The basic idea behind betting is putting money on an outcome of your choice and getting paid if that outcome wins. This can be done on one team or multiple teams and can be a simple straight bet, a parlay, or a spread bet. In order to be successful at sports betting it’s important to understand that making a profit is ALL about identifying positive expected value.
If you’re a fan of a certain sport or team it’s very easy to be biased when placing wagers. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you’re betting for fun but if your goal is to make money then it’s crucial to remove any biases. This is where a good bankroll management system comes in handy. Many bettors use a system that allows them to break their bankroll into units. This can be a daily, weekly or monthly budget and it’s up to the individual to decide how they want to manage their bankroll.
Another important factor is knowing how to use data when choosing potential bets. You’ll want to have more than just a hunch or feeling and you need to be able to back this up with data. There are free and paid services that will give you access to large amounts of betting data that can be useful when making decisions.
Finally, bettors and handicappers will generally talk in terms of units to define their success. This is because it removes the need to list their actual profits and losses. If someone says that they’re +35 units for the season, that means they’ve made 35 times their initial investment in whatever unit represents that amount to them.