Sports Betting 101

Millions of sports fans around the world think to themselves, “betting on sports must be easy!” But the reality is it is not. After accounting for the vig (or juice) a sports betting customer must be right about 52% of the time to break even. Even the best professional bettors make mistakes from time to time.

The most profitable bets are those on teams that cover the spread, otherwise known as ATS bets. This is a form of handicapping where a team’s win-loss record is measured not only in the conventional way of straight up wins and losses but also in terms of how often they beat the spread. For example, a team that loses 10 games straight up may have an overall win-loss record of 7-9 but, in the betting world, their ATS record is a respectable 10-6-4.

Another common bet is on the over and under, or totals. These bets are based on the number of goals scored in a game and are calculated by using various factors including historical events, weather conditions, and player and team performance.

Unlike traditional bets, where customers place wagers with the help of bookmakers, online sportsbooks allow customers to bet on sporting events directly through their websites. These are known as betting exchanges and offer a variety of markets that can be placed on a single fixture, such as the total number of goals scored in the game or whether a particular player will score a goal.