Legal Sports Betting: How to Bet on Sports for Beginners

If you are considering your first foray into legal sports betting, you are certainly not alone. Last year alone saw tens of millions of Americans betting money on their favorite sports via legally licensed bookmakers, with the NFL, NBA, and MLB being the most popular sports to wager on.

Many people bet on sports in the hopes of winning big, while others simply do so because it enhances the fun and excitement of following your favorite sports. Whatever your motivation, it is important to understand sports betting before you begin properly. With that in mind, check out this essential guide to betting on sports for beginners.

1. Choose Your Sport

Before you begin placing bets, it is essential to choose the sports that are right for you. Some sports do not allow legal betting and should therefore be avoided. All major league sports allow betting, so this is the best place to start.

You can choose lower-scoring sports, such as soccer, or higher-scoring sports, such as basketball. What is important is that you understand the rules of the game, the factors that influence a winning team, and which players are the strongest.

2. Choose Your Legal Sports Betting Platform

The next step is to choose your platform. The days of making physical wagers in a dingy bookmaker shop are long gone. Today, anyone can indulge in legal sports betting on virtually every sport imaginable simply by opening their smartphone and choosing the right sports betting software or app.

To get the most out of the experience, you should choose a platform with the right betting features for you. For example, this sports betting software allows you to place a bet before and after a match, allowing you to take real-time factors into account to increase your chances of success.

3. Learn How to Read Bets

Knowing how to read bet lines is essential, as this will tell you what the bookmakers think about each time or the player’s chances of success. For example, if the Miami Dolphins have 2-1 odds of winning, then this equates to a roughly 30% chance of success.

If there is a game in which the Atlanta Falcons are playing against the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Falcons have +5 odds, then the Falcons must win by at least 5 points for your betting spread to pay off. If you win a horse race with a horse that has 18/1 odds, your payout will be equivalent to 18 times your original stake. You get the picture.

4. Know the Different Types of Bets

Finally, it is important to understand the different types of bets you can make if you wish to play strategically. Some of the most popular betting options include:

  • Moneyline: This is a straight-up bet on an outcome according to odds set by a bookmaker.
  • Spread Betting: This is spreading your bets across multiple outcomes in order to increase your odds of success.
  • Futures: This is betting on the outcome of a future event, such as which team will win the Superbowl.
  • In-Play Wagering: This is fast-paced betting based on real-time outcomes in the game, where you can make multiple bets during a single match.

More Gambling Hacks at Your Fingertips

Now that you understand the ins and outs of legal sports betting, it is time to perfect your gambling skills and knowledge. For this, we have got you covered. Make sure to consult our expertly-curated Gambling section for insider tips and tricks on becoming a better real-money gamer in 2021.

Oscar Rojas
Oscar Rojas

I'm primarily a dad and a husband, then I live. I've been a freelance writer and editor since 2014, specializing in finance, casino, sports, and esports niches. I'm an expert in checking the small print on any T&C site. You can trust me as an expert, especially when it comes to financing and gambling products.