There are several important factors you need to know about online sports betting. No matter what sport you are betting on, the basics are all the same and can help you maximize your success rate while minimizing your losses.
Sports betting is not an exact science and is a game of chance. Odds give you the probability of an outcome. They also tell you how much money you must wager in order to see a certain return on a winning bet. Bookmakers typically give their odds as fractions. For example the probability that Team X wins its latest match could be given as 33/1. This means that every $1 bet stands to win you $33. Betting exchangers tend to give decimal odds. For instance, the likelihood that Horse Y wins its race could be presented as 1.2. This means that you can see a $120 return on every $100 stake. Playing high odds is a double-edged sword as both the risk and potential winnings increase.
The most common way to handicap a bet at fixed odds is on the money line. A typical money line could be given as:
Red Team + 170
Blue Team – 180
The plus sign (+) designates Red Team as the underdogs. Because the chances of them winning are slimmer, if they are victorious, you stand to gain more by backing them. In other words, you will see a $170 return on every $100 bet. The minus sign (-) identifies Blue Team as the favourites. Because they are expected to win, backing Blue means that you must stake $180 to win $100.
Spread betting, also known as the point spread, also identifies the underdogs with a plus and the favourites with a minus. A typical spread may be
Green Team +12
White Team -12
From this we learn that the spread is 12 points or goals. This means that White Team must beat Green Team by at least 13 points for White bets to win. In order for Green bets to win, either Green Team must win or White Team must win by less than 12 points.