Sports betting has become a popular activity for millions of fans. Many think it’s easy to win money by picking a few winning teams, but in reality, making money on sports bets takes patience and skill. The most successful bettors know what they’re doing and don’t bet more than they can afford to lose.
One of the biggest mistakes bettors make is following media hype and bias. This includes national TV shows, radio talk shows and even some online sports blogs and podcasts. This is why ignoring the noise is crucial. Instead, bettors should focus on identifying the key points of each game and reading up on any breaking news or injuries that might impact the outcome of a matchup. They should also follow on-the-ground reporters like local beat writers for each team, who can often fill in with information the national talking heads might miss.
Another important point to understand is how odds work. Most bettors are familiar with the minus and plus signs used in a team’s odds, but many don’t realize that the minus sign actually indicates a favored team and the plus sign an underdog. So if the Seattle Seahawks are favored by 4, their odds would read as Seahawks – 4.
Bettors should also be aware that sportsbook juice can eat into any profit. The amount of juice varies by sportsbook and can be as much as 20% or more, depending on the type of game. In addition, bettors should have a plan for timing their wagers. For example, betting lines for NFL games can change dramatically after the first half.