Beginner’s Guide to Sports Betting

Most people start sports betting for the trill and the profits that one gets after winning. However, betting activities also have their negative effects like addiction and losses. Since sports’ betting is not solely based on luck, there are a few skills that you need to master before placing your first bet. Novice bettors should understand the different types of wagers, odds, deciding where to bet and many more. This guide provides all the information that you need to make better betting decisions and increase your chances of winning. Read on to learn more about sports betting.

Meaning of Odds

You cannot bet well if you don’t understand how odds work. You need to learn how to pick the best odds as they are the determinants of the value of a betting outcome. Bookies give higher odds to the most unlikely occurrences and lower odds for the most likely outcomes. Since odds are the inverse value of the probability of an occurrence, the best bet is when the likelihood of an occurrence is higher than what is indicated by the odds.

You can find value on the higher odds given to the underdogs, but your evaluations should support this. A lower odd can also represent value if the value probability of an occurrence is more than 90% according to your evaluation. It is also advisable to compare odds from different sites before you place your bet.

How to Pick Your Bets

Most newbie bettors like playing big accumulators with several selections that need to be correct for them to win. This strategy enables them to make big wins with minimal stakes, but they increase the bookmaker’s advantage. You should not bet on every game because every selection you add to your betting slip minimises your possibility of winning.

How to Place a Bet

The next step after picking your bets is to place the wagers with a bookmaker. This part is essential in sports betting as it is where you choose where to place your bet and the value of your stake. Nowadays, there are different ways of placing a bet, including betting over the telephone, betting at a bookmaking shop and betting through the bookie’s website.

Most bettors are now choosing online betting due to its convenience and the ability to compare different bookies. You can only access the online betting sites if online betting is legal in your country or state. The sites also require you to open an account through a simple registration process where you give details like your name and email address. Once you have completed the registration process and deposited some funds, you can access a variety of sports and games to bet on.

The next step is to click on your picks and enter your wager amount, and the sportsbook will show your potential payout and deduct your stake amount from your account balance. They will also add your winnings to your account automatically.

The Different Types of Bets

Since most bookies have a wide selection of bets, choosing the best type of bet can be confusing. Newbie bettors also don’t understand the betting terminologies used do define the bets. Below is an explanation of some of the simple bets you can start with.

Win Bet/Moneyline Bets

Both Win bet and moneyline bet mean the same thing and the choice of name mostly depends on where you reside. Win bet is commonly used in Europe and most parts of the world, while moneyline bet is common in the US.

This type of bet is the most basic as you are required to select the team that you believe will win the game or match you are betting on. For example, if you are betting on a game between Manchester United and Arsenal, you need to pick the team that you think will win. If you think that Arsenal will beat Manchester United, you will place a winning bet on Arsenal. If Arsenal wins the game, you will win your wager!

Totals and Over/Under Bets

Totals bet is common in the US, but the rest of the world calls it an over/under bet. This bet is also simple to understand, meaning it can be a good pick for beginners. When it comes to this bet, the bookie will issue a specified total for the number of points or goals in the game, and the bettor decides they think the outcome will be over or under this number.

Handicap Betting

In this bet, the bookie assigns a total number of points for the team that they think will be favoured by the match and the bettor decides whether the pick is overstated or understated.


Sports betting can be confusing for beginners due to the terminologies used and the high number of bet types and games. New bettors should, therefore, learn all these before they start betting. You can start with the above simple bets and try the rest at your pace. It is also important to analyse several bookies before choosing the best paying and most reliable betting site.