Sports Betting FAQs | Tips and Advice

Sports Betting FAQs

The cruel world of betting can be exciting, painful, thrilling but profitable to those who follow these simple rules

  1. Restraint
  2. Patience
  3. Discipline

It can also be very confusing and intimidating for novice bettors because of the abundance of insider terminology, wagering possibilities, and applications of mathematics within the betting scene. (Enter any forum and you’ll be baffled as a novice).

In our below betting FAQ section, we will do our best to demystify some of the more confusing terminology and insider chat when it comes to betting and wagering in general. No matter whether you’re confused about lay bets or which Sportsbook to start your journey with, we hope that you will come away from this post with a greater understanding how betting, and betting in sports markets works in general.

Here we go!

What is “Vigorish” or “Juice”?

This is the commission that the bookmaker takes for accepting your bet. The bookmakers attempts to get an equal number of bets on each side of a market, which allows him to collect a % (often 5 to 10%) and generate a profit regardless of the outcome of an event.

As a rule, bookmakers will offer you around -110 ($1.91) odds on point spread bets. If they are right with their calculations, the bettor will need to outlay $110 for every $100 you’ve won (a margin that will benefit the bookmakers more in the long term).

“Reduced Juice” (offered by Pinnacle) betting means that you will only need to outlay $105 or $104 to get $100 back. The sportsbook still makes profit in the long run if it’s right often enough, but more importantly, you get a better deal, and as we said, in the long run better odds beats a great Free Bet.

In short, the less Juice/Vigorish, the better in the long run.

Why do bookies adjust their betting lines?

When a large number of people place bets on a particular team or player, the betting line/spread may be adjusted in an effort to encourage players to bet on the alternate market, and also for the bookmakers to cover themselves if a team/player with a large majority of bets wins. As mentioned above, the goal of the bookmakers is to get an equal number of bets on both sides of a market.

Sometimes a high-roller can themselves adjust the line. For example, if one person bets $1 million dollars on the Chicago Bulls to beat the Dallas Mavericks, the odds on the Chicago Bulls will drop dramatically on order to attract bets to the other side of the market.

How does a moneyline bet work?

With moneyline betting, one team/player is given a negative sign (the favorite), while the other gets a number with a positive sign (the underdog). Here’s an example: Chicago Bulls -225 vs Dallas Mavericks +325.

When a team is favored, you’ll have to wager the amount indicated by their number in order to win $100. In the previous example, a bettor would need to successfully wager $225 on the Chicago Bulls in order to collect $100.

In the case of an underdog, the number indicates the payout on a wager of $100. In the previous example, correctly betting $100 on the Dallas Mavericks would earn you a sweet $325.

Moneyline betting is also sometimes referred to as Head to Head or “H2H” betting.

How big should I make my Bankroll?

A bankroll can be any size, and if you’re lucky you’ll be able to afford a very large one (within the scope of your income of course); it’s just a matter of what you feel comfortable with betting with on a single market/bet.

For some, this might be $1,000, while for others, it might be $100,000 (not us). Whatever your situation may be, just make sure that you are not starting your bankroll with more money than you can comfortably afford to lose, without stress. If you deplete your bankroll, consider the season done and reevaluate for the next season. Gambling is always supposed to be fun and when it isn’t, it’s time to stop for a while.

More information on Betting Bankrolls

Is there a way to make sure I win most of the time?

Hell no. The only effective system for successful betting is hard work, study and effective bankroll management (even this doesn’t guarantee success). A successful sports bettor could have a winning percentage of 54% to 58%. Anybody who boasts of a higher lifetime winning % is probably lying.

Our hot tip – STAY AWAY from paid tips sites. If they were any good at what they do they wouldn’t be making you pay for them. We do if for free because we enjoy betting, and even though we win most of the time, we wouldn’t want anybody to pay for our tips.

How does a spread betting work?

A ‘Spread Bet’ is basically an assumption of how a match-up will pan out.

Point spread betting is recognizable by the use of the + or – symbols. 

  • When a team has a line with a plus sign (+), it shows that the team must win the game outright or lose the game by fewer number of points than what the line indicates.
  • When a team has a point spread line with a minus sign (-), it indicates that the team must win the game by a greater number of points than what is indicated in the line.

