To see if sports betting is legal where you live, check out our state-by-state tracker. Some of the biggest states that have legalized mobile wagering include Colorado , New Jersey , Pennsylvania , Indiana and West Virginia.
The sportsbooks highlighted below are all trustworthy legal shops that take bets online. Click to return to table of contents. In the end, you have the final say on how much to risk on a game, but a good rule is risk only what you can afford to lose. Sports betting is a marathon, not a sprint. There will be good days and bad days. As a result, we recommend a flat-betting approach. They are unique to the team, sport and league, and universal across most sportsbooks.
Much like stocks on Wall Street, the sports betting market is fluid. Lines can vary based on the sportsbook, because different books have different clienteles. As a result, one book may post the Cavs -8 while another has Having access to more than one sportsbook allows you to shop for the best line. Getting an extra half-point might not seem like a huge deal, but it adds up over the long haul and increases your chances of winning.
Our live odds pages will automatically surface the best line for every game. These are all a good thing to know, and it can allow you to maximize your winnings. Check it out for free here. Sports Betting. Best Books. Action Network Staff. Download App. Read now. Action's Preferred Sportsbook. Bet Now. BetSync book. If the Dallas Cowboys played the New York Giants, you pick which team you would want to win and the odds factor in who is the favorite and who is the underdog.
This shows us that the Cowboys are the favorite to win the game and the Giants are the underdog note the minus and plus signs, as mentioned before. This same game may be listed using a point spread, too, and that can help you determine where you want to make your bet. In a game, a total is the number of points scored. Oddsmakers and sportsbooks will often release lines for the total amount of points scored between both teams in a game, and bettors can wager on if they think the total will be over or under the listed amount.
Oddsmakers and sportsbooks can also put up totals for each side separately. Totals can also apply to wins in a season. In fact, season win totals are some of the most popular wagers across all major sports, especially in the NFL. An oddsmaker or a sportsbook will determine a line to set for the number of wins a team will get in a regular season.
Bettors can then wager on if they think the team will win more or fewer games than the number posted. Depending on the jurisdiction, sports bets can be placed in a sportsbook or online, but those interested in placing a sports bet should understand the rules and regulations of the market they are in. Las Vegas is known for its dozens of state-of-the-art sportsbooks that cater to all kinds of sports bettors.
Only wagering in amounts that are comfortable to you is part of proper bankroll management, and know that each person is different, with varying thresholds. From there, a bettor will determine how many units to wager depending on the conservative or aggressive nature of the bet. In most cases, the odds are always changing.
Oddsmakers and sportsbooks are constantly trying to find and keep the best middle ground in a wager and often need to adjust one side of a bet, the other, or both in order to do so. Too much money being bet on one side or the other can cause the odds or point spread to be adjusted, and then there are things like changes in the weather or injury news that can affect how a game will play out and push oddsmakers to adjust. Odds or point spreads changing is completely normal.
Just like the prices in the stock market can and will adjust over time, so will the odds and point spreads at a sportsbook. Odds change and line movement can work for you, but they can also work against you. The same goes for a point spread if the result ends up equating to a tie. Next up, make sure you review the list of common sports betting and gambling terms.
It will rehash some of the things discussed in this sports betting guide, plus help you build your knowledge base. Understanding what the juice or vig is will help make you a more knowledgable sports bettor. A common betting strategy, and a very simple one for beginners to follow, is to bet against the public. Check out our betting against the public article to get up to speed. In this piece , we cover line shopping, large moneyline favorites, correlated parlays, live betting, and more.
The most common sport to bet on is football.
But who are the people setting these lines in the first place? More importantly, just how do they operate? Well, usually, sportsbooks will open their lines fairly early. Things start to change, however, as more and more bettors make their plays. As we have mentioned before, the oddsmakers have to make sure that approximately equal numbers of bettors are betting on each side of the line if they want to make sure that they make a solid profit from the juice.
As bettors make their plays at the sportsbooks, the bookmakers look to see which side is getting more bets and adjust the lines to try and lure more bettors into betting on the side that has been neglected by comparison. Once the sportsbooks begin to achieve a balance between bets on each sides of the lines, they will likely start to raise the betting limits.
Of course, not every sportsbook will follow this exact same strategy. Some sportsbooks might not alter their lines too much, while some may try to influence bets to lean toward one side rather than trying to strike a balance. It all depends upon the goals of the bookmakers and how they think they are likely to make more money. Some will also engage in a practice called shading, which is basically inflating the value of the team they expect to be more popular with bettors.
