Sports Betting 101

When people start betting on sports, they often think that they are going to win every single bet (they won’t) and make life-changing money overnight (they won’t). Unless you are made of money or you can afford to lose it, you will be better off limiting the amount of time you spend gambling to weekends and holidays when you don’t have many commitments.

One of the best things about sports betting is that you can bet on things that aren’t featured in main wagering markets, like props and team totals. But while they are a great way to diversify your wagering portfolio, it’s important to understand that these bets have higher juice, so you should always shop around for the best lines.

Whenever a game is set, the oddsmakers must decide who is the favorite and underdog. They use a lot of factors, including record, injuries and home-field advantage, to determine which team should be the underdog. They also take into account public sentiment when setting the line and will shade it in the direction that they think the market is moving. That means that the more you hear about a certain team, the more likely you are to bet on them. This is called “buying into the popular side.”