As sports betting is going mainstream in America, we’re here to help gamblers and new investors learn how to bet. Here are sports betting tips to use for 2022 as we expect 40 out of 50 states will have some form of legalization by then.

1. Underdogs vs. Favorites

The first step in creating a betting line for a game is determining which team should be the favorite and which should be the underdog.

The favorite is the team that is predicted to win the game and has a minus sign next to its odds, whereas the underdog is the team that is likely to lose and has a plus sign next to its odds.
If the game is a toss-up, the book will begin with the words “pick” or “pick’em.”

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2. Spreadsheets

You can wager on a favorite or an underdog in one of two ways.

The first is a wager on the margin of victory, known as the point spread.

Let’s say the Patriots are a 7-point favorite over the Jets.

They’d be ranked at a minus seven.

If you bet on the Patriots, they must win by at least eight points to win your wager.
You “cover” if the Patriots win by at least 8 points.
If the Patriots win by exactly 7 points, it’s referred to as a “push,” which means you’ll get your money back. So it doesn’t count as a win and doesn’t count as a loss.

You lose your bet if the Patriots win by 6 points or less (or lose the game straight up).

On the other hand, if you bet on the Jets “plus the points” (+7), you must win (or cover) your wager if the Jets win or lose by six points or fewer.

Spreads are available for all sports, but they are most commonly employed in high-scoring sports such as football, baseball, and basketball.


3. Moneylines for Sports Betting

The moneyline is the second option to gamble on a favorite or underdog.

This is simply based on which team will win the game, and the payment is calculated using American odds.

Favorites are once again assigned a “minus” value, such as -150, -200, or -500.
If a favorite is -200, you must wager $200 in order to win $100.
You get $100 if the favorite wins, but you lose $200 if the favorite loses.

Because favorites are expected to win, betting on them carries a higher risk.

A “plus” designation, such as +150, +200, or +500, is given to underdogs.
If an underdog is +200, you will receive $200 if you wager $100 on them and they win the game.

You lose if they lose the game.

An NBA game between the Celtics and the Bulls, for example, could have a total of 215.
You have the option of betting on the Over 215 or the Under 215.
You win your wager if the total points scored are 216 or greater after you bet the Over 215 line.
You lose if your total points are 214 or less.

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4. What does the -110 number next to my bet mean?

Every stake is assessed a “tax” by the oddsmakers, which is commonly referred to as “juice” or “vig” (short for “vigorish”).
The juice is the fee you must pay the bookmaker in order for them to accept your wager.

In the United States, the vig will be listed in American odds.

5. How Much Should You Bet?

In the end, the decision of how much to risk on a game is yours to make, but a decent rule of thumb is to risk only what you can afford to lose.
Betting on sports is a marathon, not a sprint.
There will be days when things go well and days when things go wrong.
As a result, we advise using a flat-betting strategy.

This entails wagering the same amount on each game and only risking 1% to 5% of your bankroll per play (the bankroll is the starting amount you have at your disposal to bet with).
For example, if you start with a $100 bankroll, you should risk no more than $5 per game.

Bettors who use a flat-betting strategy not only protect themselves from losing their whole bankroll during a losing streak, but they also set themselves up for success.

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