Sports Betting 101

A sports bet is a wager placed on a particular event. The payout is based on the total odds at the time of bet placement and your stake. It is important to understand how much you stand to win so that you can whittle down the available wagers to those that offer the best profit potential.

Odds specify the implied probability of an outcome and can be expressed in American, fractional or decimal form. They are a key component to understanding sports betting and can be used for moneyline, spread or total bets. In the case of total bets, the odds will state whether the combined points scored by both teams will go Over or Under a certain number. For example, if the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks game has a total of 42.5, you would bet on the Over if you expect a defensive slugfest.

In addition to odds, you will also want to understand the “juice” that is charged by sportsbooks. This is how they make the bulk of their money. This is a fee charged for placing bets and is often equal to 10% of the bet amount.

Finally, you will want to know how to properly manage your bankroll. A good rule of thumb is to only risk 1% to 5% of your bankroll on each play. This will allow you to bet a reasonable amount and still have money left over to place additional wagers.