There are a lot of chalk players out there, bettors who will only wager on teams that are favored by the sportsbooks. These types of bettors make it easy for sportsbooks to shade their lines, because they know that these players will pay the extra juice for the promise of reduced winnings, rather than taking a chance on the underdog. It should be clear by now that the sportsbooks have it figured out in terms of how they can be most profitable.
Your profits may start small, but will grow into something bigger over time. We already told you about chalk players in the section above, and you might notice that the way we described them kind of made them sound like fodder for the sportsbooks. Now, do you think that they would have sounded that way if they were constantly just rolling in the dough? There is no such thing as a set winner, and you may notice that the decimal lines we gave you when we were looking at no-juice lines in the above sections were much closer than the decimal lines we gave before factoring out the vigorish.
Some sites that specialize in giving advice to those with an interest in sports betting have suggested tracking your plays for as much as a full year before deciding whether or not you think you have the edge that it takes to be a profitable sports bettor. To be a truly profitable sports bettor, you have to check a few things when tracking your picks. First of all, you want to see how your picks fare in comparison to the opening lines set by the sportsbooks, not just the closing lines.
Bear in mind that the lines shift over time, so the opening lines are more indicative of what the sportsbook was actually expecting from each team. When tracking your bets, there are a few more specific stats you will want to note. The first is your ROI, or return on investment. Divide your profits on a bet by the amount you put into it, and you will see about how much you are making on an average play.
You will want to look at your ROI for individual wins, but you also want to see the profit you have made over time compared to how much money you have put forth in general since you began your foray into sports betting.
You also want to see how often you are beating the closing line. Do not just look at how often you have beat the closing line, but also figure out the average for how many times you have beaten it compared to how many times you have wagered. You may not fully understand this as a beginner, but the frequency with which a handicapper is able to beat the closing line is a reflection on their skill level, as it is unlikely that they are beating the closing line often by sheer luck alone.
Some will give you other useful stats such as your Z score, which predicts your possible rate of success in the future. You definitely want a service that offers this stat. Another stat that should be offered by the service you choose to utilize is R-squared. It is a bit difficult to explain mathematically, but basically you are looking at consistency.
Consistency in your win rate also allows you some leeway in terms of bankroll management. If you want to make sure that you really have an edge when it comes to sports betting, then your pick tracker should offer this stat. Do some research and figure out which service you like most, focusing on services with stats such as R-squared and Z scores. We have already written a number of articles on which stats you must heed when betting on various sports, most of which were linked in the intro to this guide.
Look around at some of our articles on various sports, and figure out which stats you need to be researching in order to make the best plays you can. And if that sounds like too much work, then ask yourself the following question…. We linked our packages page at the beginning of this guide, but there are things that you need to know about us and really about all handicapping consultants if you are going to bother using our services to begin with.
If you can afford the help of consistent winners such as ourselves then we recommend you take advantage of what we have to offer, but you might still want to know a little bit about how we work. Now, while we and many of our competitors may occasionally mention win percentages, we already covered above that these percentages do not have to be too high to be profitable.
You will be working with a low sample size, but it will still be helpful to have these numbers. Of course, another major thing that you will need to look at is the sheer price of the service you are planning to use. If you have looked at our packages page and have tracked some picks using our free trial , then you already know whether or not we are the service for you.
But, in fairness to you, we should suggest that you do not pick a package that costs more than the amount you have in your bankroll. Remember that you will not always get your payouts immediately, so even winning with such numbers can feel a lot like losing in the short term.
Remember that truly successful sports bettors often make profits that are relatively small, but still worth the effort they have put forth. Someone promising to profit from just about every play is trying to sell you lies because they think that you are either irrational, inexperienced, or both. And while we maintain that this is a much less exciting way to bet, there are some benefits to it. If you want to trust the service you are using, you might want to refrain from watching most games for a while.
Your emotions during these games may cloud your judgment. Go by the numbers, not by how you felt when watching the games. This can be true whether your plays are winning or losing. If you win numerous times in a row, you might think that you can push your streak, whereas losing too many times in a row may cause you to become reckless out of desperation.
Stay the course. The last thing we want to talk about in terms of profitability is the sports on which you choose to bet. It is highly unlikely that a bettor would ever manage to beat the closing line on every single game like this, but this will still provide you with an idea of how profitable each sport can be. As such, these are the sports for which we read the following numbers.
In each sport, college bets seemed to offer greater profitability. Bets on college basketball games were also more frequent, with a sample size of compared to the NBA sample size of For college football and the NFL, the sample sizes were and , respectively. Again, the sample size was much larger for college games. The sample size for NHL bets was , which is again higher than that of pro or college football.
