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Sports Betting Guide

Sports Betting Guide: Key Tactics for Successful Bets Explained

Thinking of placing a sports bet? Then you need this betting guide. You can use it to get to grips with the bet types, markets and odds you’ll come across and avoid making rookie mistakes that could spoil the experience.

I’ve put this guide together so you don’t get caught out and to help you develop a betting strategy that suits your style. To do that you’ll need the tools I’ve got for you right here – it’s quick and easy and I’ll start with the basics.

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Know your markets

There are lots of betting markets out there, no question about that. They cover everything from wagering on which team will win big events like the NBA Finals, right down to much smaller betting opportunities, such as how many points a player might score in a quarter, or if the number of fouls they commit will be over or under a certain number. There are way too many to list here, but I have put together a brief overview of some of the most common ones you will encounter.

MarketDescription
Game linesThese wagers cover the outcome of a game or match and include both moneyline and spread (points) betting.
Under/OversThese betting markets concern certain aspects of the game. For example, whether the combined score of both teams will be over or under a preset amount at the end of the match.
Individual markets (prop bets)Prop bets often relate to the performance of individual players, such as whether a certain player will be the first to score, or if they make a certain number of assists.

Understand the odds

Understanding the odds is betting 101 territory, as it’s the key to getting your head around sports betting and developing your own betting strategy. Put simply, the odds show you the probability of an outcome – with higher odds indicating that the event is unlikely, and lower odds pointing towards a more positive outcome.

The odds you’ll see at sportsbooks are shown in one of three different formats:

  • Decimal odds – Shown as a number between 1 and 999, with 1 being the most promising. These are mostly used in Europe and sometimes in the UK, which is why you may see them referred to as ‘European’ odds. Odds quoted at 6.0 would give you a total return of $7 for a $1 stake.
  • Fractional odds – If you live in the UK, you’ll probably be most familiar with this type of odds format. ese, as these are often quoted in movies and TV shows. Odds like 7/1 mean you will get $7 back for every $1 you wager if your bet is successful.
  • American odds – these are the odds you will see most often, so I’ll give you a more detailed example below.

In a match where the Cleveland Cavaliers clash with the Brooklyn Nets there will be a clear favorite and it’s not the Nets!

In this particular game the Nets are the underdogs and you’ll see a plus (+) sign in front of their odds. This number represents your potential return if you place a $100 bet. On the other hand, as the favorites, the Cavaliers will have a negative (-) sign ahead of their odds and this indicates the amount of money you will need to wager to win $100.

If a sportsbook quotes odds for the Nets at +350, then a $100 wager would give you a potential return of $450 if the Nets win – a profit of $350, plus your original $100 stake.

Conversely, if the Cavaliers are on show at odds of -300, the same $100 bet would only give you a potential profit of just over $33. Looking at that another way, you would need to wager $300 to achieve $100 of profit.

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What are the different types of sports bet?

The truth is there are plenty of different bet types – some you might know and have used already, others will be entirely new. This can be confusing and to help with this I have provided a quick overview of the bet types you are most likely to come across.

  • Moneyline bets – You simply bet on a team or player to win a game or match.
  • Parlay betting – A parlay is a single wager that contains two or more selections or ‘legs’ as they are sometimes described. For a parlay bet to be successful all of your predictions must be correct.
  • Point/spread betting – Not all teams in a competition are equally matched, so the point spread is a number determined by oddsmakers to use as a handicap. For instance, the favorite team in a basketball game may have a handicap of 8 points, and the underdog team is given an advantage of 8 points to level up the odds.
  • Over/under betting – This is where you wager on whether the combined score of any sporting event will be over or under what the sportsbook has determined in the betting line.
  • Prop betting – A prop bet is any wager not directly related to the outcome of the game, such as how many goals a player will score, or if a specified team will score in the first 5 minutes.
  • Futures betting – Futures are wagers placed on season long or tournament wide events, such as which team will win the NBA Finals, or who will be the MVP for the NFL season.

Sports betting strategies – tips you can use when you start sports betting

Do your research

Placing random wagers definitely tops my list of betting mistakes to avoid. Don’t just bet on any old game that takes your fancy, the best and most successful bettors are knowledgeable and they check out the pros and cons of placing a bet to ensure they are making the best decision possible.

Manage your bank

This comes in two parts, the first of which is how much money you set aside for your betting activities each week or month. You should only ever bet with money you can afford to lose.

The second part is how you manage the money in your sportsbook account. Instead of wagering it all on just a couple of bets, I should point out that seasoned bettors suggest risking between 1 and 5% of your bank roll for each wager is a better plan.

Know when to stop

Never bet to chase earlier losses, or on something you have not researched adequately. The same goes for betting on something just because you hope to continue a winning streak and you are sure your ‘luck’ is in. In short, bet with your head not your heart, as acting purely on emotion rarely ends well.

Find the right sportsbook

This one is key so I’ve left it until last. You should do your due diligence into all of the sportsbooks that are legal in your location to find the one that best suits your own sports betting needs. That said, there’s also a case to be made for using multiple sportsbooks to enhance your strategies. Your choice will depend on a number of factors which can include:

  • The welcome bonus – this is important as picking the right one can give your sports betting a real boost. If you are unsure how they work, you can start by reading my guide that explains different bonus types, where I provide details and examples of the most common bonuses around at the moment.
  • Markets – when you pick a sportsbook you need to ensure that they cover the sports that you love, and the bets you want to place. This should be pretty easy if you’re an NBA fan but slightly more difficult if you like to bet on European soccer.
  • Odds – of course, you’ll want the best odds for your wagers so you will need to make sure that your chosen sportsbook consistently has competitive odds for your preferred sports and betting markets.

As well as taking a look through the on-site banners you’ll see displayed on this page, I suggest that you read the reviews and other expert guides you’ll find right here at DunkorThree.com.

Conclusion – get everything you need from this betting guide

When you first start out, you might think that sports betting is complicated and scary, but after reading this guide you’ll have no such worries. You now know why to use multiple sportsbooks, which markets will fit with your sports betting strategies, how to read the odds and know which bet type you want to go for.

I’m sure you’re keen to get started right away, which is great, but do remember to stop by here again to improve your knowledge further, especially when it comes to finding the right sportsbook and making the most of the bonuses they offer.

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Betting guide FAQ

🔒 Is sports betting safe?

Sports betting is safe provided you choose the right sportsbook and practise responsible gambling, start by checking out the on-site banners right here at DunkorThree.com. You should also learn as much as you can before placing your first bet, so read my guide, which gives you the basics, before moving on to more advanced topics. 

🏈 What is a moneyline bet?

Moneyline bets are the most common type of wager in sports betting. You are usually wagering on whether a team will win or lose, but there are also three-way moneylines for sports where there is the potential for a tied result. 

💰 How much can you win with sports betting?

The outcomes of wagers are never guaranteed so that is impossible to answer. By doing research and reading a betting guide that helps you to form your own sports betting strategies, you give yourself a good chance of having the best wagering experience possible.

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