Bet Like A Lady

New to Sports Betting? Here Are 10 Things You Need To Know

If you are new to betting, here are 10 tips that will help you get started
Sports women

Photo credit @brucemars

So you’re new to sports betting and want to start betting? Before you sign up with a bookie, read through these 10 tips before you take the plunge.

Sports betting can seem difficult and overwhelming with all the different numbers, and terms, pluses and minuses all over the place. But, if you just take the time to learn some of the basics and understand how it all works before jumping right in, you can become pretty good, quickly.

We want to help you become the best sports bettor you can so we made this easy Top 10 list of tips and tricks that all novice sports bettors should probably know! Let’s first go over some typical bets.

#1. Sign up with an online sportsbook

In 2022, there are lots of different ways to place a bet. You can walk into a casino or sportsbook, look at the big board of bets and fire away some wagers.

The more popular way to place bets now is through mobile sports betting apps, however. You can use apps like BetMGM, FanDuel, DraftKings, and many others that are currently on the market.

The basics are pretty simple:

  • Find the bet you like
  • Click on that selected bet
  • Enter how much money you want to wager
  • Submit the bet

#2. Decide if you are rooting for the favorite or the underdog

Understanding this basic reference is imperative to sports betting. A favorite is the team that is predicted to win the matchup. It can also refer to the side of the wager expected to hit. The underdog is the opposite, either the team expected to lose the game or the wager expected not to hit.

In sports betting, the favorites are indicated by a minus sign (-). I know, it’s confusing! Meanwhile, the underdogs are indicated by a plus sign (+). We explain this in more details in this video about how odds work but let’s give you an example.

If the Bucs are playing the Eagles and the Bucs are supposed to win the game, you’ll see a minus next to the Bucs and plus next to the Eagles. If you are placing a simple moneyline bet, all you have to do is choose a favorite or underdog and if they win outright, you win! The moneyline is considered one of the most popular bets you can choose as it is the easiest to understand but it can be argued that there isn’t as much value when you bet on the favorite of an underdog bet.

You will often see the number -110 next to the teams’ name or bet. The -110 odds are the price you need to pay to bet that spread. It refers to how much you must bet to win. If it is negative, it is a favorite and positive is an underdog. -110 means you must bet $110 to win $100.

On the flip side +110 means you can bet $100 to win $110. For longshot bets, you’ll see bigger odds like +325. That means bet $100 to win $325. Everything is based on $100, but the bet size is up to you. For instance, bet $10 and win $32.5.

#3. Bet the “spread” if you are unsure what type of bet to place

This is the most popular kind of bet you can place. The spread references a specific amount of points that a team must either win a game by or lose a game within. Let’s use that Bucs, Eagles example. If the Bucs are the favorite, they will have a certain number of points they must win the game by. That number is determined by an oddsmaker and given to a sportsbook which will offer the bet.

If you see the Bucs -5, this means the Bucs must not only win the game, but they must do it by 5 or more points. So if the Bucs win 27-20, they cover the spread. If the Bucs are -5, then the Eagles are +5. If the Eagles win the game outright, they win the bet. But they can still lose the game and win the bet, as long as it was by no more than 5 points. If the Eagles lost 20-17, they still covered because the difference in score was 3 points.

Credit @jcpeacock

The spread is a bet that you will see in nearly every major sporting league. In basketball and football, it is simply referred to as the spread and can vary to be numerous different numbers. In baseball, it is called the run line and is only ever set at -1.5 or +1.5. In hockey, it is is referred to as the puckline.

#4. Bet the total if you don’t want to pick a team

The total references the total amount of points scored in a game. This is a fun bet to place when you don’t want to bet on a specific team but would rather bet on a game being low or high scoring.

The Bucs and Eagles game could have a total of 42.5 points. You can bet that both teams will combine for the over or under. If the final score was 30-20, the Over bet would have won. These bets are also popular for other kinds of bets like props. This is where you can bet on a single player, team, or unusual outcome. For instance:

  • Tom Brady Total passing yards 224.5 – Over or under
  • 3 Touchdowns scored by the Raiders – Over or Under
  • 5 Timeouts called in the first half – Over or Under

#5. Make a parlay bet if you are looking for a bigger payout

A parlay is a much riskier bet with higher odds because the likelihood of hitting a parlay is much smaller. This is when you combine two or more bets together. For instance, you could bet on the spread of three different games. You could bet the spread of one game and the total of another game.

