How to Bet on Sports: Betting Types and Tips for Beginners



Americans love sports, and more than that, they love that they can gamble on them. Sports betting became legal in the USA in 2018. Since then, legal sports gambling has almost doubled in the country. And, that’s for one reason – it’s enormous fun!


Sports betting can be confusing for beginners. This tutorial will educate you about the basics of sports betting, types of bets, tips, and much more. By the end, you’ll be sure where to start betting online.


How does Sports Betting Work?

The concept is simple. Sports betting involves predicting that something will happen during the sports event. Bettors risk money on the probability of that happening for fun and money purposes. 


The betting party that gives the correct prediction wins the bet and receives a payout, depending on the bet type and wagered amount. The losing party must payout accordingly. That’s why sports betting is also called sports gambling. 


The two most common sports betting terms you should know in the beginning are:


  • Favourite: One team, side, or outcome with a higher probability of happening or winning. The payout from betting on the favourite is smaller because of the lower risk.
  • Underdog: Underdog has a lower probability of winning. The payout from betting on the favourite is bigger because of the higher risk.


Types of Sports Bets

There are all sorts of betting scenarios in the sportsbook world. Understanding these scenarios and what bets serve your purpose can guarantee a better payout. The most popular types of sports bets are:

Moneyline or Straight Bet

Moneyline involves picking the winner based on the probability of a result, such as one team defeating another. It is expressed as -/+ 100 (or another 3-digit number). 


A negative value (-) next to odds indicates Moneyline favourite, and a positive value (+) indicates Moneyline underdogs.

Spread Bets or Point Spreads

Also known as handicap betting, spread betting is a popular method for wagering, especially at NBA and NCAA basketball events. Sportsbooks determine which team is favoured to win the match. Then, they assign the total number of points they think the team will win by.


If the game seems to set a spread and both sides are perceived even, the game is deemed a pick, and you can select which side will win. New betters should understand that it is to subtract or add the point spread from their side’s score. Add if you bet on the underdog, and subtract if you wagered on the favourite. 

Parlay Bets

Also known as accumulators, a parlay bet is an advanced form of sports betting with higher risk, more fun, and larger potential payout. Here, you bet on multiple sporting events tied together. You can choose different bets, such as Moneyline, point spreads, etc.


But to win the parlay bet, all bets involved must be correct. Even one wrong bet can make the entire parlay a loss. So, make sure you better understand the industry trends and news before choosing parlay. 

Over/Under Bets or Totals

Here, you don’t bet on teams. Instead, the sportsbook assigns a total to a game. You can wager under or over that number. For example, if a total is 50 points, a bet on the Under would need 49 or fewer combined points, and the Over would need 51 or more combined points to win.

Props, Teasers, and Pleasers

  • Props (Proposition) bets: You can bet on unique conditions defined by each operator separately, such as how many points a player will score,  how many yards an NFL quarterback will get a rush, etc.
  • Teasers: Suitable for advanced sports bettors only, a teaser allows you to select multiple games, like parlay bet. But, you can change point spreads and totals between 4-10 points, which also alters the odds and your potential payout.
  • Pleasers: You can let the sportsbook have a better winning chance while you get better odds and a higher potential payout. 


Types of Sports You Can Bet On

You can bet on a variety of sports, from cycling to soccer. But the most popular and best sports you can legally bet on in the USA are:

  • Tennis
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Football 
  • Cricket
  • Hockey
  • Horse racing

Sports Betting Tips for Beginners

If you’re new to sports betting, you can follow these tips to jumpstart your hobby and improve your gambling skills gradually:

Find a Trusted Online Sportsbook

You can bet with offline and online sportsbooks and local bookies. Look at different trusted sportsbooks to determine which team should win. Online sportsbooks are convenient. But make sure you choose a genuine, reputed, and reliable site.


Signs of a bad sportsbook:

  • It’s overrun with ads, asking for money.
  • You can’t browse their site until you give your credit card number upfront.


Start with Simple and Small Bets

Mastering how to beat sportsbooks is a learning curve. You have a limited amount of money, and you can’t make a mistake. So, start slowly, and remember that there are no shortcuts. We suggest starting with Moneyline because it’s the most basic and simplest type of bet. Then, you can level up your game gradually.

Line Shopping

When you’ve multiple choices of where to place your bet, it’s profitable to compare lines at different places. Look at different trusted sportsbooks to determine which team should win. Based on their predictions, you’ll be able to get the best line and increase your chances of winning. So, lines are helpful for both beginners and veterans.

Bet on your Favorite Sports

One important and helpful way to increase your chances of winning is to bet on the sports you know well. In this way, you’ll be able to look at games, teams, and events in an unbiased manner.

Money Management

You don’t want to deplete your bankroll with one bad wagering. So, dedicate a certain amount of money to each wager. Depending on your perception and confidence in the game, you can risk 1-5 per cent of your bankroll on each bet. Finally, please note that injuries and bad weather can also influence the game’s outcome. So, keep an eye on everything that could influence your payout.

How to Bet on Sports Online?

First of all, find legal options in your area. Some states or regions allow online sports betting, while other areas facilitate retail sportsbooks and casinos that require deposits and withdrawals in person.


When you choose online sportsbooks, you can easily and quickly deposit and withdraw via different methods like credit cards, electronic bank transfer methods, PayPal, etc. So, it’s more convenient.


Play safe and have fun!