However, bear in mind that these numbers were not figured with the assumption that the hypothetical bettor would win every play, merely that they would always bet the home team. So you can potentially expect greater returns, but that does not mean that one sport is not still technically more profitable than another. This simply gives you an idea of which sports are most popular for bettors, and which ones offer the greatest potential ROI.
If your bankroll allows you to bet quite a bit over the course of a month, then you might be able to clean up pretty well by following all of the plays we give you. There are a lot of issues that must be taken into account when trying to decide upon the best sportsbook for you. In fact, there are so many issues to take into account that we recommend you familiarize yourself with more than one book. Most online sportsbooks also offer various bonuses for signing up with them. Such bonuses may include anything from a free trial to even a few free plays, allowing you the potential to make a bit of money without having to risk anything.
This can be incredibly useful if played well, and will allow you to start making returns before you have made any type of investment. You want to do your research when looking at sportsbooks to ensure that you are getting the best bonuses possible. However, one of the most important bonuses that you will want to look for is reductions on the juice. This may not be the most common feature offered by most sportsbooks, but you can find it offered by some if you look hard enough.
Finally, remember when you are researching sportsbooks that you should be doing just that: researching. Do not just look at a few sportsbooks and decide which ones look the best, but actually look around online to see what people are saying about the books in question. If people are saying that the sportsbooks are great about allowing you to deposit funds but take forever to allow you to withdraw your winnings, then you might want to go ahead and keep looking for better options.
You can use them if you want, but you are doing so at your own risk. Also bear in mind that not all user testimonies are real. You may not always be able to tell, but hopefully your instincts will serve you well. And you can be forgiven for this, because the lines offered by various books are often pretty comparable. The difference seems negligible. But, those seemingly negligible differences can still pay off over time. This is why you benefit from comparing lines and placing your bet at the sportsbook that offers less juice.
Your bank account will be all the better for it. If that describes you, then you want to stick to pretty low percentages of your bankroll on each play. However, if you can crunch certain numbers, then keep reading for a much more commonly accepted strategy in the world of sports betting. The Kelly formula, more commonly known as the Kelly criterion and also known by a few other similar names, is one of the most widely accepted rules in the world of sports betting. At least, as far as bankroll management is concerned.
If you use the Kelly formula often, you will come to understand why the above section on flat betting advised you to keep your bets relatively low in terms of your overall bankroll, even if you were fairly certain that you were going to win. Well, if you plug those numbers into the Kelly calculator linked here , it will actually tell you not to bet at all.
This should give you an idea regarding just how precise the Kelly formula can be. You may wonder why these numbers are differing so greatly, and the simple answer is that the Kelly formula operates through a relatively complicated equation that figures out your potential payout in terms of your implied win rate. And the whole thing might be going over your head, which is extremely forgivable considering how much it can complicate your sports betting.
Well, you can understand all this a bit better if you take a look at expected value. To get expected value for an underdog bet, you multiply the implied win rate by the number you get if you divide the line by , and then you subtract the inverse of the win rate. The numbers we gave you for the Rangers would make this equation.
You can see the difference by running the favored numbers as well. The equation for expected value is the same, only you switch the with the number at which the line is set. However, the change we made to the implied win rate resulted in. Expected value is what you might gain from a bet on average if you were to repeat it every time you placed a bet.
Expected value is often considered alongside another statistic referred to as expected growth, which is even harder to explain. What, then, should you be learning from all of this? Additionally, you should note that even our fudged numbers returned 1. It just might not happen all of the time. If you only take away one thing from the above few sections, let it be that bankroll management can be a tricky aspect of sports betting, and taking it for granted can result in extreme losses to your overall funds.
With sports betting now legal in many states , millions of sports fans will be looking to enter the betting market for the first time. When the oddsmakers release a betting line on a game, the first thing they do is decide which team should be the favorite and which should be the underdog. The favorite is the team that is expected to win the game and will get a minus sign next to its odds, while the underdog is expected to lose and gets a plus sign.
There are two main ways to bet on a favorite or an underdog. The first is the point spread , which is a bet on the margin of victory. If you bet on the Patriots, they need to win the game by 8 points or more for you to win your bet. Spreads are available for all sports, but they are predominantly used when betting on higher-scoring sports like football and basketball. The second way to bet on a favorite or an underdog is on the moneyline. This is based solely on which team will win the game.
Because underdogs are expected to lose, there is more of a reward when betting on them. Moneylines are available for all sports, but they are predominantly used when betting on lower-scoring sports like baseball, hockey and soccer. In addition to setting a line for the favorite and the underdog, oddsmakers will also set a total number of points scored in a game by both teams combined. You could either bet the Over or the Under If you bet the Over and the total points scored end up being or higher, you win your bet.
