Humans across the entire planet live for sports. Whether it be an individual in New Zealand supporting their national cricket team or someone in Denver, Colorado supporting the Denver Nuggets, sports are found everywhere. I mean, what’s better than laying back and watching your favorite team duel it out with another?
Well, many would argue that sports betting adds an extra element of enjoyment to sports. Now whether you choose to do NBA betting, NFL betting, tennis betting, etc., I want you to know these 5 concepts before you start betting on anything. These 5 concepts will give you the basic knowledge of how to smartly and safely bet on sports bet.
- Line movement
1 – Spreads
Before you begin betting, you must understand what bets you are selecting and what exactly they mean. Even the most knowledgeable sports viewer may not understand what spreads or money lines mean at first sight. Here’s an example of a spread.
Los Angeles Lakers -4.5
What does this mean? The Los Angeles Lakers are a basketball team and in terms of basketball, the Lakers must win by 5 or more points.
The negative side indicates that the team is a “favorite” so they must beat the “underdog” by a higher margin than simply winning. Conversely, a plus sign indicates the team is an underdog.
Therefore, if the Lakers were +4.5, then they would have to lose by less than 4 or win by any margin. The final scenario is when both teams are so equally matched that books have the spread as “pick-em.”
This will be explicit on betting sites and basically means you can choose either side to outright win.
2 – Money lines
The idea of a money line is a fairly similar idea to “pick-em” because a money line is a form of bet where the bettor can choose who wins. Again, the best way to explain would be through an example.
Los Angeles Lakers -320
320 is the amount of “juice” you have to pay to bet on the Lakers. I will explain “juice” in part 4. Anyhow, the same goes with money lines that the subtraction sign indicates a favorite, and the higher that the number goes, the more of a favorite that team is. A -120 team would be less of a favorite than a -500 team.
3 – Over/Under
A very interesting aspect of sports betting is the over/under bet. The cool part is that the context of the bet changes for almost every sport.
For example, in the NBA, there are team total O/U, total game O/U, one-half O/U, etc. In MMA, you can bet the O/U on the total number of rounds the fight goes. In MLB, you can select O/U for total runs in an entire game and many others.
Basically, the sportsbooks will give you a number generated through their algorithms that they see as the best fit and you, the bettor, can decide whether you want to take over or under that total. These bets are very lucrative and super exciting.
4 – “Juice”
This is maybe the most important concept regarding sports betting simply because it appears everywhere. Consider “juice” as a tax for the sportsbooks. Here an example is helpful.
Los Angeles Lakers -320.
If you, the bettor, elected to take the Lakers as a -320 favorite… you are willing to bet 32 dollars to win 10. See. The Lakers are such a heavy favorite so the books will tax you extra. Sportsbooks would run out of business if not for juice. This is why many bettors are reluctant in taking large, juicy bets because they are so costly.
On the other hand, teams can also be plus money. What this means is that they are underdogs and you can bet much less on them. If the Sacramento Kings were +150, that would mean you would only have to bet $10 to win $15.
Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, these bets are risky because underdogs win at a much lower rate than favorites. Now you understand why sports betting is not easy?
5 – Line Movement
The final concept is line movement. Now, this is getting to more complex betting ideas than just simply selecting a bet. Lines are very fluid in the sports betting world.
Many different aspects of the sport such as injury reports, weather, etc. can affect the lines. For example, if Luka Doncic of the Mavericks was declared OUT right before the Mavericks game had begun, you could most definitely see a significant movement in the lines.
The spreads will change, and the money line juice will change. Now the timing of your bets becomes important.
Most educated NBA bettors pick their bets after injury reports come out to not get blindsided by an unexpected injury. You can also use line movement to your favor.
Many times, injury news or other news comes out and lines get moved. You can analyze the shift and see whether it was enough of an over or under exaggeration and see whether you would like to bet or not.
These were the main concepts that will get you a strong basis for the betting world. You want to make sure you are knowledgeable and know what you are getting into. WInning is not easy so make sure you bet wisely and safely.