Sports Betting Basics

Sports betting involves placing wagers on the outcome of a sporting event. It’s an activity that’s fun and can be profitable, but it requires a certain amount of research and skill. It’s a risky activity, so you should always be sure to set aside a reasonable amount of money that you’re willing to lose on a regular basis.

The Handle: The handle is the total amount of money a sportsbook accepts for a specific game or event. This number varies depending on the type of bet you’re making. The higher the handle, the more popular the game or event is.

Handles can change during the course of a game, so you should be sure to check the handle before placing your bets. This will help you avoid losses and maximize your winnings.

In-Play Betting: Live betting is another great option for the sports bettor who likes to place bets in real time during a game or event. This is an exciting way to place a bet while the game is still in progress, and it allows you to cash out earlier and mitigate your potential losses or take advantage of pull-aheads before the market settles.

The Over/Under: A wager on the Over or Under is a simple prediction about how many total points, runs or goals two teams will combine for in a game. These lines are set by the sportsbook, and they can be a good place to find value when you’re trying to place a bet on a game that has a low total.

Moneylines: This is one of the most common types of bets in sports betting. A moneyline is a bet on a team’s odds, which are marked with either a positive or negative sign. These signs tell you whether the team is a favorite or an underdog, and how much you stand to win on a correct bet.

Point Spread: A spread is a margin of points that a favored team must win by to “cover.” This is a common type of bet, and it’s available at 11 to 10 odds. A bet on a team to cover a spread is a safer bet than betting on the underdog, and it can pay out more.

Parlays: A parlay is a series of multiple bets on the same team or games. This can be a great way to increase your profit, but it’s important to understand that you’ll need to bet a substantial amount of money for this type of bet to be successful.

Bankroll: Once you’ve decided on how much you want to bet on a sport, it’s important to decide on a bankroll. This is a size of money you’re willing to lose on a consistent basis, so it should be enough for you to have fun and make a decent profit if you’re betting correctly.

Managing Your Bankroll: The best bettors are disciplined and always manage their bankrolls. They’re also careful to not make any bets they can’t afford to lose and they know when to stop.