Sports betting is booming, with legalized wagers topping $13 billion in the United States in 2019. With more and more people getting involved, newcomers may be confused by all the different types of bets. To make sense of it all, start by understanding the basic premise of sports betting: you’re gambling on whether an event will happen or not.
When a team or player is listed as a favorite in a bet, that means they are expected to win by more points than the underdog. This is why you see the minus (-) and plus (+) symbols before each side’s odds. Our brains have been trained to interpret these as negative and positive, but in sports betting, they mean what you should expect to lose or gain.
You’ll also notice a number that includes a half-point, such as 3.5-point favorites or 2.5-point underdogs. This is called the “hook” and helps eliminate the possibility of a push, where a bet neither wins nor loses. This way, the sportsbook doesn’t lose any money and the bettors get their original stake back.
In addition to individual bets, sportsbooks offer Over/Under wagers, where you predict if the two teams will combine for more (Over) or less than (Under) the total number of runs/goals/points posted by the sportsbook. It’s a good idea to remember this popular saying when wagering on Over/Under: It’s never Over until it’s Over.
The best way to improve your chances of winning is to manage your bankroll. Set a reasonable amount of money that you’re willing to invest, and stick to it. It’s also important to know that there are no sure things in sports betting.
A reputable online sportsbook will display its odds in a clear and accessible format. It should also have a variety of deposit and withdrawal options, including cryptos like bitcoin. It’s also important to remember that gambling is a vice, and it comes with risks of addiction that can ruin your life.
If you’re looking for a sportsbook to try out, you should choose one that has hundreds of betting options, as well as an intuitive and responsive mobile app. It should also be regulated in your jurisdiction.
A reputable sportsbook will have the tools to monitor and respond to customer complaints, and it should provide customer service via email, phone and live chat. Finally, it should have a secure connection and offer a variety of payment methods. For example, some sites accept payments via PayPal and cryptocurrency wallets, while others accept credit cards. In addition, a trustworthy sportsbook will display its license information clearly on its website. This will give you confidence that the company is legitimate. Finally, it’s a good idea to check out reviews of the sportsbook before making a deposit. This will help you find the most reputable and trusted site. And, of course, be aware that you can always choose to play with a smaller amount of money if you’re uncomfortable with the risk.