All you need to know to Bet on Sports Online
A Brief Introduction to Bet on Sports
Learn how to bet on sports, read betting lines and odds and develop winning sports betting strategies.
Betting has been around for ages. At the heart of it all has been the ever-so human need to predict the outcome of things. We don’t know where this desire comes from, but it’s akin to being right about something only ten times more thrilling. When we bet on sports, we add competition to anything, the excitement is multiplied automatically.
Along with the satisfaction it brings our competitive spirits, sports betting also satisfies a social function. It’s not fun, just sitting at home and predicting the outcome of events. No! It must be a gathering of friends and loved ones. In our attempts to outdo each other, we bond and share laughs when betting on sports.
Of course, betting on sports on its own is more familiarly known as gambling. Obviously, there are technicalities to this impression, but we’re not really feeling argumentative. So, sure! Most of the time, betting is gambling. Now, wherever money is involved, things begin to turn tricky really quickly.
We’re all familiar of with the depiction of gambling dens and bookies cutting shady back-alley deals in popular culture. While this was true for a long time, times have changed significantly. With betting becoming more accessible due to the internet, and social media, many people who considered the gambling lifestyle too risky turn to it for some casual weekend thrills.
In their pursuit, many novices ask how does betting work? Additionally, because it’s a lot about the convenience of the exercise too, they also wonder how to bet online. Well, today, we’ll not only answer this question but also introduce you to the entertaining world of sports betting. Read on to find out more.
The sports betting industry
Several activities in the world are practiced everywhere, forming an integral part of the human experience on this planet. Sport is an excellent example of such an activity. The popularity of sports cannot be overstated because it evades hyperbole.
It suffers no cultural, religious, social, gender, age, or racial barriers and is celebrated as a great unifies. Not only this, the sport can thrill, excite, and allow us to release pent up emotions in a safe and controlled environment.
We already know how great an impact sport has had on the gaming, merchandising, marketing, podcasting and blogging worlds. Of course, all these industries existed prior to and independently of sport, but we’re merely highlighting how much benefit they have received from sports.
Another industry, which will be the subject of our discussion today is the gambling and sports betting industry. The sports betting industry cannot claim to exist independently of sports. Sport is right there in the name, after all! The rise in the popularity of sports has led to a boom in the sports betting industry. Let’s first track this chain of events and see how this came to pass.
The first thing to focus on is the increase in the audience for the sport itself. The sports industry wasn’t always the global behemoth that we see today. The popularity of various sports was scattered and isolated, localized to certain regions.
The arrival of television and broadcasting meant that sports games could be seen throughout the world. This naturally created the first spike in interest across the world. The next wave came thanks to the internet and social media. These two marvels have kicked the whole process into overdrive.
Fans can now discuss games in real-time and even sometimes influence what happens with their favorite sports teams. This increase in the popularity of sports had a ripple effect on adjacent industries. We’ll now discuss how the gambling and sports betting industry was affected by all of this.
Obviously, if the size of the global sports watching audience suddenly begins to rise without an end in sight, adjacent industries will also have to respond to the sudden influx of interested parties. This is exactly how the sports betting world responded to this situation.
This brings us to the next section in our discussion.
Sports Betting Online
Thanks to the internet! What was once a physical activity that demands people to go to physical locations could now partake from the comfort of your home. It wasn’t the internet alone that made this possible, though; smartphones also played a crucial role.
This brings us to an important concept, that of the online sportsbook. The sportsbook isn’t a novel concept for those who have been in and around sports betting for a while. The idea is pretty simple. Back in the day, when the internet wasn’t a thing, a bookie would manually write down all the wagers and bets they were accepting for matches on the day.
People would come, browse through the sportsbook and pay the bookie. Thanks to the internet, this process has now become completely digital. Since we’re looking at how to bet on sports today, our focus will be first to discuss how you can begin the process. Then, we will touch upon what the best sports bets are and the best strategies you should follow when sports betting online.
How Does Betting Work
Well, there’s not really much to explain really. Wait, that’s not entirely true. There is plenty to explain, but the foundational concept is pretty easy to understand. In fact, it’s so simple that you’ve probably been betting on things for years.
We’ve already spoken about the increasing interest in sports betting around the world.
Many people wish to bet on sports today but are confused about where to start. Our vision is to fulfill this information gap among our readers to bet responsibly and confidently. In service of this vision, we will now explain the entire process of how you can bet on sports from top to bottom in great detail.
