Best Sports Betting Tips for Beginners
With the legalization of sports betting in June of 2018, new and curious first-time bettors are flocking to the internet to get a piece of the action. Sports betting with a game plan is always advised, and coming to sites like GetMoreSports will help you get the edge over the oddsmakers and make smarter betting decisions.
Our goal for our sports betting guide is to help you feel confident in making your own betting decisions, picking a sportsbook that is right for you, and understand your options when it comes to sports betting.
For starters, you might not understand all of the lingo or terminology that intermediate or professional sports bettors use on a daily basis. We can help.
Popular Sports Betting Terminology
It always helps to start new bettors off with introducing them to The Juice. No – not OJ Simpson. It’s that number in the parenthesis next to your moneyline, point spread or total – it’s the odds.
You might see (-110) more commonly than not, next to the team you’re planning to place a bet on. This is called the juice or vig as some may call it. This number will determine how much money you’d win off of a $100 bet.
In the case of the magical (-110), you’d have to bet $110 to win $100. If the odds were (+200), you’d win $200 from betting $100, and so on and so forth.
The Moneyline is the most popular way to bet on a variety of popular professional sports including NFL, NHL and NBA. When betting the moneyline, you’re betting on which team will outright win the game or matchup. If you want to bet on the New England Patriots to win over the Miami Dolphins, all you have to do is select the Patriots.
Where the odds come in for Moneyline betting, and where it can get a little confusing, is that you might not really make any money if you’re betting the Patriots as a favorite. If the line looks something like:
New England Patriots (-350)
Miami Dolphins (+500)
You will need to wager $350 to make $100 in profit on the Patriots – is that worth it? Not usually. But if you decided to wager on the Miami Dolphins and they ended up winning, you’d make a pretty penny ($500 plus your $100 bet back) by betting on the underdog.
The second most popular NFL betting type is the point spread. This one can be a little more complicated but still relatively easy to understand. In addition to the juice or vig, you’re going to see another number next to each team that usually ranges from 1 to 15 in the NFL respectively. For example, if the lines look like this:
Minnesota Vikings (+3)
Green Bay Packers (-3)
In this situation, the Green Bay Packers are the favourite, and they’re projected to win the game. If you bet on the Packers, they will have to win by more than three points for your bet to cash. If you bet on the Vikings, who are the underdog in this situation, they will have to win by three points OR lose by less than three points. If the final score ended up being a spread of exactly three points, which will be a push and you would get your initial bet back.
When it comes to NFL betting, there can be instances where you can’t quite risk your betting dollars by picking a team to win. Whether you’re looking at a close or unpredictable game, you can usually rely on the totals to still get your bet in. Betting the total is also known as the Over/Under, which is exactly how it sounds – you bet whether the total score for both teams will be over the oddsmaker’s predicted score, or under.
If you’re betting on NHL, and your preferred sportsbook posted a total of 5 on a Boston vs. Montreal game, you have to determine whether you think both teams will score more than five goals combined. If you choose the over, the teams must have a combined score of 6 or more, and for the under you will need the score to remain under 4.
This one is easy to understand and great for first time bettors looking to get their feet wet.
If you want to up the ante and are feeling good about a few different games, you can combine the odds for 2+ games to make a parlay wager. Select a few games, any odds, you can mix moneylines, totals and point spreads and it will combine all the odds to create a nice payout given you select a few underdogs. The catch with parlays, is that all of your bets have to cash. If you have a four-game parlay, and only 3 of your bets cash, you lose all of it.
Futures are another easy and fun betting option, where you can bet on the outcome of a certain event or season, months in advance. Usually the day after the Super Bowl, sportsbooks release odds for the following season, with each team’s odds to win the next year’s Super Bowl. There are plenty of futures available on any given day, but there is a surplus of futures wagers around big events or marquee events.
Prop bets are gaining popularity year after year and sportsbooks are taking notice. They usually only occurred around big events like the Super Bowl, but now there are prop bets for almost every preseason, regular season or playoff NFL game, college football game, NHL game or MLB game. Prop bets are meant to be fun and you are never able to place huge bets on them, so naturally, there are tons of options available, and you can usually bet on a few different props at once.