12 Things Every Beginner Needs to Know About Sports Betting

sports betting

With sports betting finally legal in most states, millions of fans will be venturing into the market for the first time. While signing up is simple enough, understanding how to place a bet correctly can be tricky. Below are 12 things every beginner needs to know.

1. Understand the house edge and vig.

The vig (or juice) is the commission that a bookmaker takes for accepting your bet. This fee can be substantial, and it is a big reason why many new sports bettors lose money in the long run. However, the house edge can also be mitigated through sound bankroll management. By determining how much you can afford to lose and only betting a small percentage of your bankroll on each bet, you can minimize the effect of the vig.

2. Identify value bets.

The best way to win money betting on sports is by identifying value bets. This involves finding bets that pay out more than they should, based on factors like a team’s recent performance and its matchup with an opponent of similar quality. To find these bets, it is important to track past betting results and build a database that can help you predict future performance.

3. Research statistical models.

Professional gamblers spend countless hours studying data correlations and building statistical models that can predict the outcome of a game. These models are then tested using hundreds of simulations, which can help identify lines with high probability. Despite the fact that most amateur gamblers don’t have access to this level of technology, all bettors can benefit from doing their research. Pay attention to which pundits make the most accurate predictions and avoid betting on games based solely on the 24/7 news cycle.

4. Keep an eye on the over/under totals.

Over/under bets are a great way to increase your chances of winning a game, especially when the score is close at the end of the game. However, it’s important to remember that the total can still go over if there are several touchdowns scored in the final minute. Also, be sure to take into account the halftime score when placing a bet on an over/under.

5. Track multiple sportsbooks’ odds.

Sportsbook odds can vary by region, so it’s important to shop around to get the best prices. Different sportsbooks offer different odds, and some even have different clienteles. This can lead to differences in how a bet is priced, which can have a significant impact on your profits.

6. Consider Pythagorean wins.

The Pythagorean win statistic is an excellent tool to use when analyzing a team’s performance. It is a mathematical formula that takes into account a team’s record and strength of schedule to determine its overall winning percentage. It has been shown to be a more accurate predictor of success than just win-loss records alone. Keeping an eye on this stat can help you determine which teams to bet on and which to avoid.