Of course, you probably haven’t been going to a bookie to do it. If it’s among friends, and there’s little to no money involved, you probably don’t consider it “proper” betting. Regardless of whether that’s true or not, it reveals that you know the basics.
Step 1: Browse for an Appropriate Sportsbook
With the rise in the number of people interested in online sports betting, there has been a natural rise in online sportsbooks. We’ve already spoken about what a sportsbook is, so you have a vague idea of what you’re looking for.
Each sportsbook offers certain general things that are pretty much industry standards, like Sportsbook bonuses and access to various betting markets. How far they go with these offerings is usually what makes each of them unique.
Ideally, you want to figure out what your goal with sports betting online is. This is important because different sportsbooks are suited for different goals. There are some for casual bettors, while others are more focused on high-rollers.
Various factors go into choosing the right sportsbook for you. If you’re just getting started, you’d probably think to use the most popular ones. The problem here is that you’re still left with quite a few options.
Lucky for you, we regularly compile reviews on the top sportsbooks out there and point out the benefits and cons of each. If you wish to have some support during this entire process, you can go through these reviews and make a determination based on their information.
Step 2: Make a Deposit
Once you’ve selected a platform that you’re satisfied with, you will have to put some money into your virtual account. If you reviewed the sportsbook of your choice, you’d know the various options you have to make a deposit. These can include bank transfers, cryptocurrency payments, or credit cards.
Each option carries its own pros and cons, but ultimately you should choose the one that’s most convenient for you. We recommend all our readers to opt for crypto because you normally get a bonus when using this medium. You also don’t incur any transaction fees.
Once the deposit is complete, you are ready to place your bet.
Step 3: The Best Sports Bets
Now that you have an account with the sportsbook of your choice and some money to play with, it’s time you went through the sports you wish to bet on. Each sportsbook will have a variety of sports for you to bet on.
Simply navigate to the betting menu, find the sport you’re looking for and click on it. Now that you’re here, you’ll notice two things. The first is that there is a lot of technical vocabulary that is involved in placing a bet. The second thing that stands out is the amount of numbers involved.
Before we can move forwards, we will first discuss the best sports bets out there and what they mean.
Predicting the outcome of any situation
Online Betting involves predicting the outcome of any situation. For instance, you shuffle a deck of cards and say that you’ll pick out the Queen of Hearts. That’s betting. You must also be aware that it’s not always pure guesswork. In matters like coin tosses and picking out a card from a deck, sure, it’s pretty much guesswork. This is because the odds are the same for all outcomes. In a coin toss, the betting odds are 50/50, heads or tails. In a deck, there are 52 cards, so the odds of taking a specific card in 1/52. This is the same for any card.
What’s different about betting is that it’s a lot more formalized, and the person offering you the odds is an expert on what’s more likely. As such, they are always more likely to win. Add to that the fact that the odds can change based on what the other participants are betting on.
So betting in a formal setting means having a good knack for mathematics, specifically probability, and being quick-witted. If you can nail these things down, you could make yourself a lot of money.
A Brief Introduction to Sports Betting
Let’s get more specific now. Sports betting operates on pretty much the same principles as betting in general. The only difference is that it’s a lot more dynamic. We seriously mean A LOT MORE. Think about it; any sport will have a set objective, usually winning or losing based on points.
Now, even this basic outcome can be influenced by so many factors. Some things will be out of the participants’ hands as the weather and fatigue due to travel delays. While others will be more in their control, but their sheer number means accounting for all of them in your bet will be very difficult.
These can include things like opponent skill level, quality of coaching received by each player, tactics used by each player, mistakes made during the match, and much more. You can see that there is a variety of factors that can affect the eventual outcome.
Now consider this, we’ve just spoken about individual sports and one type of sports betting. In team sports, you can multiply all these factors by the number of players on the field. There are also a variety of bet types that will rely on weighing each factor appropriately and analyzing the odds offered by the bookie to make the winning call.
We’ll look into the types of sports betting momentarily, but first, let’s see how sports betting works.
How Does Sports Betting Work
We’ve already covered pretty much all the basics that you need. Let’s discuss a few granular details just so we’re absolutely clear on how sports betting works. The first thing you need to know is what a sportsbook is. A sportsbook used to be what a bookie carried along in which the odds and lines for each wager were mentioned.
Bettors could review the information and place bets with the bookie. After the match, the bookie would payout according to the odds mentioned in the sportsbook. Now that everything is digital, sportsbooks are too. You can sign up for one online and review the odds and wagers for any sport you want.
