Sports Betting 101

Betting is the action of placing a stake with the intention of winning something. It differs from gambling in that the individuals involved have a better idea of what might happen, and they can also be informed by data and research (see Smart Sports Trader’s Simple Guide to Making Money From Sports Betting).

The risk associated with betting is often higher than that of other types of gambling (such as slot machines), but it doesn’t necessarily mean that bettors can’t win big. It all comes down to discipline and sticking to a system that works. This requires a bankroll that will last for a long time, and only betting a small percentage of each game. It’s important not to get “tilted” by a good run, or to chase losses with irrational bets, and to keep a record of each game as it happens.

It is also important to learn when to make value bets, which involves understanding the physics of odds and pointspreads. The bookmakers constantly adjust their prices based on the amount of money being wagered and exposure, and this can lead to some great value betting opportunities. For example, if the public is heavily on one side of a market the bookmakers will inflate that line to encourage more bets and balance the books. Taking advantage of these inflated lines is called fading the public, and can be one of the best ways to increase your profits in sport betting.