Gamblers the world over play their favorite games at the best crypto casinos in the hope of striking it rich. While that is often the case, sports betting attracts millions of gamblers. Sports betting is a form of gambling that can be truly exhilarating, especially when your bet comes through. So, how do sports betting work, you may be wondering?

While typical casino gambling games use a random number generator to produce totally random results, sports betting depends on how a team or individual performs in a real-life sports event. That’s right, the mindset of a sportsperson or team will determine the winnings you rake in. 

Dynamics of Sports Betting

Sports betting has grown incredibly fast in the past 20 years. This is especially since more and more channels broadcast live sport across the globe, bringing the action closer to a far greater audience. With most countries legalizing sports betting, it’s no surprise that an increasing number of sports fans enjoy taking a punt before or during their favorite sports game.

Despite sports betting being so popular, those who dabble in it don’t always understand everything about it. Whether you bet casually or are more experienced, there are always new ways to improve your sports betting technique and maximize your chances of winning.

Speaking of which, your chances of winning a bet and how you interpret the betting odds are fundamental parts of your attitude towards the sport you are betting on. How many sports bettors do you know who can brag about their betting activities with confidence and authority?

While some may occasionally strike it big, there is always an air of uncertainty whenever a sports bettor takes a punt – due to the inevitable underdog spoiling the proverbial party. While that may be the case, understanding how sports betting works will leave you in a better position to make bets with certainty.

How Does Sports Betting Work?

Sports betting guide

A popular sports betting saying goes, “Good teams win, but great wins cover [the spread].” Essentially, this means that sports bettors must be discerning. You should have the ability to tell the difference between good and bad bets and predict winning scenarios with consummate ease. Is this even possible, you may be asking?

Sports betting is the practice of wagering money on a potential outcome of a sports event. Such outcomes include straightforward permutations like which team/sportsperson will win the game. Or they could be more complicated matters like how many points a specific team will score or which team player will score the most points.

When it comes to sports betting, players are spoilt for choice and have a lot of options. For any sports betting activity to happen, one party, usually the bookmaker or sportsbook,  must provide a gambler with odds for specific outcomes. The other party, the gambler, must be willing to engage in those odds by using money to place a bet.

Once you place your bet, the odds and bet are frozen. They cannot be released until a condition of the bet has been fulfilled. A winning (or losing) combination settles the bet, and betting operators will pay your winnings if you were successful. A trend in recent years amongst sports betting companies is to allow players to cash in on multiple bets if the outcomes of some bets are already in the player’s favor – although this is not always the case.

Operators Fees

Sports betting operators typically charge gamblers a small fee, which they deduct from the wagered amount. It’s a common practice that sports betting enthusiasts have gotten used to. Seasoned gamblers refer to it as “juice” or “vigorish”.

Knowing about vigorish and juice will help you calculate your chances of winning a specific bet. It will also help you adjust the expected value you anticipate to turn on that bet.

Different Types of Sports Bets

As mentioned above, sports betting lovers are spoilt for choice when it comes to the different betting scenarios on offer. The world of sportsbooks is highly competitive, and sports betting companies always try and offer more options to outdo the competition and attract customers.

While it’s all good and well to have tons of sports betting options available, you must understand what type of bets serve what purpose. This is so that you make the right bet and give yourself the best opportunity to rake in some winnings.

Like other casino gambling games you may enjoy playing, the odds of specific outcomes in sports events are all about probabilities. Those who are most successful With that being said, you should first have a solid knowledge of the sport you are betting on. From there, weigh up how likely a specific outcome would be before committing your money to that outcome.

With this in mind, we will now dive into the most popular bet types that sports bet lovers usually engage in.

Moneyline or Straight Bets

Moneyline – also called Straight Bets – are bets you place on a team to win a specific game outright. You can associate the bets with American odds and will see they have a +/- followed by some three-digit number.

If we look at a random example of Hawks FC (-360) vs. Eagles FC (+280), these will indicate which team is the favorite to win. The minus indicates a favorite, while the plus indicates the underdog.

Essentially, if you bet $360 on the Hawks to win outright, and they do, you will win $100 in addition to your $360 since they are the favorites. In contrast, if you bet $100 on the Eagles to win outright, you stand a chance of winning $280 in addition to your $100, considering they have a slim chance of winning that game based on probabilities.

Such probabilities include home or away venue, team form, ranking, and key players being injured or out – to name a few. Moneyline bets are the most common amongst sports bettors as they are simple to call.

Point Spreads

Earlier on, we mentioned that great teams cover the spread, and you may be wondering what that is all about. The spread is an amount of your bet that is added to or detracted from the final result to determine the bet outcome. It does not necessarily reflect precisely which players win the game.

point spreads

Sounds complicated? An example should help you understand it a bit better. Let’s say that pre-game, the odds were Hawks FC -3 (-110) vs. Eagles FC +3 (-110). With this type of bet, you need to bet $110 on either of the teams. If you bet on the Hawks, you are betting that they will win by a margin greater than 3. If you bet on the Eagles, and they lose by a margin not greater than 3, you will win that bet irrespective of the outcome of that game.

