The Beginner’s Guide to the World of Sports Gambling

The Beginner’s Guide to the World of Sports Gambling
26 Feb
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Sports betting is a great way for sports fans to enhance their viewing experience and possibly make a quick buck at the same time too. However, there are of course dangers in risking your money for your favorite players and favorite teams, and with all the types of bets you could make, it can get easy to get confused and to just make clueless bets.

When betting on sports, it’s important to be familiar with how sports gambling works, in order to not just have a fun experience, but also to minimize the risk of you losing all your money. 

Why should you bet on sports?

Why do people bet on sports in the first place? Most people like to bet on sports because it’s an extremely quick way to make money, and there’s virtually no effort involved. It’s also a great way for fans to become more invested in the games that they’re watching since you’d probably be watching an entire game if you had money on the line.

Of course, gambling on sports should be viewed as an activity just for leisure, although there are some people who can legitimately make a living out of gambling on sports. For beginners, though, it’s best to view sports gambling as a hobby for sports fans with money to spare. 

Where can sports bets be placed?

Sports bets used to be generally placed in local sportsbooks or casinos, but today, through the internet, sports bettors can place their bets online in a variety of online sportsbooks. Gamblers can easily check online for legitimate sportsbooks that offer all sorts of wagers for different sports. 

These online sportsbooks offer a selection of payment methods that are secure and that may allow you to withdraw your winnings almost instantly. Plus, most sportsbooks offer welcome bonuses for new members which can allow users to bet without having to risk a single cent. 

Types of bets

Betting on sports is generally viewed as simply placing a wager on who you think will win a game. However, there are much more bets and much more opportunities for winning than that. There’s only a limited number of games you can place a bet on per day, but with these various types of bets, the options are almost limitless.

Moneyline Bets

Moneyline bets are the simplest bet to make on sports. In the moneyline, a matchup is denoted through a + and – sign, and each team has corresponding odds. For example, in a game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos, the odds may be presented as: Kansas City Chiefs +150 vs. Denver Broncos -300. Generally, when odds are presented, the team with the lower or negative odds is deemed the favorite while the team with the higher or positive odds is deemed the underdog.

When betting on the moneyline, the amount you win is dependent on the odds of the team you’re playing against. To put it simply, in the odds presented above, the you’d win the equivalent of the odds of the underdog for a $100 bet. So, if you bet $100 on the Broncos and they win, you’d win $300. On the other hand, a bet on the favorite may be understood as the amount that you’d need to bet to win $100. In the case of the Chiefs, in order to win $100, you’d have to bet $150. 

Spread Bets

Betting on the spread is betting on which team you expect to win, but with a catch. The spread is the difference between the final scores of the two teams. If you’re betting on the favorite, your team has to win and likewise cover the spread, while if you bet on the underdog, your wager will pay off if the underdog wins outright or loses but the winning team fails to cover the spread. 

To give an example, if the spread is 4.5, and the favorite won, a bet on the favorite would only win if they finish the game with a lead greater than 4.5. A bet on the underdog, on the other hand, would win if the underdog won or if they lost the game but the deficit was less than 4.5.


Sports bettors who don’t like betting on which team will win can bet on totals instead. This is basically betting on whether or not the final total score of the game would go under or over the number set by the sportsbook. For example, when the point total is 220.5, you can bet on either the over or the under. If you bet on the over, the final scores of both teams, when added, should be greater than 220.5, while if you bet on the under, the sum must be less than 220.5.


A parlay is a great way to make big money from a small bet. Basically, a parlay is a single bet on multiple games, wherein all your bets would have to be correct in order for you to win. If one of your picks loses the game, you lose the entire bet. Parlays are riskier than the other bets that you can make, but they pay better. 

Proposition Bets

Proposition bets, also known as prop bets, are bets on certain outcomes that may or may not occur within a game. These bets can go from the most random, such as which team would score 10 points first, or to more calculated ones, such as whether or not a player can grab 12 rebounds in the game. These types of bets may also be made while the game is ongoing, but it’s advised to bet small when making prop bets, since they’re less predictable than other bets.

Futures Bets

Making a futures bet is making a bet on an event that will occur at some point in the future, such as whether or not a team will reach the playoff, or who will win the MVP award or the championship. Like the moneyline, each team or player has corresponding odds, with the least likely outcomes having low odds and high pay, and the most likely outcomes having high odds and low pay. 

Things to remember when betting on sports


Maintaining self-control when betting on sports is paramount. It’s easy to get carried away and to just risk money on virtually every bet you could possibly make hoping that these bets will pay off. However, to succeed in gambling, or at least not have a bad time, it’s important to be disciplined and to only make sensible bets that are likely to happen. Even though it’s gambling, it’s still advised to gamble wisely in order to maximize your wins and minimize your losses.

Anger Management

There are many videos to be found online of sports fans losing their minds because of a lost bet. You don’t want to be that guy. Sports can get intense, especially when there’s money on the line, but always remember that you’re gambling, and losing some money from time to time is an inherent part of sports betting. When emotions run high, learn to accept the loss and don’t ever make bets when you’re angry. Being at the height of your emotions can lead you into making unwise bets and may even cause you some financial trouble. 

Bankroll Management 

Sports gambling is a hobby reserved for those who have the means. When you decide to become a sports bettor, it’s essential to set aside a part of your budget that you can afford to lose. You should always be aware of the fact that you can lose every bet that you make. 

This can however be avoided by managing your bankroll well. Managing your bankroll means spreading out your bets into small, separate bets instead of betting everything on one wager. You should also make sure that the amount you’re betting will not force you to dig into your pockets outside of the budget that you have set aside for gambling. Once you go bust, you should only come back once you have the financial capacity to do so. 

Committee Chairman

Kirk Buchner, "The Committee Chairman", is the owner and operator of the site.  Kirk can be contacted at [email protected] .

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