A Beginner’s Guide to Sports Betting

Sports betting is a great way to add excitement to any sports event. However, the learning curve can be steep for newcomers to this form of gambling. This article helps simplify the process with a beginner-level breakdown of the most popular types of wagers.

Straight bets are bets on a single team or individual player to win a game. These bets offer higher payouts and are easier to place than spread or total bets. Straight bets are typically available for most major sports.

Over/Under bets are a fun alternative to standard point spreads and focus on the total number of runs, goals or points scored in a matchup. For example, a Rams-Seahawks total may be set at 42.5 points. If you expect a high-scoring shootout, you’d bet the over; if you expect a defensive slugfest, you’d bet the under.

Futures bets are a type of wager that pays off at the end of a season or tournament. These bets can be placed on a wide variety of events, including individual championships, league titles and world cups. In addition to the NBA and MLB, futures are also offered for popular college and even esports games.

Before online sportsbooks were commonplace, oddsmakers created their own power ratings for each sport. While they were reluctant to reveal their methods, these ratings were usually balanced between traditional sports statistics and intangible factors like schedule and opponent strength. Today, there are many tested tools and strategies to help you find the right fit for your sports betting style.

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