If you know the ins and outs of sports betting online, you stand to make a lot of money. Be it football, tennis, horseracing or rugby, the basics of sports wagering are pretty much the same.
The first step to making money from betting on sports is familiarizing yourself with the odds. Odds represent the likelihood that an event will occur. They also tell you how much money you need to stake in order to be paid a certain amount from a winning bet. Naturally with tall stakes, high winning potential goes hand in hand with elevated risk.
Most bookmakers give their odds as fractions. If the chances that Barcelona wins the Champions League are listed as 23/2 then each $2 bet will earn you $23 if your bet wins. Betting exchanges commonly use decimal odds. If the probability that South Africa wins a rugby game is given as 1.4, a winning bet will give you $140 for every $100 stake.
The most common way to handicap a bet at fixed odds is on the money line. This is a way to place a handicap on the favoured team so that both teams are seen as equally profitable in the eyes of punters. In this system, a plus sign (+) signifies the underdogs, while a minus sign (-) tells us that a team is expected to win. A hypothetical money line could be:
Team X -150
Team Z +120
If you bet on Team X, the favourites, then you risk $150 for every $100 return. Backing Team Z, on the other hand, you risk $100 for every $120 gain.
Betting on the point spread (also known as spread betting) is more popular with soccer and basketball. If the spread between Team X and Team Y is 7, then Team X must win by at least 8 points or goals in order for its backers to be paid. Betting on the underdogs, Team Z gives you more chances to win. You will see a return on your wager if Team Z triumphs or if Team X wins by less than 7 points.