Futures or Outright Winners

Futures – also called Outright Winners – are typically placed very early in a competition or tournament. Gamblers can predict tournament winners at the beginning of sporting events like the Football World Cup, PGA Tour, or Super Bowl.

While you can place this type of bet later on in a sporting tournament, your odds will be considerably better at the beginning. Most sports betting operators offer similar odds for the various event outcomes. But, you may find the odds slightly different amongst competing sportsbooks. With that in mind, it’s a great idea to browse operators and see who offers the most favorable odds.

By placing a bet predicting an outcome well into the future, the odds become significantly more attractive. Any winnings accrued will be paid out at the end of that event. Remember that you must back the winning team or sportsperson to earn a win with this type of bet – runners-up and podium finishers will not suffice.

Totals or Under/Over

When betting Totals – also called Under/Over – gamblers are not betting on a specific team or sportsperson to win. Instead, they are betting on whether the total number of points scored in that game will exceed or fall under a pre-determined score with varying odds set by the bookmaker. 

Once again, you should look at the factors like home or away venue, team form, ranking, and key players being injured or out when determining whether or not your bet is practical.

Parlays

Parlays

Parlays are multiple bets taken as one, commonly known as accumulators. With these, gamblers typically make selections across numerous sporting events. While there is a much higher risk with this type of bet, the rewards can be exponential. This is because the odds of the collective bet jump significantly with each sports game added to the accumulator.

This type of bet is very popular, especially with gamblers who like to focus on a specific sport. For example, someone who enjoys watching English Premiership Soccer may take an accumulator and bet on multiple games happening on the same day.

Being familiar with this specific football league will undoubtedly help in the selection process. It provides a greater opportunity to reap fantastic rewards, especially on match days where the favorites play against the underdogs.

Accumulator bets are usually taken by seasoned sports bettors knowledgeable about a specific sport. So, it is wise to stick to accumulators on those sports that you understand very well.

Props and Teasers

Props – officially called proposition bets – are a type of exotic bet. They offer exciting odds for wagering on unique in-game circumstances that sports betting operators typically define. 

If you are watching the NFL, for example, you can place a props bet on how many points a specific player may score by mid-game or how many yards a quarterback will rush. Props bets vary dramatically, and the possibilities are endless. They keep gamblers enthralled while watching their favorite games.

A teaser is another interesting type of bet that more seasoned sports bettors sometimes wager. Like parlays or accumulators, the teaser allows gamblers to select multiple sporting events, but only specific circumstances of each of those games. Therefore, you will find a mixture of spreads and over/under totals in these types of bets. Plus, there will be significantly higher odds and a potentially rewarding payout if your predictions are spot on.

While you may encounter other bet variations that sports betting operators offer, the ones above are, by far, the most popular.

The Different Types of Betting Odds

Odds in sports betting

Sports betting can appear a bit daunting when faced with all the different types of odds. While it may be confusing at first, it’s a really simple concept.

Sports betting operators usually display the odds in three different formats – American, Decimal, and Fractional odds. These display the same probabilities of a specific outcome in different ways. Let’s dive into the details using our earlier example of Hawks FC vs. Eagles FC.

American Odds

With American odds, Hawks FC -435 vs. Eagles FC +340 shows gamblers how much they would need to bet to make a $100 profit. There is no hard and fast rule about how much a gambler should bet, but this figure is a benchmark to work from. Since Hawks FC are clear favorites here, you will need to bet $435 to get a $100 profit. If you are an Eagles FC fan, your $100 bet may bring you a profit of $340.

Numbers can get a bit confusing, but there’s nothing to worry about. The sports betting operators have specialized software that does all the calculations for you – giving you an estimate of how much you could win.

Decimal Odds

Decimal odds appear a little more straightforward to read, making it easier to estimate your potential winnings. If Hawks FC were given odds of 1.23 to win, your $100 bet could bring you a $123 total win. If Eagles FC were given odds of 4.5 to win, your $100 bet could get you $450 in total.

Make sure that the bookmaker is not deducting any betting fee when estimating what your potential winnings could be.

Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are straightforward to understand – much like its decimal cousin. If bookies gave Hawks FC odds of 2/9 to win a match, the left side would be the amount you stand to profit if you win that bet. The right side would indicate what you need to bet to qualify for the win amount on the left. With this example, for every $9 that you bet, you could potentially win $2.

It is evident that while the three types of odds are different, the probabilities would be exactly the same. Don’t worry if the types of odds confuse you. Most sports betting operators have sophisticated software that calculates the odds for you based on how much you want to bet.

Final Thoughts

Like other casino gambling games, sports betting is an exhilarating form of gambling. The key difference is that you watch live sport where the mindset of a sportsperson or team will determine your success.

With sports streaming across the globe in real-time, the world of sports betting has taken off. It’s an enjoyable pastime in the gambling industry. Make sure to do your research when choosing a sports betting operator. This way, you can sleep easy knowing that your funds are safe with a trusted and licensed operator.

Be discerning when placing your bets, and bet on sports that you understand – good luck!