Betting Basics

If you are completely new to sports betting, there are some important things to know before you start. Most of this post is going to be about the lingo used in my pick posts. The first, most important thing to know is very few people make money via sports betting over the long term. The people that I know that enjoy it the most bet moderate amounts that they don’t mind losing, and put more money in if they please. There are also a variety of betting options online that a quick Google search will show. Hopefully in the near future it will be legal all over America, but who know when that will happen. Now let’s get into some of the words you’ll hear/read a lot in the betting world and this blog.

Moneyline (ML): This means you are betting on that team to win the game. It doesn’t matter how much they win by, just as long as they come out with the W.

Spread: This is where it matters how much a team wins/loses by. For an example, let’s say the Frogs are playing the Rhinos, and the line is Frogs -3. This means that the Frogs have to win by more than 3 to cover the spread (cover means win/beat). So if you bet on the Frogs -3 and they win 60-58, you would lose the spread bet (but win the ML bet). In that case, the Rhinos +3 bet wins (the spread is always +- the same number on each side). If the Frogs were to win 60-57, that would result in a PUSH, in which case the bettor gets their money back, and it’s like the bet never happened. Spread bets are almost always -110, which means you need to bet $11 to win $10.

Parlay: I probably won’t use this much but I’ll include it just in case. A Parlay is 2 or more bets that all have to hit in order to win. More bets in the parlay increase the potential payout, but also make it much harder to win.

Over/Under (O/U): This deals with the amount of points scored in the game. This bet is normally available as both teams’ combined score, or one individual team’s score. Pretty self-explanatory that if the over is set at 100 and the total is 101+, the over hits.

Unit (U): This is the base amount that you bet. This helps standardize things between people that bet $10 a game vs people that bet $5,000 a game. If both of these people won five 1U bets in a week, they would both be +5U, but bettor 1 wins $50 while bettor 2 wins $25,000. It’s all about the capital a person has. If a bettor feels confident about a bet, they can put 2, 3, or more units on a bet. This also helps people compare bets and not just throw random money on random games and see what sticks. The results spreadsheet I use will keep track of +- units to standardize things for the various types of bettors.

That’s all I got for now. I’m sure there’s more that needs to be added on, and I’ll do that as I realize it. Go win some money.

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