But what do the odds look like, and what do they mean? Well, consider this example – a UFC fight between Dustin Poirier and Connor McGregor produced the odds of -132 in favor of Poirier and +112 in favor of McGregor.
The positive and negative sign means favorite and underdog in layman terms. If a bookie believes that Poirier is more likely to win, his odds will be negatively valued.
How do these odds affect payout? Well, if you bet a hundred dollars on McGregor, you win $112. If you bet a hundred dollars on Poirier to win, you take home $75.76. Obviously, many people will be rooting for the favorite so the return on betting on him is lower than the return on McGregor.
The payouts and odds are simply a reflection of the risk involved and the likelihood of the outcome being achieved. McGregor is the underdog, so betting on him is risky. You are more likely to lose money than win it. Similarly, he is the underdog for a reason because he is unlikely to win, according to the bookies who have run expert analyses on every aspect of the fight.
This is how sports betting works; fascinating, isn’t it? Now, we have to point out that the $100 figure simply exists to standardize all the calculations. You could bet $65 or $650 based on your sportsbooks’ upper and lower betting limits. Your payout will be determined based on the ratio mentioned above.
Now let’s take the next step in your journey to have sports betting explained – the types of bets available.
Types of Bets
There are numerous types of bets that you can make when trying to bet on sports online or otherwise. The combinations and variety are practically infinite, with several sportsbooks offering unique wagers to attract and retain their clients.
We’ve tried to list down a few that are almost universally present in all sportsbooks offering the best options to bet on sports. A key part of learning how to bet on sports is knowing the types of wagers you have available and what they entail. So read on to learn more.
These are by far the most common bets available in the betting world. The reason for their wide availability is that they are rather simple. Most of us have participated in a moneyline bet at some point in our lives.
When most people think of betting, they think X will happen or Y will happen. In terms of online sports betting, X team will win, and Y team will lose. This is exactly what a moneyline bet is. A moneyline bet simply asks you to wager which team or player will win or lose.
It is one of the simplest bets out there. Think of examples from your own life when you bet on something happening. For instance, you ordered something online, and your friend remarked that it’d probably be terrible. You both laughed and said, “let’s bet on it”. This is a moneyline bet. If the product turns out to be great, you win. If not, your friend wins.Of course, there are numbers involved that make betting with stakes on an online sports betting platform different. We’ll discuss these in a bit.
This is the kind of bet we’ve already spoken at great length about in this article already. Moneyline bets owe their popularity to their inherent simplicity. There are no fancy clauses wrapped in technical jargon that you won’t understand.
The principle of money line bets is simple – who will win? Nothing else matters in money line bets. The manner of victory, the margin, the ups and downs that accompany any sport are supplementary to the purpose of money line bets.
Even if you’re just learning how to bet on sports, you may already be able to quote instances where you’ve made money line bets. Once again, you probably didn’t think of it this back then, but the underlying concept was the same.
Moneyline betting odds, like any other wager, are accompanied by either positive or negative signs followed by a number. A positive sign, as already discussed, is for the team or individual likely to lose, while the negative sign is reserved for the winner.
Another type of bet that has a number associated with it. Totals bets are simple in that you are simply predicting the total score at the end of the match. The sportsbook will represent the total score as a positive and negative figure. For example, the positive number, +3.5, means that you think the total score will be over +3.5 goals (using our soccer example again).
The negative number means you believe that the total score will be under.
This is the essence of the best sports bets. Let’s now turn our attention to reading betting odds.
These fall into the general category of over/under bets. As the name suggests, the bookie or sportsbook will predict a benchmark figure for a certain event in the game—for instance, many throw-ins in soccer. Now, suppose the benchmark figure is 3.5 throw-ins. That means you have to bet on whether there will be more than or less than 3.5 throw-ins throughout the game.
The key thing to remember here is that the lower limit and upper limit don’t exist. The only thing that matters is the benchmark. If there are 10 throw-ins in the game and you predicted that there would be over 3.5, then you win. It doesn’t matter that you overshot by a huge margin. All that matters is that it was above 3.5.
The divisions for over/under bets are at .5 values rather than whole numbers to prevent ties. So if they had said 4, and the game actually had four throw-ins, nobody would win the bet because it’s neither over nor under 4. Understanding totals bets is an important part of learning how to bet on sports.
Point spreads are a sort of addendum to standard moneyline bets. They try to predict a number during the match that is significant to the outcome. For instance, we know that there will be either a winner or a loser in most sports.