If the total points scored are or fewer, you lose. The juice is the commission you have to pay to the sportsbook for them to accept your wager. With legalized sports betting spreading across America, sports bettors have never had more options to take advantage of. To see if sports betting is legal where you live, check out our state-by-state tracker.
Some of the biggest states that have legalized mobile wagering include Colorado , New Jersey , Pennsylvania , Indiana and West Virginia. The sportsbooks highlighted below are all trustworthy legal shops that take bets online. Click to return to table of contents. In the end, you have the final say on how much to risk on a game, but a good rule is risk only what you can afford to lose.
Sports betting is a marathon, not a sprint. There will be good days and bad days. As a result, we recommend a flat-betting approach.
Teresa Saucedo-Artino. Joe Theismann. Mass Market Paperback. Take Your Eye Off the Ball 2. Pat Kirwan. More items to explore. The Art of Smart Football. Chris B. Bill Renner. The Offensive Coordinators Football Handbook. Steve Axman. Defensive Coordinator's Football Handbook. Leo Hand. Perfect Paperback.
Michael Cox. Register a free business account. About the Author Mike Beacom is the publisher of Football. Don't have a Kindle? Customer reviews. How are ratings calculated? Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness. Top reviews Most recent Top reviews. Top reviews from the United States. There was a problem filtering reviews right now.
Please try again later. Verified Purchase. Funny and entertaining and informative why not? One person found this helpful. I recently bought this book so I can understand one of the best teams, KC Chiefs play. Unless I misread it, it is not there. Does this author really know his stuff to be writing a book like this. Everything you need to learn about the good 'ole sport. Along with neat trivia that you can take to your next NFL party and impress the guests with your knowledge.
I was able to skim most of this book while my boyfriend drove us to my first tailgater and game Go Sun Devils! I was pleased to realize that I actually understood what was happening on the field, including the calls the refs were making. In the past I always just let the commentators tell me what had happened, but that doesn't work at a live game. We're headed to a Cardinals game soon, I'm looking forward to understanding the game, instead of just following the crowd.
Granted, it's not rocket science, but there's a lot more to football than just touch downs and tackling, and now I can follow it! I knew enough to watch the game but not to always follow the plays. This was just a fun purchase to answer those odd questions.
Not enough in offense with respect to strategy. Kept expecting. See all reviews. Top reviews from other countries. I am very happy. Very fast. Very good football book. Thank you!!! Report abuse. What other items do customers buy after viewing this item? Pages with related products. This makes it much harder to win but of course the reward is far greater.
The main advice here is to find what it right for you. Do some research, maybe put some small stakes on a few different ways and see what felt good and what had a good return on your investment. Something you will encounter when you start football betting is a range of different online and offline bookmakers. All will have their own way of dealing with things and all will want you to work with them differently. Here are some generally accepted good tips that I have gleaned from my research and also from interviewing football tipsters!
There are two things I have caught myself doing related to being greedy, the first is adding extra teams into an accumulator just because it will bump up my maximum payout. This is almost always a terrible idea! The second thing I have done is bet more money on a team than I initially was going to. You should have a plan for how much you are going to bet and stick to it. You are not going to win every bet, if you want to become successful at betting on football you need to be patient and pick the right bets for you.
Before I place a bet I always think about the money I am going to be placing on it and think, if I were to lose this money right now would I be OK with that. If you think gambling might be becoming a problem for you then my advice is to seek help.
GambleAware might be worth a visit! If the friendlies are before the start of a new season they often are players will be very aware to not pick up any injuries so might not play as hard as they normally do. What I mean by this is that two teams can look a certain way on paper, but if one of those teams has already won the league and the other is fighting to stay in the league there is a very good chance that the team good on paper will be on auto pilot whilst the team playing to stay out of relegation is going to be fighting for their life!
Here is a quick translation. If ever there was a post to comment on with your questions this would be it! The only stupid question is the one not asked. Unfortunately a lot of money is wasted because people place bets without really knowing too much about what they are doing. If you know someone like that please feel free to share this with them.
If you feel confident enough to start actually betting on football matches, then might I suggest you sign up as a member , or perhaps register with a good online bookies. You can get a sample of our free tips here. Join our free email course to learn all about football betting. You will learn theory and techniques to make you a better bettor!
Sign up for free. Beginners Guide to Football Betting This is a beginners guide to football betting, written by a beginner! Accumulator — A football accumulator is a series of single bets grouped together, if each of the bets comes off then the odds accumulate together.
Normally when you hear of people putting a fiver on something and winning a couple of thousand it is because of accumulators. Because each bet needs to win though they can be risky.