July 19th, 2012 by Nicole Martinez
There are two difficult problems you will have to face if you want to bet on sports online. There first is finding the right sports book and the second is making winning bets. The first problem only really applies to people from the USA and other countries with backwards anti-gambling laws. Since I do not know where you are from I will gloss over this problem at the end of the article. Knowing which teams and outcomes to bet on can be difficult depending on which type of bet you make. The best sports picks blog can help you with both understanding how wagers work and tips on who to pick each week a lot better than I can but I will try to share my experience with you.
Just betting on a team to win or lose without a spread is probably the easiest bet to understand. The only thing that you need to know about is the money line. If a good team is playing a bad team you will have to bet more than $1 to win $1. If the opposite is true you can bet $1 to win $3 or $100 to win $300. Money line wagers look something like Chicago Bulls +150, Detroit Pistons -140. If you bet $100 on the Bulls you can win $150 and if you bet on the Pistons you will need to wager $140 to win $100. Most online sports books have small minimum wagers so this can be scaled back to a $10 wager on the Bulls winning $15.
This is one of the most common types of bets but there is another that is equally popular: point spreads. You can trade the +/- money on a wager for points. In the game listed above you can opt to take the Bulls and 5 points or the Pistons with -5 points. These sports bets generally pay a little less than 1:1 with the difference going to the book. This is probably the best type of sports bet for beginners because the point spread acts as an equalizer between the good and the bad so there a really bad team to pick, generally speaking.
The people who bet on sports and win a lot of money have a knack for recognizing when the money line or point spread doesn’t truly reflect the likely outcome. Bookmakers do not create spreads and lines based on how they feel about the teams. They create them and even adjust them with the goal of receiving the same action on each outcome. Since they earn a small fee on each wager they simply want to pay the people who successfully bet on outcome 1 with the losing money that people bet on outcome 2. These discrepancies are the bread and butter of sports betting but beginners can do equally well with a little luck.
This section can help everyone but it is mostly for bettors from the USA. There are several quality sports books out there but there are also a few that should be avoided. You can usually tell the difference by either using Google to find forum threads about the particular bookmaker you are interested in or by taking advantage of the top sports betting blogs and web sites (see link above). The main concern when it comes to online sports books is finding one that doesn’t have a bad record when it comes to payouts.