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Sports Betting – What It Is and How It Works

ByDunbar Aldridge

Nov 18, 2021
Photos taken at Las Vegas.

Betting on sports has stepped out of the shadows into the mainstream over the past few years. The anti-gambling criticisms that have existed for years are fading quickly, especially with many countries legalizing sports betting. This has opened doors for a massive, multibillion-dollar sports gambling industry. Football handicappers are at the forefront setting and selling the best football odds based on in-depth analysis. 

On the other hand, bookmakers are struggling to stay in business by offering irresistible odds to gamblers. But before you can buy football picks or commit to The Best Bet On Sports bookmaker, you need to know where to begin if you’re entering the betting market for the first time.

Sports Betting 101: Definition and Common Betting Terms

Sports betting is a legal form of gambling where you stake your money and make a profit. That is provided you make a correct guess regarding a sports match result. In short, if you make a correct prediction of a match’s result, you win. If the prediction is incorrect, you lose the amount you’ve put on stake. This is the short definition of sports betting. There’s a lot to consider when placing a bet (which we’ll look into in a while). 

Common terms you’ll interact with when betting

Bookie/Bookmaker/Sportsbook is a site or individual offering odds on the outcome of a sporting event. Odds are the ratio between the staked amounts by the betting parties. If the odds on a team are 3.5, it means you’ll get three and half times the amount you staked if you win the bet. A draw means the match ends with no winner or loser. The double result means a prediction of the halftime and full-time results of the match. Under is a bet on whether the total of any variable will be below the mark set by the bookmaker. An Over is a bet on whether the total of any variable will be over the bookmaker’s set mark. Live betting is betting while the match is in progress. The underdog is the team that is most likely to lose. And the favorite is a team that is most likely to win. 

How to Read Sports Odds

Understanding the odds informs you of the best bets that are worth taking. It’s what sets apart successful gamblers from the rest. Different bookmakers use different formats of betting odds, which are all easier to understand. The most famous formats are the American and Decimal odds. 

American Odds

These odds are also called US odds and revolve around wagering or winning $100 on a specified bet. If you see a positive (+) or negative (-) sign in the match you want to bet on, you’re dealing with American odds. The signs represent the favorites (+) and underdogs (-).

Decimal odds

Decimal odds are numbers that represent how much a user wins per $1 wagered. This number often represents the total earned and not the profit a user has made. Therefore, your stake is included in the number making your total payout easier.

Gambling platforms have an index with a value scale of 1 to 10, and this shows the confidence level in a specific bet. Here the greatest stakes are ten, and the lowest is one. These are the values that bettors use when to stake based on how safe a bet is.