Sports betting has a long and storied history. The evidence of wagering on sports dates back to Ancient Greece.
The Greeks were known to bet on the outcomes of gladiator matches, and this practice spread to the Romans, who were the first to legalize sports betting.
By the early 19th century, horse racing was the most popular sport amongst gamblers in the United Kingdom.
So, how did these ancient traditions influence the sports betting practices we know today? Let’s take a look at modern sports betting and how you can get the best odds of winning as a beginner.
How Did Modern Sports Betting Emerge?
Modern sports betting came about primarily thanks to horse racing. However, by the mid-20th century, organized crime had taken hold in America.
Congress subsequently passed gambling laws that outlawed sports betting in most states until 2018, when the Supreme Court overturned it.
Immediately afterward, sports betting became popular quickly. Today, online sports betting is legal in many states across America. It continues to be a popular pastime for many people. Nowadays, joining a legal online sports betting community is even possible.
From the days of betting on gladiator matches and horse races to the modern-day sportsbook, betting on sports has become an exciting way to gamble and have fun.
With the rise of online legal sportsbooks and mobile apps, it’s now easier than ever to place bets on your favorite teams or players. Most sportsbooks even allow live betting. They can often provide real-time odds, which amps up the excitement even more.
Understanding betting odds is an integral part of becoming a successful sports bettor. Knowing how to read odds can help you determine how much you want to wager and what kind of return you can expect from your bet.
Thanks to betting sites, anyone can conveniently become a successful sports bettor with the right knowledge and strategy! The recent growth in online sports betting is due to several factors, including:
A cultural shift
With more people having access to many betting sites and mobile apps, they can easily place bets from anywhere at any time. Technology has also made it easier for sports bettors to track their bets and get real-time updates on their wins or losses.
By learning how to understand formats like fractional, decimal, or money line, you can make informed decisions when placing your bets.
What Are the Most Common Formats for Betting Lines?
Sports betting odds come in three main formats.
Each format is slightly different, so it’s important to understand how each works before placing a bet.
Fractional odds are the most common form of betting odds used in the UK. They represent the ratio of potential winnings to the stake placed on a bet. For example, if you place a £10 bet at 5/1 odds, you will receive £50 in winnings if your bet is successful.
The decimal odds are popular in continental Europe and other parts of the world. They represent the total return on a stake placed on a bet, including the original stake. For instance, if you place a €10 bet at 2.5 odds, you would receive €25 in winnings if your bet is successful— which is €15 from your original stake plus €10 from your winnings.
Money Line (American)
Money line odds are used mainly in North America and some parts of Asia. They represent the amount won for every dollar wagered on a given event or outcome.
In American odds, for example, if you place a $20 bet at +200 money line odds, you would receive $40 in winnings if your bet is successful—$20 from your original stake plus $20 from your winnings.
No matter which type of sports betting odd format you use, understanding how they work can help you make more informed decisions when placing bets.
How Are Sports Betting Odds Calculated?
Betting odds are calculated by bookmakers, or “bookies,” to determine the probability of a particular outcome in a game. Bookies are sports betting experts who consider factors like team form, injuries, and weather conditions when setting the odds for a particular match. They also take home advantage into account in some cases.
Bookies have been around since the 19th century, but they have become increasingly popular with the rise of online sportsbooks.
Online sportsbooks offer more variety in betting odds than traditional bookies, allowing betting online on different types of outcomes such as point spreads, money lines, and over/under. These types of bets can be placed on any sport, from football to basketball to horse racing.
No matter what type of bet you place, understanding how sports betting odds are calculated is essential for successful wagering. By researching and understanding how bookies set their odds, you can increase your chances of making profitable bets.
How Much Do Betting Sports Odds Vary?
Sports betting odds vary greatly not only from sport to sport but also among sites.ds Sports such as football and basketball have higher odds than sports like baseball or hockey. This is because the point spread in football and basketball is often much wider than in other sports like baseball and hockey.
The amount of money wagered on a particular game can also influence the odds. For instance, one team that has more fans and receives more bets will typically have higher odds than an underdog team with fewer fans and less money wagered on them.
If you’ve heard the saying, “The higher the risk, the higher the reward,” you can apply that philosophy to sports betting.
Understanding Point Spreads
Point spreads are a form of wagering that considers the margin of victory instead of simple “win or lose” outcomes. It is one of the most popular forms of sports betting. You can find it in many different sports, especially basketball, and football.
In point spread betting, the oddsmaker assigns points to each team based on their expected performance. The stronger teams or players are favored by certain points, depending on the matchup.
For example, in an NFL game between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants, the Cowboys may be given 7 points over the Giants.
Therefore, if you bet on the Cowboys to cover the spread, they have to win by eight or more points. However, if you decide to bet on the Giants to cover, they must either win or lose by 6 points or less for you to win your bet.
NFL point spreads are a great way to even out matchups and make NFL games more interesting for bettors. Because NFL betting is prevalent, there’s a lot of information available about NFL betting and NFL odds.
Popular Events for Sports Betting
Among the leading sports betting sites, you can bet on almost any sport. Some people might prefer to bet on a world-class tennis match. Others might prefer a college sports event like March Madness.
March Madness is a wildly popular sports betting event. One of the reasons this college basketball tournament is so great for betting is that there are so many games going on. The sports odds also fluctuate more than in professional sports because college athletes are less consistent.
Others might prefer to bet throughout the regular season on their favorite MLB team, for example. Some might only bet on the Super Bowl.
Apart from the Olympics and the World Cup, the Super Bowl is the most watched sporting event in America, so many people take the event as an opportunity to try their luck with betting.
When we say there are many betting options available, we really mean it. It’s even getting to the point where it’s possible to bet on any major event.
For example, some betting sites allowed betting on the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. If there’s breaking news on the horizon, there’s a good chance you can bet on the outcome.
Welcome to the Wonderful World of Sports Betting!
Sports betting is a complex process that requires knowledge and understanding of the different betting odds available. Knowing how to read betting odds and being familiar with how sports betting lines work can help you make more informed decisions when using a sportsbook.
With the right information on hand, bettors can increase their chances of betting successfully on anything from a professional football game to a tennis match.
No matter your experience level or what type of game you’re looking to place bets on, understanding betting lines and sports odds will allow you to place better bets.
Why not see if the odds are in your favor today?