Sports betting has been around since the 19th century, when people began speculating on baseball and other events. The 1919 World Series game-fixing scandal dampened enthusiasm for gambling on sport, but in recent years, sports betting has made a comeback with legalized wagering in many states.
Making money regularly in sports betting is hard, but it’s not impossible. The key is understanding how to use your bankroll wisely, making smart bets and sticking to a strategy. It’s also important to keep track of your bets (an Excel spreadsheet works fine) so you can see how much you’re winning and losing.
Betting lines (predicted points differences between two teams) are published by most sportsbooks. The Newspaper Association of America defends this practice as free speech under the First Amendment and says readers want to know who is favored to win.
Most bets center on the outcome of a game or event. Some involve predicting the total number of points scored or the winning team. Others are called prop bets, which have nothing to do with the actual game’s result. They may be about a player’s performance or even something as trivial as the color of Gatorade that douses the winning coach.
A good rule of thumb is to only risk 1% to 5% of your bankroll on any one bet. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint; you will have good days and bad. It’s important to be patient and to walk away from bad bets when necessary.