How to Bet on Sports and Choose a Sportsbook
Online sports betting can be a challenging hobby, but when you plan it well, it can be quite rewarding too. Sports betting has existed for hundreds of years. People have placed bets on their favorite teams on major sporting events as far back as the history annuls take us. Even though betting has come a long way, the basic concept has always been the same. You place your money on the team you think will win and if your prediction and strategy are correct, you will win rewards in accordance with the odds on the outcome. If you are just starting with sports betting or looking forward to knowing what it is all about, then this guide will provide you with all the information related to the topic to help your get started quickly.
Learn more about how to place bets, what betting options are available to you, what strategies can be adopted, and about various other components involved in the pastime. Our article aims to not only introduce you to sports betting, and but equip you with the skills to succeed each time you decide to play.
If you want to get started in backing your favorite teams and betting on your favorite events, then we recommend that you head to our list of online bookmakers, but not before reading through the professional online betting tips guide below. Use the information we provide below to hone your skills in score prediction.
How to Bet on Sports
Do you know why more and more people are getting involved with sports betting every day? Well, the important reason is it is super easy to get started with sports betting as you can get by on the basics mixed with some online betting tips.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try and learn more about the intricacies involved as your hard-earned money is at stake and the more information you have in your arsenal, the chances of you winning increase. So, be sure to study the golf betting odds, if you are a golf fan or concentrate on the best football tips today and the ultimate football match predictions if you want the best chance of success betting on this sport type.
But before that, you need to understand the basics first if you are thinking seriously about getting involved with betting and making some money in the longer run.
If you are not sure how to place a sports bet, just follow these steps:
- To start betting find a good bookmaker site (scroll below to see our recommended list of online bookmakers)
- Select your preferred sport and event
- Choose an outcome of the event
- Study the odds and different betting options
- Make the bet
Reading reviews on betting sites is also a great idea, as this will give you insight into which operators specialize in which sports. If you are an avid cricket fan, for instance, you will want to pick a leading cricket betting site to join with.
Fixed Odds Betting is Most Popular
Fixed-odds betting is one of the oldest and traditional forms of sports betting where you place your bets on the team that you think will win. And by term fixed-odds literally means that you agree to the odds at the time of placing your bet. This can be for racing odds, tennis odds, soccer odds, and just about every other sport, too. And in case the wager/bet wins, the payout will be made as per the agreed odds.
Components Involved in Sports Betting
So let’s continue with the actual mechanics involved and when it comes to online sports betting, there are 5 major components involved namely Parties to the Wager, Selection, Stake, Odds, and Payout:
1. Parties to Wager
A bet always involves two parties, and both take an opposite stand from his counterpart. Normally in childhood days whilst watching a football game with your fiend, you’ll make a bet that one team will win whilst your friend may differ and chooses the other team. So both you and your friend become parties to the wager. But in online sports betting, it is between you and the bookmaker. So as a bettor, you can place the wager on your favorite team and the bookmaker will take the wager.
2. Betting Wager Selection
Selection is simply on what you are placing your wager on. So lets go back to the previous example of bet between you and friend, if you think that the NY Yankees will win the game, then the selection here is “NY Yankees will Win”
And remember that the selection doesn’t always need to be on the outcome of the match or a team, online sports betting involves a lot more than that, which we’ll be discussing later in the article. For now, you just need to understand what selection is all about.
3. Sports Betting Stake
The word ‘stake’ refers the amount of money you place on the bet. This amount should be paid to the bookmaker whilst placing your bet and it is the bookmaker’s job to transfer the money collected from the losers to the winners. Most of the time, there is a minimum stake involved as you cannot bet an amount lower than the minimum stake. Some bookmakers also have a maximum stake in play, where it limits the maximum amount you can bet.
4. Sports Betting Odds
The odds refer to ratio between the amounts staked by parties on a bet. So if you see an odd of 5 to 1, it literally means for every $1 you bet, you get the chance to win $5 in the event your selection is right. 5 to 1 is also the same as 5/1. And generally, bookmakers specify odds in 3 formats decimal, fractional, and moneyline. Here are some examples:
- American Odds – Moneyline (e.g. +200)
- Fractional – UK Odds (e.g. 2/1)
- Decimal – European Odds (e.g. 3.00)
5. Sports Betting Payout
It is the total amount the bookmaker needs to pay in case your selection is correct. The payout will include our stake plus winnings. So if a moneyline odds released by a bookmaker is +125 for NY Yankees, then if we place $100 as out bet and if NY Yankees win, our payout will be $100+$125 = $225. That is the $100 we placed on the bet along with the $125-win amount. So you go home happily taking a total payout of $225 just by placing $100.
