Since 2018, sports betting has begun to spread across America to a point where, going state by state, there are now more that allow some form of wagering on games than those that don’t. In terms of raw numbers of population it’s a little closer – California, Florida and Texas are three of the larger states, and none currently permit betting – but the trend is pointing towards all but a few holdouts being open to sports betting by 2024 or 2025. And this is changing the way people talk about sports.
We’ve all known terms like “favorites” and “underdogs” since long before sinlicencia.org arrived to give people a heads-up on the best betting providers. But as time goes on, more and more of the language of betting is becoming common parlance. Some of the most important terms relate to types of bet you can make, and it is useful to know what these bets are all about, because it can help you make more effective bets on a range of sporting events. Below, we will look at three types of sports bet and how you can make the best use of them.
There are different applications for an Over/Under bet, but the most common is for the number of points or goals that will be scored in a sporting event. The “over/under” itself is set around the point where bookmakers think the total points will be, but it is generally expressed as a decimal number finishing in .5 (so that there is no confusion if the total points end up being right on the suggested number). A good tip here is to look out for forecasts of bad weather coming into a game. If it is cold, rainy, windy or even snowing, this is likely to lead to lower scores as players are less able to perform to their best. So if you see a storm forecast for the area where a game is taking place, it’s a good idea to back the Under.
The points spread in a sports bet is essentially what bookmakers think will be the margin between two teams in a match. Taking a football game as an example, the Bills may start a match as ten-point favorites over the Jets. (As with over/under bets, the spread will usually be a decimal point like 10.5). Bookmakers will then set roughly equal odds that the Bills will beat the Jets even if you knocked 10.5 points off their total. So if the Bills win 31-20 in reality, they’ll still win with the spread taken into account. This is known as “covering”; they’ve covered the handicap. If the Bills win 27-20, then the Jets have covered.
The best use of the spread is to back an overwhelming favorite to cover. Sportsbooks will rarely make a team more than 20-point favorites, but bigger teams hand out punishments to smaller ones all the time, so you can expect to win when choosing them to cover.
Parlays are controversial. Some people see them as a chance to get value from a low-stake bet by combining a series of likely outcomes, which gain longer odds because the bets are combined in one. If you back five teams who start as comfortable favorites, they may not look like great value if you back them separately. But because underdogs do win sometimes, parlays have longer odds. Frequent bettors will advise you against making a parlay, because they have a habit of not coming off – but if you feel you must make one, it’s better to place a very low stake. If you do win, you’ve made a good profit with relatively little stress, but if you lose you haven’t lost much.