Now with Same-Game-Parlays that mobile sportsbooks offer, you can bet on player and game props, spreads, and totals from games from different leagues and combine them into one parlay.

The payout is much greater for a parlay, but the odds being higher means the bet is much less likely to hit. Don’t get too carried away when it comes to parlays because you enjoy seeing the final payout. The more legs you add onto a parlay, the less likely it is to hit. If you think winning one sports bet is hard, I can promise you that winning five and having them all hit is even harder.

#6. Establish a bankroll

One thing that all new bettors should immediately do is establish a bankroll. This is a reference to the total amount of money that you are willing to bet. Remember, your bankroll should consist of a number that you are willing to lose. You should never assume that you are going to win when gambling. Even the greatest bettors in the world hover right around the 55-60 percent mark of hitting their bets.

Photo credit @gooner

Once you establish your bankroll, you determine your unit size which is how much you’re willing to bet on each wager. Typically a unit is 1%-5% of your total bankroll. It is best to keep these unit sizes the same for each bet that you place and to not get too carried away when it comes to overdoing it with betting on any given day.

Shop the lines

Nowadays, you can place a bet in so many different places that it is imperative that you are getting the best value and price. It has never been easier to have three different sports betting apps on your phone where you can compare different lines.

Back in the day, when you could really only bet in Vegas sportsbooks or with an offshore bookie, you either had to run from casino to casino looking for the best line or you were simply out of luck because your bookie could offer whatever he wanted and there wasn’t much you could do about it!

Shopping the lines is really important because at the end of the day, you are trying to win 52 percent of your bets. If one sportsbook is offering Bears -4 and another is offering Bears -3, you want to be betting on the book with the smaller spread. If the Bears happen to win by 4 points, you win that bet instead of “push” which basically means a draw and you are returned your initial wager. Winning bets and finding the best lines to do so is an important part of being successful.

Diversify your bets

Start small when you are new to betting and only bet a few games at a time. Just because you won your first bet doesn’t mean you’re the mayor of the sports betting world just yet. When you do feel more comfortable betting a larger wager or on more games, diversify.

If you were investing your money into savings accounts, would your financial advisor tell you to throw 100 percent of it into one account or would they tell you to spread it around and make sure the accounts are diversified?

If you have zero financial advisor experience, it’s not the 100 percent into one account method. Bet on some spreads, some parlays, some props, and some future bets. You don’t want to throw the whole lot into one bet because when that loses, you are left with nothing. Protect yourself and make sure you share the love and experiment with different kinds of bets. Not only is that better insurance for your cash but it’s more fun in the long run as well.

#9. Bet with your mind, not your heart

Women already bet with their mind more than their heart, as studies show, so this might be of an issue for men that bet.

That said, you may be an expert when it comes to your team. You know the roster, the coaches, which games they’ve won this year and which games they’ve lost. But it is incredibly hard not to be biased when it comes to betting on the team that you have a personal connection to and that means you should avoid it at all costs.

When it comes to betting, make sure you are taking into account the things that matter and you are forgetting about the things that don’t really make a difference.

Photo credit @shot_by_teo

If the Red Sox are playing in the playoffs and you are a Red Sox season ticket holder, DON’T BET ON THE RED SOX. One, it makes that game much less enjoyable for your to watch as a fan and two, you do not have a clear mind when it comes to betting on them.

Another way to not be an emotional bettor, is to not try to bet based on your record for the day. What I mean by this is don’t let your wins and losses determine your next bet. If you are up $100 because you studied two games and made great bets, don’t bet a third game you know nothing about just because you’re on a hot streak.

The same can be said of a cold streak, if you are down $100, don’t try to win it back by betting on a game you didn’t research just because it’s the last game you can place a wager on. Take your winnings or losses and walk away.

#10. Keep records

Just like you keep a budget of what you spend your money on, you should keep a record of what you bet on. How do you know what you are good at and bad at if you never keep a total on what you are betting on?

When you are keeping a record, it’s important that you write down what kind of bet you placed, when you placed it, how much you wagered, and your confidence level in that bet. After a while, you will likely notice some trends.

Maybe it’s that you are really bad at betting on the spread and you should stick to totals. Maybe you’ve noticed that when your confidence level is a 2/10 you aren’t hitting the bets and should avoid betting on them.

Hopefully, these tips will help you when you are new to sports betting. To share your betting tips and to learn from other like you, join our community here >>

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