Spread betting is a type of betting in which a bookmaker will handicaps a match-up by setting a margin for each team, which essentially makes the game equal. This estimated margin outcome is referred to as the ‘line’, which is where the term line betting comes from. A line bet is only available for events where there are two possible outcomes, such as a game of basketball, where there are no draws.

A typical point spread betting line will look something like this: Chicago -8.0 @ Philadelphia +8.0

For example; if the bookmaker believes Chicago is an 8-point better team than Philadelphia, the bookmaker can handicap Chicago 8 points. The line bet becomes Chicago to win by more than 8 pts or Philadelphia to be within 8 points at the end of the game.

More info on spread betting

What is a “unit” in sports betting?

A unit is the amount of money you have allotted yourself to bet on markets, and revolves around Bankroll Management once again.

This is where bettors allocate a rating or confidence level for each bet.

Allocating a unit to a bet indicates your confidence in that bet. A simple way to do this would be to have three confidence levels.

For example –

  •  1 unit, 2 units, 3 units. (These may go up to 4 and 5  units for more experienced bettors)

Following that, each unit has a $ value attached, depending on the total amount of your bankroll.

For example –

  •  1 unit ($20 bet), 2 units ($40 bet), 3 units ($60 bet).

Regardless of the value that you see in a bet, you must always within your set bankroll limits.

There are many theories for bankroll management but the general rule is never bet more than 2-3 % of your allocated bankroll on a single bet.

How does an over/under work?

Over/under total points betting is a bookmakers prediction for the combined score of a game. If the over/under for an NBA game is 212.5, the bettor can wager on the combined score being above 212.5 (overs) or less than 212.5 (unders).

More info on Over/Under Betting

Is sports betting legal in the U.S.?

The only U.S. state where land-based betting on sports is legal is Nevada, Las Vegas. A few states offer more limited options, but Vegas is generally the only place people think of.

In regards to online betting, there are no specific federal laws that prohibit online wagering. Some people falsely believe this to be the purpose of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, but that’s mainly concerned with the transfer of funds for the purposes of online gambling. A few individual states throughout the States, however, have made it a crime to gamble online.

Boooo.

How do you use a betting exchange?

A betting exchange brings bettors together and cuts out the need for bookies. A player can post their own betting lines, and will then have the option to “back” or “lay.”

If the player backs a team or player, they are wagering on a win market. If they lay a team or player, then they’re betting on a loss.

Whichever position the player takes, they must find another bettor willing to take the opposite position in order for the wager to have action.

A whole lot of fun.

Which sport is the hardest to bet on?

If you perform a search on Google for this question, you’ll see that the opinions vary wildly, and usually in betting forums.

The answer also depends on the bookmaker, with some more knowledgeable about specific sports. The consensus is however that American football is considered to be among the most difficult sports to bet on. This is due to the fact that bookmakers take extra special care while setting their betting lines due to the amount of money riding on each game.

How do parlay bets work?

Parlays also know as Multi Bets, Accumulators, Multi, Multiple or All-Up bets are selections of two or more bets combined into a single bet.

If one or more leg of a Parlay fails, the bet automatically loses. Parlay betting is risky but the payoffs are much larger than a Moneyline or Spread Bet.

With a Parlay bet, the total odds equal the multiplication of the individual odds.

Bet Slip example –

Bet Slip
Leg Stake
Bucks__+102
Bulls__-167
Thunder (-6.0)__-109
Combine Legs +521
Total Stake $30.00
Return $186.00

In this example, the Parlay odds equal (+102 * -167 * -109) = +521.

Suppose you outlaid the same $30 on this Parlay, with all 3 selections winning. Your total winnings would be:

Payout = $30 * +521 = $186.16
Profit = $186.16 – $30 = $156.16

It’s clear that Parlays provide a much larger return on investment than 3 single bets.

More information on NBA Parlay Betting

Which Sportsbook is the best?

To be be honest, it depends where you live in the world, and the restrictions that are placed within your region.

For Australians and Europeans the selections are largely endless, when it comes to the U.S it is a little more restricted.

If you want to know which bookmakers are the best for U.S. bettors, maybe try a couple, because they are all different.

It’s really up to you to try a couple and decide what’s best for you.