Online Sports Betting 101

This is the place to be if you would like to learn how to bet on sports. Sports betting is popular around the world and adds entertainment value to any game. Some serious sports bettors are even able to turn a consistent profit. In this article, we will introduce the basics of sports betting.

Getting Started Sports Betting Online

The first thing to do to get started with sports betting is to choose an online sportsbook for your action. There are hundreds of sportsbooks out there, but there is a group of about a dozen that are considered the largest and safest.

Once you have an online sportsbook picked out, you can visit its website to sign up for an account. This process only takes a few seconds and asks for basic information. Once you have an account, you can log in at the sportsbook website any time to make deposits, place your bets and cash out your winnings.

Depositing at a sportsbook is also a pretty easy process. You can make a deposit by logging in and visiting the cashier screen. There will be a button somewhere in there that you can use to make a deposit. You will then be given a list of deposit options along with instructions for making a deposit.

Now that you have an account and money, you are ready to bet on sports. If you chose a large sportsbook, you’ll be able to choose from almost every sport in the world. Online sportsbooks do a good job providing bets on every major match every day.

Placing Sports Wagers On The Net

Ok now it’s time for the fun stuff: placing bets. You can place a bet on any game by logging in to your account and then navigating to the sport of your choice. Inside that section, most online sportsbooks have a list of leagues or types of bets. Just choose whichever looks good and then you’ll be taken to a page that displays all the open bets.

On that page, you can place a sports bet by clicking on the odds for any matchup. This will open a screen where you can type in the amount you want to bet and confirm your bet. Some sportsbooks have it set up so that when you type in your betting amounts, you can also see how much you stand to win.

After you confirm your bet, all you have to do is wait for the game to finish. The sportsbook will then let you know if your bet was successful and will deposit any winnings straight to your account. You can keep the money online to bet more or you can withdraw the winnings back to your bank.

Types of Sports Bets

In every matchup, one team is usually perceived to have a greater chance than the other. Therefore sportsbooks use point spreads and moneylines to get an equal number of people betting on both sides. Otherwise, everyone would just bet on the best team every time and the sportsbook would go broke in a week.

Point Spreads

Point spread bets specify that the stronger team has to win by a certain number of points for the bet to be considered a win. So let’s use an example from a recent batch of NFL spreads:

Cincinnati Bengals +7 Indianapolis Colts -7

What this is saying is that the Colts are “giving” seven points to the Bengals. That means the Colts have to win by more than seven points for it to be considered a win. So if you bet money on the Colts and they only win by six points, you are going to lose the bet. If you bet on the Bengals and they lose by only six points, you will still win the bet.

Moneyline Bets

The moneyline serves the same purpose as the point spread. In this bet, however, there is no giving and taking of points. Instead, the sportsbooks alter the payouts. Here’s the same bet as above except this time in moneyline format:

Cincinnati Bengals +280 Indianapolis Colts -360

The Colts are still viewed as the favorites in this match so the get odds of -360. This means that you must wager $3.60 for every $1.00 in potential winnings. So if you want a chance to win $100, you will have to wager $360.

The Bengals are viewed as the underdogs so they get odds of +280. This means that you will win $2.80 for every $1.00 you risk. So if you want a chance to win $280, all you have to wager is $100.

Over / Under or Totals Bets

Over / under sports bets are also known as totals. They usually revolve around the final score of the match but not always. In a regular totals bet, the sportsbook lists a number and then lets you pick whether the total combined score of both teams will be more than that amount or less than that amount.

For example:

Cincinnati Bengals Indianapolis Colts 47.5

In this example, the sportsbook has set the total at 47.5 points. You can now place a bet on the “over” or the “under.” If you think both teams will score a total of 48 points, you would place a bet on the over. If you think this will be a low scoring game, you would want to place a bet on the under.

Online sportsbooks often use half-points to make sure there is no way for the bet to result in a tie. Sometimes sportsbooks use whole points, though, and if the final score lands exactly on that total, the bet is considered a push and everyone gets refunded.

Prop Bets

Proposition betting at sportsbook sites online is also a very popular format. Prop bets can basically be described as betting on “everything else.” People can place prop bets on whether or not a certain player will score X number of points, they can be about which team will score first or they can even be about random things such as how long the opening song will last.

Prop sports bets are limited only by the imagination of whoever’s job it is to come up with prop bets. Online sportsbooks offer a huge variety of prop bets and they really go crazy during big events such as the NFL Super Bowl.

Prop betting can be just as profitable as the other types of bets on this page. While most of the attention is on the moneyline and spread bets, you can often find advantageous prop bets that have been overlooked.

Parlay Bets

Parlay bets are sort of a string of bets. In a parlay bet, you have to correctly pick the winner of several matchups. If you are correct in all your predictions, you will earn a hefty payout. These sportsbook bets are not easy to win, but they do offer handsome rewards. Here’s an example:

One online sportsbook has a 16 game NFL parlay every weekend during NFL season. If you correctly pick every single game, you’ll get a $100,000 paycheck. Not too bad for a day’s work. Online sportsbook websites also offer smaller parlays that are not nearly as difficult to win.

Live Bets

Some online sportsbooks offer live betting. In live betting, you can place short term bets during the course of a game. For example, you can place bets on whether or not the next play will result in a score. These bets are updated in real time so you can actually watch the game and place bets live. This is definitely one of the most exciting ways to bet.

We have heard reports that some sports bettors are able to listen to radio broadcasts of the games that are “more” live than the sportsbook. These people have then been able to place bets while already knowing the outcome. Sounds like a great advantage, but those people later reported that their bets were cancelled and their live betting privileges revoked.

Depositing And Withdrawing Money

Sportsbook deposits and withdrawal methods vary depending on where you live. You can get wire transfers, e-checks or credits back to your e-wallet account. You can also just get paper checks Fed-Exed to your front door. And if the check somehow gets lost in the mail (we’ve never had this happen), you can just tell them to cancel it and send another one.

Signup Offers And First Deposit Bonuses

Most online sportsbook sites offer signup bonuses to all first time depositors. These bonuses are given to you as a percentage of your first deposit. For example, a couple sportsbooks give players a 10% deposit bonus. If you were to sign up and deposit $200 at such a site, you would get an extra $20 welcome bonus.

Online sports betting websites attach “clearing requirements” to these bonuses to protect themselves from people getting the bonus and running. These requirements aren’t anything too crazy, but they ask you to wager a certain amount of money before withdrawing the bonus money. You’re under no obligation to stay there, though, if you decide you don’t care about the bonus.