Different Types of Wagers
When it comes to online sports betting, there are many types of wagers available. The type of sport you are backing will have a lot of say about which markets you can back. Here are 4 of the most popular wagering markets found on our list of online bookmaker’s sites.
1. Win Bet / Moneyline Wager
One of the simplest forms of online sports betting is the Win Bet or the money line wager as all you need to do is pick the team that will win the match and place your bets on that team. It is one of the most popular wagers because it is so easy to understand and is also one the traditional way of betting for several years now.
Let’s take an example of a soccer match and the odds provided for the match played between team A & B is provided as follows:
- Team A – 2.20
- Team B – 3.00
- Draw – 3.10
Now if you place a bet of $100 on Team A, you stand a chance to win $220 or gain $300 if you choose Team B or in case if you predicted the game would end in draw, then you will stand to win $300.
2. Point Spreads
Point spread wagers are another popular type of betting in the US, mainly in football and basketball games. It is also referred to as a straight bet in the US whereas in some countries the win bet is also called as a straight bet.
Points Spreads are entirely different from the win bet as you don’t just choose to pick a winner but will be choosing a team that will cover the spread. Point Spreads is basically the number of points provided to the underdog that is taken from the favorites so that it provides an even chance for both teams to win. This type of betting was particularly created to make betting more interesting and even as it allows you to bet on the losing team and still win money.
Let’s take an example of a match between Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks:
- Packers -8
- Seahawks +8
In the example provided above, you can see that the packers are the favorites and the Seahawks the underdogs as the negative points denote the favorites. And the 8-point spread is the value by which a team can win or lose.
If you think that the Packers will win by more than 8 points then you can place your bet on the Packers or even you can win money if you think the Seahawks will lose the game by 8 points.
3. Totals / Over – Unders
Total or Over-Unders are different terms being used for the same kind of wagers. This is also a popular type of wager being practiced by many in online sports betting.
The idea behind the over-under betting is that the bookmaker provides you a total number of points or goals scored predicted at the end of the match. So all you need to do is place your bets if you think the actual total will be higher than the bookmaker total or under the total. So if you bet over the total, it is called backing the over and called backing the under when you bet on the lower side.
Let’s take an example of a match
- Team A – 0 +22.5
- Team B – U +22.5
The total set is 22.5 and if you think the sum total of both teams at the end of the match will be higher than 22.5, then you win.
4. Accumulator Bet
An Accumulator bet is another type of bet that combines more than multiple selections on a single bet. The main advantage of an accumulator bet is that stakes are much higher and involves a lot of risk. Even if you lose a single selection in the bet, the entire bet is lost. One of the interesting aspects of an accumulator bet is that the odds of every selection get multiplied by the next selection. So if you have multiple selections, then your chance of winning big is higher. But is also highly risky too and if you plan the strategies properly, then you stand to win hefty returns.
Live Sports Betting
The arrival of the internet has taken betting to a new level. Live betting is an altogether new form of betting that allows you to wager even after the game has started. In the past, all betting activities comes to a standstill after the match gets started. Pre-match wagering is the most popular form of betting. But live betting has taken betting to a new level as you can bet on sports as they happen right in front of you. Live betting is all about making some real money quickly.
Live betting is also called in-game/in-play betting. It’s a fantastic option for players who want to add to the action in the middle of a game. Some of the best bookies on our list of online bookmakers offer live betting between quarters or between certain periods. In golf, every single drive or play is also available for betting.
Some of the more competitive live betting platforms, like Bwin, go out of their way to ensure that your in-play betting experience is as convenient as possible. They offer a live streaming service that covers all top games/matches. So, you can place your wagers and watch the game unfold before you. It presents you with the perfect opportunity to follow proceedings and jump in with spur-of-the-moment bets when the time is right.
Here are some betting tips for anyone partaking in live betting:
- Live Game analysis during Live Betting could actually be a contributing factor to your successes. If you watch some of the game, you can make a better decision
- If you are patient enough, you can find better odds during the live game than just betting before the game starts
- In-running bets offer an option to cash out before the game/match is even finished
- Focus on time, since it is limited. Don’t let emotions distract you
Sports Betting Analysis & Information Gathering
One of the important aspects that you need to cultivate to become successful in online sports betting at our list of online bookmakers, is to gather knowledge about the teams you back all the time. Do you know why the bookmaker’s odds are correct most o the time? The major reason behind it, is that they have a separate team working to gather information and analyzing it perfectly. Based on their assertions, the bookie will introduce fairly accurate odds.
