How to Make Money in Sports Betting

Sports betting is the act of placing a bet on an outcome of a sporting event and getting paid if that outcome happens. It’s one of the most popular forms of gambling and can be very lucrative if done correctly. The key to making money in sports betting is understanding how the odds work and using them to your advantage.

To determine a team’s chances of winning, the oddsmakers look at a number of factors, including the team’s record, injury status, home-field advantage and more. They then assign a percentage chance to each team, which is called the “odds,” and then create a spread for the game. The team with the higher odds is considered the favorite and the team with the lower odds is the underdog.

When deciding who to bet on, it’s important to block out media hype and bias. The hundreds, if not thousands, of television shows, radio shows and web sites that cover sports are largely in business of pumping up the most popular teams. They do so because hot takes attract viewers, listeners and readers.

This often skews public perception and pushes the lines toward the most popular side. This can be especially true when it comes to game totals, which are bets on whether the two teams will combine for more (over) or less (under) runs, goals, points and more. These types of bets are often offered in addition to full-game odds and are adjusted throughout the game based on the action.

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