The Basics of Sports Betting

Sports betting has made a big splash in American culture since the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which had limited legal gambling to Nevada for decades. This week, 60 Minutes correspondent Jon Wertheim reports on how this new era will affect how Americans watch sports—from a deluge of betting-related ads to the possibility that betting elements may eventually be incorporated into broadcasts.

The basics

There are thousands of possible bets you can place on a game, event, or team, and each has its own odds. The sportsbooks set these odds based on the probability that something will happen, allowing you to bet on which side or outcome is most likely to win. A higher probability will mean a lower risk, and a lower risk will result in a smaller return.

If you are looking to make a profit it is important to understand the risk/reward of each bet. It is also important to budget your money, so that you are only spending what you can afford to lose. The best way to do this is to open a separate bank account just for placing bets. This will help you avoid getting sucked into a bad habit.

It is important to remember that even a “sure bet” can go sideways, so it’s always best to start small and increase your bet wager as you gain experience and confidence. You can also improve your chances of winning by betting on sports that you know well from a rules perspective, as well as following news and stats closely.