When you start gathering information and analyzing it, your luck factor reduces by a great extent and the probabilities become more a work of skill. When you have a lot of data in front of you, like the previous match scores, player statistics, injury concerns, head-to-head records, and so on, it becomes all so easy to come to a conclusion on your bet. Pay attention to the following:
1. Sports Betting Lineup changes
In team sports, it is quite common for injuries and suspensions. But if that happens to a marque player, it can certainly affect the outcome of the match to a certain extent. Even though the odds set the bookmakers are done after taking into account all the considerations, there are instances like last-minute injury concerns. So, before placing your bet, consider all possible factors including changes in the team lineups, too.
2. Head-to-Head Statistics
Another important factor to take into account is the head-to-head statistics of the two teams competing against each other. Even though it could help in making your decision, please remember that it cannot be the only factor that influences your decision.
3. Sports records don’t lie – Look at the form
Previous match records are one of the best sources of information that you can rely upon whilst coming to a decision. Even though stats change every day a look at a team’s recent form is a great tool for guessing the game outcome. Some of the best bookies on our list of online bookmakers will give you stats on the team form when you click on the details of the match on the sportsbook homepage. Also take into account the kind of surfaces they’ve had success on, the strength and form of their opponents, and other factors before coming to a final decision.
4. Sports Betting Bookkeeping
If you are serious about making money from online sports betting, then it is important for you to maintain a bookkeeping habit. Bookkeeping is all about keeping a history of your past betting, the opponents you placed bets on, the number of bets placed, and the number of matches won and lost. Bookkeeping can be quite useful to help you analyze what went wrong in the past and how you could improve in your future bets.
Many successful bettors keep track of a detailed analysis of every bet including the variables that affected the outcome and on what basis they came to a conclusion before placing a bet. There are also various free and paid bookkeeping tools available online.
Sports Betting bonuses on Sportsbook websites
Some bookmakers also provide you with deposit bonuses and free bets from time to time. So always have a keen eye to locate these bonus offers and free bets and pounce on them immediately. But the irony with some of these bonus offers is that you cannot withdraw the winning amount until a certain amount of turnover is made.
These are the most common Sports Betting bonuses found on our list of online bookmakers:
- Cash Back Bonus
- No Deposit Bonus
- First Deposit (or Welcome) Bonus
- Reload Bonus (for current players)
- Free Bet Bonus
Another important aspect that is required to be successful in any form of betting is your self-control. People who go over the moon after winning or go down after losing money cannot win money in the longer run. Betting is never about winning all the time and you need to be prepared to lose.
Many people who lose heavily on sports betting, do so because they start chasing their losses. Others get carried away on a winning streak and don’t know when to cash out. Even professional gamblers can lose their cool sometimes, but it is their ability to bounce back immediately that gives them greater success.
Focus on One Sport only
If you are just starting with online sports betting, then it is extremely important that you concentrate on a single sport. Say if you like football the most, then only concentrate on placing your bets only on football matches. And if you want to be more focused, you can concentrate on only one league like the UEFA league or the Premier League only. This allows you to focus only on a small set of teams and the data analysis will also be much easier.
Sports Betting Expert Tips
There are also many online expert tips website that offers various tips about upcoming matches including the number of goals scored, corners, penalties, EPL accumulators, soccer stats predictions, and so on. Apart from football, there are also many expert tipsters offering tips on various sports.
So don’t forget to check out these tips before placing your bets. The main reason that you need to consider these tips, is because they provide incite off the back of hours of research and analysis done by a team of expert tipsters. However, only trust those experts who have proven their long-term statistics work. Remember, it is better to study one sport yourself than trust a stranger, no matter how reliable he/she may seem.
Top List of Online Bookmakers
There are a lot of different sports betting sites to choose from online. It can be quite difficult to find the ones that suit your needs and wishes best. Various sports betting sites offer different qualities and each betting site is unique if you know where to look. Fortunately for you, we know just where to look! Below is a selection of some of the best sportsbooks around. If you are looking for a list of online bookmakers that offer something different (like crypto betting sites), then please get in touch with us and we will head you in the right direction.
- BetOnline (All US states and Canada accepted), Sign Up
- Stake (Americans can use VPN), Sign Up
- Unibet Sports, (US not accepted), Sign Up
- Bovada Sports Betting (Accepts US players from certain states), Sign Up
We hope this guide about online betting provides you with enough information about the various kinds of online betting out there. It includes info on how to place a bet and how to gain the best betting tips today. Make sure to remember all the crucial information and keep studying to learn even more.
Be sure to bet at a bookie from our list of online bookmakers. This way, you can make sure that you can take advantage of the best bonus accumulation, sports line options, and far more. Each operator is sufficiently licensed and offers ethical services to its customers.