Getting Started with Sports Betting: Beginner’s Guide

Sports betting allows sports enthusiasts to further engage with their favorite games and teams. And as a result, it’s become one of the most popular and exciting ways to enjoy one’s favorite sport, short of watching it live! Are you also interested in using your knowledge and analytical powers for some extra cast?

Well, look no further! This is the only comprehensive beginner’s guide that you’re going to need to get started with sports betting! But first, we need to answer the most important question:

Which Games to Bet On?

Typically, you want to bet on sports that are highly competitive and have a huge fanbase. This includes games that are already wildly popular in India, such as cricket and football, and international sports that draw the most viewers for their events. For example, betting on American sports like baseball, basketball, or football (not soccer) can be a great way to learn the science of betting and make it big.

The main reason why we recommend American sports is that the odds are likely to be in your favor. For example, let’s look at the National Football League (NFL). The sheer popularity and competitiveness of this sport not only give you thrilling rivalries and legendary players—But also more options to bet on, more background information to make a better betting decision, and a larger community to be a part of.

The NFL season will be beginning in a few months. One of the final games will be between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Kansas City Chiefs, both in great form, as per the latest NFL betting odds. If you follow the games closely and stay on top of the team and player news, it’s not going to be very difficult to place a sensible bet! For example, the Bengals vs. Chiefs match is set at +135 for the Bengals, whereas the Chiefs have odds of -160. 

In the American odds system, a plus sign indicates the underdogs (the team less likely to win as per the oddsmaker), and a minus sign represents the favorites (the team more likely to win). So, it’s easy to see that the sports betting site currently favors the Chiefs.

If you follow the journey closely, you can make good bets and make a lot of money in competitive American sports. And it’s not just limited to the NFL!

In fact, with the technological advancements in sports betting today, anyone can strike it big with a little bit of preparation and following a league or specific teams closely.

How to Start Betting?

The first step is to understand the odds and betting lines. Odds are simply the probability of an event occurring. They determine the potential payout for a winning bet and are set by the oddsmaker or the sportsbook, not the users or the players.

There are three types of odds:

  • Fractional: Expressed as a fraction like 3/1, these odds tell you the profit relative to the stake. For every $1 wagered, you’ll win $3, including the original bet if you win.
  • Decimal: Expressed as decimals like 4.00, these odds show the total payout, including the original stake. A $1 bet at 4.00 odds returns $4.
  • American: Also called moneyline odds, these are represented with a positive (+) or negative (-) sign. Positive odds indicate profit on a $100 wager, whereas negative odds show the amount needed to wager to win $100.

Investopedia’s guide on how odds work is a good place to learn more. Once you have familiarized yourself with the type of odds you’ll be playing with, it’s time to select the right sportsbook. Almost all reputable sportsbooks offer odds in all three formats.

Well-established sportsbooks with a solid reputation, fair play, timely payouts, and lucrative welcome bonuses are ideal for beginners. You should also check the user interface and mobile compatibility, as well as the payment options for both withdrawals and deposits before you settle on one.

Once you have signed up and deposited money in your sportsbook wallet, you can start placing bets.

But hold up! Managing money is important for responsible betting.

You should practice the fundamentals of effective bankroll management and know how to build a bankroll. Set yourself a dedicated betting budget that you’ll not cross. Bet responsibly and avoid chasing losses.

Placing a large bet on single events is not recommended for beginners. Keep a percentage of your bankroll on each wager to minimize risks. It could be 1% or 5%, depending entirely on you.

Wrapping Up

Embarking on this journey is nothing short of an adventure. It’s thrilling and potentially profitable—But you do require a lot of knowledge and discipline. Without that, you can’t make good betting decisions, and you’ll lose more often than you win.

Overall, our beginner’s guide is enough to get you started on this journey. But keep in mind that it’s a learning experience. Start by understanding odds, practice good bankroll management with smaller budgets, join a community of like-minded folks, conduct thorough research, and always look at sports betting as a means of entertainment!


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