How to Bet on Sports for Beginners

Sports betting has risen from the shadows and into the mainstream in the last four years. The long-standing anti-gambling stigma in American popular culture eroded swiftly, allowing a significant, multibillion-dollar legal sports betting business to flourish.

With sports betting now legal in many jurisdictions, millions of sports fans will seek their first taste of the betting industry.

But where do you start if you’re not acquainted with the jargon?

Here’s an introduction to sports betting, with 12 basics every newbie should know.

Underdogs vs Favorites

The first thing oddsmakers do when they announce a betting line for a game is to identify which team should be the favourite and which should be the underdog.

The favourite is the team with the best chance of winning the game, and its odds are denoted by a negative sign. Conversely, the underdog is anticipated to lose and is marked with a plus symbol.


There are two primary methods for soccer betting on a favourite or an underdog. The first is a wager on the margin of victory, known as the point spread.


The Moneyline is the second option to gamble on a favourite or an underdog. A money line bet asks you to choose the game’s winner, and the payoff is calculated using American odds.

American odds are based on winning $100.

So, if you wager a -200 favourite, you must risk $200 to win $100, or any part thereof – $20 to win $10, $2 to win $1, and so on.

If you bet on a +200 underdog, you will win twice as much as you put in – $100 to win $200, $10 to win $20, $1 to win $2, and so on.

Over/Unders (Totals)

In addition to the favourite and underdog lines, oddsmakers will set a total amount of points scored in a game by both teams combined. This is referred to as the total or over/under.

Bettors may then gamble on whether the total will be exceeded or not. You’re not attempting to predict the precise score (though that bet is available, too).

What does the -110 number next to my bet mean?

Many bets will have two numbers — a spread like -4.5 and odds underneath it, like -110.

The spread is the margin of victory required for your side to win.

The -110 odds indicate the cost of betting on that spread.

How to Make a Gamble

So you now understand what each bet entails. So, where do you put them?

Most sportsbooks make it quite simple.

  1. Navigate to the game and bet type you want to play.
  2. Select the “bet cell.”
  3. The wager will appear on your bet slip.
  4. Enter your wager amount.
  5. Make a wager