Sports betting is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world, and there are many different ways to place wagers on sporting events. However, there is a bit of a learning curve for new bettors who aren’t familiar with how odds and payouts work. In this article, we’ll break down the basics of how sports betting works and provide an explanation of some of the most popular bet types.
Straight bets are the most common type of wager in sports betting. They involve placing a bet on the winner of an event, and winnings are calculated by multiplying the bet amount by the odds on offer. The higher the odds, the more money you will win if your team or player wins.
Betting lines move for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they are adjusted to reflect injuries or other factors that could impact a game. But more often, they are moved because the majority of the public is betting on a certain team and the book needs to balance out the action by moving the line to make the bets more even. Taking the other side of the spread can be lucrative, but it is important to do your research and know the teams you are betting on well.
Odds are estimated on the morning of a race and constantly recalculated throughout the prerace period. They are displayed on a monitor in the betting area and also available online. In addition to betting on individual races, bettors can place bets on race-wide pools, such as those for first, second, and show. Payoffs for these pool bets are lower than those for individual horse races, as there is a larger pool of bettors to split the prize money with.
The Over/Under betting market is another popular option in the sportsbook. It involves betting on whether the total number of points, goals, or runs in a game will be over or under a number set by the sportsbook. This market extends to prop bets as well, such as how many total strikeouts a pitcher will throw in a game or how many rushing yards a running back will accumulate in a game.
Finally, there are futures bets, which involve making a wager on an outcome that will occur at some point in the future. These bets can range from predicting a particular player or team to win a championship to the number of wins a player will have during his career. In order to place a futures bet, you will need to have access to the sportsbook that offers the wager you are interested in and have an account with them. This process usually only takes a few minutes and requires your name, last four digits of your social security number, and a valid email address. If you don’t already have an account, it is easy to open one by providing these details on the sportsbook’s website.