Point spreads are all about the margins of the victory or loss. For instance, in soccer, you have matches that can end 1-0, 2-1, 4-2. These are all margins of victory and defeat. When using this bet type, you’re essentially not just predicting the winner but the margin of the win as well.
This type of bet adds excitement in games when the outcome is pretty much known. Think of games between teams that are astronomically better than their opponents. Such matches can be a dull affair, but you can amp up the excitement by placing a totals bet.
To illustrate this, think of a match between Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League. Most people would already know that Manchester City will win. The way you can test out your sporting knowledge with sports betting online is by placing a totals bet that Manchester City will win by a margin of +2.5.
It is important to note that the sportsbook will offer this figure, and you will have to decide whether to bet against it or not.
Okay, so things are about to get complicated. Now that you’re familiar with money line bets, you may realize that the money line bet will be very predictable in many cases. After all, even in the most competitive leagues and competitions, some teams and individuals tower over the competition.
In this case, money line betting will neither provide the returns nor the excitement that sports betting is all about. To spice things up, you can participate in something called point spreads. These are essentially money line bets but with a twist.
The added element is that not only are you predicting the winner, as you do in money line bets, but you are also betting on the margins. That is, who will win and by how much? This is obviously a lot trickier than money line bets.
These types of bets may seem straightforward on the surface, but they’re actually some of the toughest to get right. This is due to the dynamic nature of sports. Almost anything can happen during a game, and while the favorites will probably eventually win, the underdogs often present an unexpected challenge.
So, if you’re learning how to bet on sports, you need not only a keen sense of the odds and probabilities but also a deep understanding of the teams and players involved. You may find yourself losing a lot of money otherwise.
These types of bets don’t have betting odds or betting lines associated with them. Prop bets, otherwise referred to as proposition bets simply mean the bookie is proposing the likelihood of a situation occurring during a game that has nothing to do with the outcome of the game itself.
In our previous example, Manchester City may win, but this will have no impact on the result of the prop bet. A prop bet may say that Manchester City will be awarded a penalty at some point in the game. If that comes to pass, you win the bet regardless of who ultimately wins or loses the match.
Let’s talk about the exciting world of sports betting now. Prop bets are also referred to as proposition bets, and they’re some of the most fun bets you’ll ever make. They come in two main varieties: fun-based and skill-based.
The fun-based bets are pretty much gambling. The reason for this is that there’s really no skill needed to participate in them. Anyone can get it right because no factors can be analyzed to reach a logical conclusion.
An example of this could be if a certain player would slip during warm-up, or if coin toss would end in heads or tails. Such things can’t be predicted, but prop bets for them exist nonetheless. They’re just there to add a layer of fun to the whole experience. Not everything has to be serious all the time, you know.
Then we come to the adult’s table. The skill-based prop bets. These are some of the most difficult bets to make and win. The reason is simple; sport is fluid. A lot can happen during a match. Prop bets reward more hardcore fans that are aware of every tiny detail surrounding their team.
For instance, if a manager routinely struggles to put on their raincoat, a sportsbook like BetUS or Bovada may run a prop bet wagering that they’ll take longer than 10 seconds to put it on. If you know this about the coach, you may feel like it’s easy money. Of course, someone who has no idea whether this is a regular feature of your team would just imagine this is a fun prop bet.
It is fun, but in this instance, you can use the information to determine whether this can happen or not. Understanding prop bets means you’re pretty much done learning how sports betting works. Unfortunately, it takes a while actually to execute it properly. So keep reading.
Betting futures always makes us feel fancy like we’re at the New York stock exchange or something. Betting futures are wagers that will take a while to be determined. The odds are available at the start of the season, and you can bet on numerous things like who will be the division’s MVP, who will be the highest scorer, the rookie of the year, the best goalkeeper, the eventual champions of the division.
As you can see, all these things will play out over the course of the season. Futures’ odds are higher risk because no one can know exactly how a season will play out. A heavyweight might crash and burn due to injuries to star players, an average team can go on a hot streak being led by a talismanic forward.
Furthermore, they tie up your capital for the long term. That means that you miss out on a lot of wonderful opportunities during the season when you could have made money equivalent to or higher to your future bet winnings.
The benefit of betting futures is that the odds keep changing as the season progresses. So maybe, you weren’t sure in the beginning, but by the midway point, you may be feeling more confident. The odds that you make the wager on will be locked for you, and all payouts will be made on that basis. Another benefit is that long-term odds promise higher returns if you manage to get things right.
