The Basics of Online Sports Betting – Learning the Specific Bets

Online sports betting is expanding everyday and it’s not hard to understand why. It combines two all-time favorite past-times – sports and taking risks. We can’t all play professional sports. Most people can’t take weekly trips to Vegas. But thanks to online sports betting you can have the thrill of watching sports and winning money at the same time. All in the privacy of your own home! It doesn’t get much better than that.

Before you start placing bets you need to understand a few of the basics. This article gives you an introduction to the terminology used in online betting. You don’t want to make any bets that you don’t completely understand. Here’s where I wish to emphasize another good word of advice, always search out the top spots betting advice and assimilate that advice before you place any money on the line.

Straight Bets – With a straight bet you’re simply betting on a team to win. The amount of points a team wins by doesn’t matter. If the Cowboys and Jaguars are playing you simply bet on which team you think will win. This is the most basic bet.

Betting a side – This is similar to the above bet. You’re choosing a “side” or a team you think will win.

Point Spread Betting – A sports book will list which team is the favorite to win a particular game. They’ll also show the estimated amount of points they’re expected to win by which is called the spread. So they don’t just say the odds are on the Cowboys to win. They’ll say the Cowboys are expected to win by 7 points or 11 points, etc. If you bet on the Cowboys to win but they only win by 5 then you haven’t won your bet. They didn’t win by enough to cover the spread.

Against the Spread or ATS – This is similar to the above bet. Instead of betting just on who will win, you’re betting they’ll win by more or less than the amount of the expected spread. I think you are beginning to see why I insist that you find the top sports betting advice. In your research look for a system, a proven system where the promoter of the system has a dedicated following of winners. At the end of this article I will point you to one, but there are dozens more. Find the one right for you.

Over/Under bets – As well as listing a favorite team and the point spread they’re expected to win by, the oddsmakers will also list a total over/under score. This is the total amount of points the teams will score during the game. If the number is 47 then they’re anticipating both teams to score a combined total of 47. If you bet “over” then you’re betting the total score will be over what’s expected. If you bet “under” then you’re anticipating the total score to be less.

Parlays – Parlay betting is when you group several bets on one ticket. Let’s say you make three bets, but instead of placing them separately you place them all on one ticket. If you win all three the payout is greater than if you’d played each bet separately. However, if you lose even one bet the parlay is a loser. You must win every bet on the card.

Future Bets or betting “Futures” – A future bet can be a profitable bet for small bettors but the odds are high. It involves betting on a game such as the Super Bowl while the season is just beginning, etc. You’re betting on which team will win a future event before it’s even been decided who will play in the game.

There are many other variations of bets but this gives you the basic online sports betting terminology to understand the most popular bets.

Sports Betting Money Management Secret

It can be extremely dangerous to bet out of control. Take my word for it, do not learn this lesson through experience.

Here is the #1 Law of money management: Never Gamble With Money That You Cannot Afford To Lose.

Successful sports bettors all have at least this in common – they know how to properly manage their money. Superior handicapping/betting skills alone do not make one a winning player. To win, you must want to win bad enough so that you will be careful enough not to give your money back to the bookies.

This is a very important concept. Once you have won money from a bookie or sports book, that money is yours. Keep it that way. Subconsciously, the bettors that think of the money as not belonging to them tend to give it back immediately.

So start training yourself to think of the money as yours as soon as it has been won – because IT IS YOURS! Now you will not be so quick to give it back.

Also, do not gamble with needed funds no matter how “sure” the bet may seem at the time. The possibility of loss is always very real. And by loss I mean financially and emotionally. Gambling with money that is necessary for something else is a sure fire way to get yourself all emotional about it. And then who knows how desperate you will get.

Playing under escalated anxiety not only ruins all the fun and stresses you the hell out, but it also probably destroys your ability to make sound decisions and win your bets! That’s right. Bets made under duress and usually bad bets. So play the game strategically so that is easy for you not to get emotional.

The Myth of the Hot Sports Betting Handicapper

The most prevalent means of sports service marketing is some variant on the theme that so and so is “red hot” and you should therefore pay him your money and follow his plays. The crooked services do this by coming up with all sorts of confusing and contradictory rating systems and hyperbolic descriptions for their games. How many times have you heard a handicapper brag about being “16-2 on his 500 star MWC underdog plays of the month” or saying that his “Southern Conference total of the month is 60% lifetime”?

Basically, the bottom feeders of this industry can slice and dice their statistics all sorts of ways to make themselves seem “hot”. Or they can do what a lot of them do, and simply lie about their performance. When I was first starting out as a sports handicapper there was no such thing as the Internet (at least as it exists today) and I had to rely on a scorephone for line and score updates. This scorephone was sponsored by a group of touts not noted for their veracity, and you had to sit through a few pitches for their 900 numbers before you got to the scores. A bit of a Faustian bargain, to say the least, but it was an effective way of keeping up with scores in the pre-Internet dark ages.

So one night we’re at a party thrown by some kid that we didn’t like too much. My crew and I were racking our brains to think of some mean pranks to pull on the guy. Someone got the idea to rack up some 900# charges on our mark’s phone bill. Since there’s no such thing as 900# directory assistance, I resulted to the only 900# I could remember – one of the touts from the scorephone that had drilled his digits into my memory through the sheer force of repetition.

For the sake of argument, I decided to write down the tout’s NBA plays. I had less faith in his handicapping ability than I would in a prognostication based on a divining rod or Ouija Board, but since I wasn’t paying for the call I figured I’d just see how the guy did. I wrote down his plays and checked his performance the next morning.

To his credit, the tout went 5-3 on his 8 plays. By any criteria a 5-3 night is a solid performance. Later that day I called the scorephone and waited for the tout to start crowing about his 5-3 night. Much to my surprise, the tout didn’t say a word about his 5-3 night. That’s because he was too buy bragging about his mythical 7-1 performance the preceding day.

Now, I understand that the revelation that boiler room touts like about their performance is on par with “pro wrestling is fake” or “the games at the fair aren’t on the up-and-up” as self evident truths. The point I’m trying to make, however, is that the desire to be the “hot handicapper: is so great that the tout felt he had to embellish a solid performance the night before.

So despite the fact that some handicappers like about their performance, what’s wrong with trying to ride the hot handicapper? Plenty-it’s not only an ineffective way to evaluate a handicapper’s abilities, it also has a number of statistical and theoretical shortcomings.

The simplest way to explain what I’m talking about is to borrow a disclaimer that you’ll hear on every commercial for a mutual fund: “Past performance is no guarantee of future results”. The sports gambling milieu, like those of stocks, commodities and other financial instruments, is a marketplace and subject to a number of the same tendencies of other financial institutions (what economists call “market dynamics”).

The fact that a sports wager’s success or failure is dependent to a degree on the “whims” of a marketplace (of odds and pointspreads) and to a greater degree on other external events outside of the bettor’s control exacerbates what is already a matter of simple logic: what a handicapper does over a period of time (be it a day, week, month or season) has no intrinsic correlation between a handicapper’s performance one year and the next. In other words, the sports gambling marketplace and the random patterns of events that act upon them don’t care if I hit 60% last year. If I don’t do my work, crunch the numbers, get good prices to bet into, and catch a few breaks along the way I may end up beaten regardless of how well I performed in a subsequent period of time.