The stigma that once surrounded sports betting has faded as the industry grows, and more and more sports fans are trying their hand at wagering. But it’s not as easy as simply putting down a bet and waiting to see what happens. It’s important for bettors to understand how the odds work and what strategies can help them win more often.
First and foremost, research is key to winning in sports betting. This goes beyond staying on top of current player stats and into gaining knowledge about things that may not be immediately apparent, such as morale in the locker room or politics taking place behind the scenes. It also pays to know how coaches are performing and what kind of roster moves might be coming up.
Odds are the foundation of sports betting and specify how much money can be won on a winning wager. They can refer to a moneyline bet, a spread or total bet and are displayed as American or British (fractional) or European (decimal). The most important aspect of understanding the odds is knowing how to read them. The main signifiers are the plus and minus signs. The team favored to win will have a plus sign while the underdog will have a minus sign.
Another thing that bettors should know is that the odds of a game can change in the run-up to the game. This is called a line movement and there are a number of reasons why it happens. For example, some teams are more popular in the betting window than others, so the odds can be skewed towards them even if the skill gap between them isn’t that great.