Having futures bets explained goes hand in hand with having sports betting explained, so we hope you’ve understood what these types of bets entail.
Sometimes you’re feeling really lucky, and you want to maximize the return on your luck as much as possible. Alternatively, you’re confident you can see several games playing out predictably in the coming week. Well, luckily, sportsbooks offer you a way to test your knowledge out.
Parlay Bets involve making a series of bets that are all dependent on each other. That means that all bets have to succeed for your parlay to be considered successful. If you made 4 wagers and only 3 ended the way you predicted, then all bets are considered a loss.
The risk is obvious here, but the rewards are what get people excited. Parlays can often provide a great return on investment. This can be particularly useful for experienced bettors who know just the right time to use a parlay bet. For example, a week when you have several matches where one team has very obvious talent and resource advantage means you can confidently say that the favorites will all win their respective matches.
If you made individual bets, the payouts would be measly because the result is pretty obvious. A parlay however, adds an element of risk which sportsbooks reward handsomely!
How to Bet on Sports Online
Betting on sports online is now a relatively hassle-free experience. Just follow the steps mentioned below to get started:
- Pick a Sportsbook
A sportsbook is where you’ll find wagers and odds for various sports to bet on. You can do your own research to choose which sportsbook is right for you, or you can read through our expert reviews of various sportsbooks and streamline the process.
TOP #3 Sports Betting Site to Bet on Sports
- Sign Up and Deposit
As with any digital service, you first need to create an account with the sportsbook of your choice. Once that’s done, you will have to browse through the number of deposit methods available and add money to your account.
- Find and Place Bets
Once you have money in your account, all you have to do is navigate to the relevant sport in the sportsbook and choose from the list of wagers available to bet on sports.
We’ve all seen the ads. Sports betting and gambling drives something base on us, and as such, it is very easy to get sucked into the fun and stop thinking of the bigger picture. Sport is often combined with drinking, which for a lot of people augments the fun and thrill. No judgment here, to be honest.
However, it becomes a concern when people gamble under the influence. We’ve spoken at great length about how you need to be sharp and quick-witted when it comes to sports betting. You can’t really do that if you’re gambling while under the influence.
You need to have strong and sober judgment that alcohol impairs. This is why we always recommend that you bet on sports while sober. This is common advice for gamblers and applies equally to sports bettors.
Think of it this way; you wouldn’t make important decisions in your life while drunk, would you? You wouldn’t decide to get a loan while under the influence. While sports betting doesn’t appear to be a major financial commitment, it can quickly become one if you’re not thinking straight.
Manage Your Money
This is an extension of the previous point. Look, we all have the desire to spend our money however we choose to do so. No one is telling you how to spend your money. The issue is that most of us also have responsibilities, not just to ourselves but also to those around us.
This can mean bills, school fees, emergency savings etc. The issue with sports betting is that it’s all your money, and you can choose to spend it all in a weekend if you felt like it. This would mean that you’re left with nothing for your other obligations.
It is hence, important that you budget before you even open your sportsbook. The first thing you do at the beginning of each sports season is to set aside the sum of money you would like to spend on sports betting.
Then you need to divide this sum into weekly budgets. Never go above this budget. Here’s the thing, sport excites us all. Sports betting adds a layer to that excitement. If you’re not careful, the fun can lead you down some dark roads.
Before you begin your sports betting journey, always do your research. Make sure you’re on the right platform, making the right bets. We all think we’re the smartest people in the room. This generally doesn’t cost us anything. It only becomes an issue when we make decisions purely out of arrogance and ignore the signs that our decision may not be as good as we thought.
Betting is a tricky activity because the sportsbooks are experts at what they do. Their job is to make sure you win as little as possible. This means that you have to humble yourself and try to be clever when taking on these experts.
If you don’t conduct enough research, you’ll simply be making bad decisions repeatedly. The worst part will be that you won’t know just how bad the decision is because you never researched it in the first place.
Always remember: Just because you’ve been following the sport since you were a child doesn’t mean that you are an expert in the math that goes into designing betting odds and betting lines. To beat these betting odds, you need to have a deeper appreciation of the process and bet cleverly. This is only possible if you do your research.
We hope that this guide was useful in explaining just how you can go about sports betting online. We have several other guides on everything gambling and sports betting related if you ever feel like you’re lost. We hope that you will follow the advice and information in this guide and have a successful journey as a sports bettor.
This was our guide on how to bet on sports. We hope that you found it informative and that it eases your journey into the world of sports betting. If you wish to know anything else about gambling, feel free to consult our guides.