Sports Betting 101

Betting involves risking a sum of money on an event that can result in you losing your stake or winning a larger sum. Unlike gambling, which relies on chance, betting can benefit from research and the use of mathematical models. In addition, you can make a bet in any number of ways, including online and at an actual sportsbook.

In sports betting, you can bet on the total score of a game or match, and you can win by predicting whether the teams involved will combine for more (over) or fewer (under) runs, goals, and points than the total amount set by oddsmakers. These bets are often referred to as over/under bets. In some cases, the combined score will land exactly on a spread, meaning you won’t win or lose your bet.

A good rule of thumb for sports bettors is to not exceed 1% to 5% of your bankroll per play. This will prevent you from burning through your funds too quickly. However, this does not guarantee a profit. There will be good days and bad days, so it’s important to manage your bankroll properly.

Understanding how to make a value bet is a powerful skill that can help you maximize your profits. A value bet is a wager that makes you money if the true probability of an outcome occurs and the odds are higher than they should be. This requires knowledge of the oddsmaker’s margin and expected value (EV). It also involves knowing how to calculate the true probability of an event happening.