make the right calls. Some games you will want not to bet on, but others will be a must-bet.
Overall, college football betting is very dynamic because schools replenish their talent pool annually, and this means many people try to make it into professional football.
Most bettors will usually have heard about the promising prospects by the new season, but there are some silent prospects to watch out for as well.
Betting Odds Calculator
If you want to quickly calculate your odds of winning a certain selection, you can use a betting calculator that will do this for you. In other words, you can use any preferred odds format and enter all the metrics that will result in an immediate display of the potential value you stand to benefit from.
In essence, an odds calculator serves as a Bet Slip that you will find on most sportsbooks and bookmakers' websites. A betting calculator can quickly help you find your bearings in a competitive gambling market and see what value you can extract from each wager.
⓵ How do betting odds work?
Betting odds are based on probabilities of events occurring. Essentially, the sports betting business is trying to guess what the chances of an event happening are, and thus the odds are adjusted. The smaller the odds, the more chance of an event occurring there is. The greater the odds, the least likely an event is.
⓶ How to read betting odds?
Reading betting odds is easy. First, you need to select your preferred format. Then, simply refer to a guide that will assist you with deciphering the meaning of the odds.
⓷ How does sports betting work?
Sports betting works in a very simple way. You place a bet on a particular market, which calculates the chances of a certain event occurring. If you have guessed correctly, you will receive a payout based on the probability of this event occurring, and if not – the betting operator will collect the money. There is always a small fee charged known as the "vigorish."
⓸ What does spread mean in betting?
The spread is the value you are betting on that is added after the final score to settle a market. If your team loses 5-7, but you have a spread of 2.5+, you have covered the spread because your team gets 5+2.5, whereas the opposing team most likely gets 5-2.5. This is only applied to resolve the betting market and never to the real-world score of any game.
⓹ What does PK mean in betting?
Pick them is another form of point spread betting in European football. It's popular with many operators around the world.
⓺ What does the + and - mean in sports betting?
The plus and minus are used in Moneyline betting, and they indicate the favorite and underdog. The minus stands for the favorite, and the plus stands for the underdog. They also display how much you need to bet to win 100 units and show how much you can win if you bet 100 units.
⓻ How to win money betting on football?
Winning money off wagers on football takes time, skill, and research. Every football season is different, so you have to spend time studying what options are available to you and how you can use them to your advantage.
⓼ What is line betting?
Line betting is another popular term used to denote point spreads. Essentially, you are trying to cover the spread here, which is one of the community's collective wisdom. Good teams win, a popular adage goes, but great teams cover the spread, and that is precisely what you should be aiming at.
⓽ Where is sports betting legal?
In many jurisdictions around the world. You will find legal markets in the United Kingdom, Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Australia. Laws are usually country and even state-specific, so it's always good to do a little more due diligence.
⓾ What is virtual football betting?
That is a type of gambling contest that is not placed on real-world events but rather on computer simulations. The simulators produce completely fair and independent outcomes, but not every sports fan enjoys gambling on such events.
What is over/under betting?
A popular market over/understands whether a game's total score will exceed or fall short of a specific number. It's another popular market that you may be interested in exploring when participating in such contests. It's worth checking out the statistics and previous stats of the teams or players you are placing a bet on in an over/under scenario.
Can you get rich from sports betting?
Theoretically yes. Many people claim that they have got rich from placing various sports wagers. Now, while these are true stories that did happen, it's important to understand that there is no way to predict an event's outcome with certainty. Another thing to consider is that you would need to make very few mistakes to ensure that you continue to add to and not detract from your bankroll. In other words, the opportunity exists, but it's not advised as a way of becoming rich.
Why do most sports bettors lose?
Sports bettors "mostly lose" because they treat sports betting as a hobby rather than a career. There is no shame in losing a bet as many people choose to back their teams symbolically, and that is perfectly fine. The bulk of sports bettors are "squares," meaning they are there for the ride but don't necessarily want to win every bet.
Is sports betting luck or skill?
It's no doubt a bit of both. You need to be very well familiar with everything that is happening in sports to place wagers well enough. Luck will always play a part because some events just happen out of the blue.
- The New York Times
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- The Guardian