Sports betting is the act of putting money behind an outcome of a sporting event and getting paid if you win. It’s an extremely popular form of gambling and can be very profitable, although winning every bet is impossible (and a sure way to go broke). The key is variance, and learning how to control it.
Moneyline bets are simple wagers that pay out if you predict the winning team of a particular game. Spread bets offer a more complex experience. These bets involve handicapping one team over another by assigning a point total to each team that reflects the likelihood of them winning. Then, you place your bet based on whether you think the underdog will take more points than the favorite or vice versa.
Totals bets, also known as over/under bets, involve predicting the total number of runs, goals, or points scored in a given game. If you believe that the two teams playing will combine for more points than the total amount posted by oddsmakers, then you’d bet the over; if you expect a defensive slugfest, you would bet the under.
Futures bets are a type of wager that will pay out only if the particular sport’s tournament is won by the team or player you placed the bet on. While these bets don’t pay out until the season is over, they generally have much higher odds than straight bets, and can provide a substantial payout.