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An Introduction to Sports Betting for Beginners

There’s never been a better time in history to make money on the side. There’s an ample amount of opportunity to develop a side hustle.

But people who love sports have found that sports betting is a great way to try making some extra funds, while at the same time enjoying the sports they love so much.

Sports betting for beginners can be as simple as betting on the team that is likely to win. Or it can be as complex as choosing multiple winners over the course of a week or two or betting on specific players.

There are so many opportunities to win and so many different ways to make money. Wondering how to bet on sports, so you can get a piece of the pie? Keep reading below to learn more about this incredible opportunity. 

Sports Betting History and Legality

Before going too far down this list, you need to know if you can legally make a wager.

Sports betting has been illegal across most of the country for a long, long time. The only place you could make a wager was in a place like Las Vegas, which had an exclusive status for decades.

But in 2018, the Supreme Court overruled the federal ban on sports betting. The legality of sports betting was placed into the hands of individual states. 

Right away, a handful of states legalized sports betting. Over the next couple of years, many other states would follow suit.

In 2022 and beyond, there are still a few holdouts that are trying to resist the legalization of gambling. You can see the whole list here.

States like Texas, Utah, California, Hawaii, and a few others have yet to legalize this opportunity, which could result in billions of dollars in additional revenue for the state.

If sports betting isn’t legal in your state, you’ll have to visit a state where it’s legal in order to make a wager. You can only do so within that state’s borders.

Otherwise, you can try out various offshore betting sites, which have workarounds to let you make a bet. 

Sports Betting for Beginners

Some states require you to place sports bets on people, such as at casinos or sporting venues. Most, though, allow you to bet online, from the comfort of your own home or while out at a sports bar with your friends.

Your first decision as a beginner bettor is to find a platform that works for you. There are dozens in most states, with new sportsbooks popping up all of the time.

You have some big-name companies, such as BetMGM, DraftKings, or FanDuel. And you also have many smaller, newer companies getting in on the betting game.

Choosing a Sportsbook

Most sportsbooks will offer a bonus to new players that sign up and fund their accounts. Some of these bonuses can be quite lucrative, so make sure to compare bonuses before signing up.

You can even sign up for numerous platforms to try them out and see which one you prefer.

Make sure that platform has the sports you want to wager on. Some focus just on American sports, while others have opportunities for international sports as well. 

Also, consider the funding method. Many of the bigger sportsbooks will require a debit card or bank transfers to fund your account and make wagers.

Don’t want to connect your financial accounts? Some sportsbooks allow you to fund your account with bitcoin in order to make a bet. Just send crypto from your crypto wallet instead of connecting your bank account. 

Check out https://www.bookmakersreview.com/best-sportsbooks/bitcoin/ for more information on crypto funding. 

Sports to Bet On

What sports should you, or could you bet on? You can bet on nearly anything your heart desires.

One good strategy is to bet on the most popular sports. More people placing wagers ensure books are balanced and odds are attractive, offering nice payouts. 

This includes sports like the NFL or NBA.

Otherwise, focus on the sports you are most knowledgeable of. There’s no reason to wager on sports you know nothing about.

The more you know about a sport, the more you can make educated wagers.

For example, if you follow basketball teams closely, you’ll know which players are having great seasons, and which players are having an off-season. You’ll know who is out injured this week and which team is likely to do well.

You can make bets accordingly, hoping to skew the odds of winning in your favor. 

Types of Bets

There are many different ways of betting. Most newbies stick with money-line bets, which is a great way to have fun without spending too much time placing bets.

Money-line bets are betting on which team will win a match. It doesn’t matter what the scoreline is, or what individual players do.

It’s simple to understand and makes the prospect of watching a sporting match much more fun.

Another popular way to bet is with a multi-bet (multiple). This is when you bet on the results of numerous games, all at once. 

They can all be happening at the same time. Or, if they occur at different times, or on different days, the winnings from one game will roll into your wager of the next, which multiplies your odds and your potential winnings.

Playing multiples can provide you with outsized returns on small bets. You can bet $1 or $2 and potentially make a few hundred or more, depending on how many games you include in your wager. 

How to Read Sports Betting Odds

Before placing a bet, the number one thing you need to understand as a beginner is the betting odds. Betting odds are a set of numbers that tell you which team is favored to win, and which is likely to lose.

It also tells you what your potential payout is in relation to the amount of money you wager. You can’t make an educated bet unless you can read betting odds.

But there are three main formats for betting odds; American odds, fractional odds, and decimal odds.

Reading American Odds

If you’re in the US and betting on American sports, you’ll likely only need to use this type of odds format.

They look like this;

  • Lakers -300
  • Mavericks +230

These simple numbers tell you which team is more likely to win and lose, and how much you can make betting on each team.

The negative number is always the team that is favored to win. So in our case, the Lakers are expected to beat the Mavericks.

But the payout of each bet is handled a little differently. 

For the favored team, the number tells you how much you need to wager in order to win $100. So if you want to bet on the Lakers, you’ll need to put down $300 for the chance to win $100. 

The payout is small because they are expected to win.

If you’re betting on the underdog, the number tells you how much you will win if you bet $100. In our case, if you bet $100 on the Mavericks, and they win, you’ll win $230.

It’s a higher payout because it’s a higher risk. That team is expected to lose. But if they manage a victory, you’ll earn a handsome reward. 

Sports Betting Tips

You can spend months learning gambling tips and tricks for betting on sports. There are so many factors to consider and so many different ways to bet, that it’s an endless rabbit hole of possibilities.

But here are two important tips to keep in mind as a beginner.

Home Team Advantage

Statistically speaking, teams win more often at their home stadium than they do when playing away. If you can’t think of any other factor when placing a wager, remember this.

Teams that play at home do better; The fans are cheering them on, the atmosphere is electric, the players feel at home, and they just might bring home the win. 

Read Sports Picks

Wouldn’t it be great if you could copy expert bettors rather than pick teams on your own? Well, you can.

It’s called sports picks. Anyone who wants to share their betting picks of the week can do so. Some people offer this information for free.

Others will charge money for this service.

If you plan to follow sports picks, make sure to do your research. You don’t want to follow Joe Schmo, a self-proclaimed betting expert. You want to follow people with a positive reputation, sporting experts, and someone with a track record of winning more often than they lose. 

And because betting picks are a dime a dozen these days, finding reliable picks can be harder than you think.

Start Small, Bet Often

Sports betting for beginners can be simple and easy. Sign up for a sportsbook that offers a lucrative bonus. Then, just bet on which team will win a match.

Do some basic research, take a look at betting odds, and glance at a few free sports picks to see what everyone else is saying. Then make an educated bet and see what happens.

You’ll get better over time, so make sure to start with smaller-sized bets.

Looking for more tips and tricks like this? Check out our blog to continue reading today. 

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