Sports Betting for Beginners: Information for the Fledgline Gambler

Sports betting is perhaps the most prominent form of online betting available to gamblers. If you are a sports fan who keeps track of box scores and statistics, you could break into the world of online gambling here. The first thing you want to do is check if this is legal in your state. A lot of betting sites will allow you to sign up but you will not be able to deposit or withdraw money if sports betting is illegal in your state. You can find this out by either contacting customer support for a betting site or by using a search engine to determine legality in your state. If you are in a legal state, you are free to pursue sports betting.

There is some basic terminology and notation that you should be aware of before you invest your time and money into this. Spread is the margin of victory by which Vegas expects the favorite to win by; if you bet the favorite that team must win by the spread amount or greater, and if you bet the underdog they must either lose by less than the spread or win outright. You may also bet straight up on the money line. Money lines appear with either a + or – symbol in front of them, where a – indicates the amount that you need to bet to win $100, and a plus indicates the amount you will win on a $100 bet. For example, a money line of -200 means you would need to bet $200 to win a profit of $100. Or if the money line is +200, you can win a profit of $200 on a $100 bet.

There is also a relatively new and for the most part unregulated part of sports betting called daily fantasy. Daily fantasy sites let gamblers select lineups of players to compete against other gamblers, where the best lineups win money for their respective gamblers. Daily fantasy football is the most popular game here, but basketball and baseball also have significant followings, and you can bet on lots of other sports, although there won’t be as many players on less popular games.

By now you should have a good idea of your interest and ability in sports betting. If you are on the fence, start tracking the games and players you would bet on for a couple weeks and make small bets. As you gain confidence and experience, you can increase your bets and make more money off your expertise. Be careful not to bet too large though, as a smart gambler never bets more than he or she can afford to lose.

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