At its core, sports betting is placing a bet on the outcome of a sporting event and getting paid if your bet is correct. You can place moneyline bets, spread or total bets or even combine multiple outcomes into one parlay. You can also make futures bets, which are wagers on a future event that will not take place this week or this season. Futures bets tend to have much higher odds than straight bets, as they are based on events that are not yet decided.
Odds are the numbers that sportsbooks use to specify the implied probability of a particular outcome and how much money you’ll win if your bet is successful. They can be displayed as American, British (fractional) or European (decimal). American odds are the most common and have a plus (+) or minus (-) in front of them to indicate positive or negative margins. Decimal odds are typically shown as a number with a numerator of 1 and a denominator of 100, such as 10/1 or 7/2.
The key to winning at sports betting is to be objective and not place bets based on emotion. It is a difficult task, but if you can get past your emotions and only bet on teams that meet certain criteria, you’ll start to win more often. Other tips include respecting the market and not betting more than you can afford to lose. You should also track your bets in a spreadsheet to ensure you don’t overspend.