Understanding Sports Betting

When you’re starting out as a sports bettor, it can be hard to understand how everything works. But understanding the basics can help you make informed wagers and win big money!

One of the best ways to do that is by learning how to read sports odds. Odds indicate the probability of an event happening, so they can tell you how risky a bet is.


Lines are a key part of sports betting. They tell you how much you should bet on each side of a matchup and they also provide important information about the odds.

Betting lines are usually set before the game is played. They are based on a lot of different data points, including overall strengths and weaknesses of each team.

They also take into account major ancillary factors like injuries and player selection.

When a line moves dramatically it usually indicates that sharp money has been placed on one side of the matchup. However, it is also possible that the line movement has been caused by a variety of factors.

Point spreads

Point spreads are one of the most popular sports betting styles. They’re especially common in football and basketball, but can be used in other sports as well.

Oddsmakers use mathematically-driven ratings of each team, plus factors like home-field advantage and rest, to create point spreads for games. They then move those lines throughout the week to give bettors the best value.

If a team wins by more points than the spread, that’s called covering the spread. If a team loses by more points than the spread, that’s known as pushing the spread.

Smart money

Smart money is an important concept for sports bettors to understand. It is the cash wagers of professional gamblers who are skilled and have a better track record than a typical bettor.

A common indicator of Smart Money is when the betting line moves away from the “betting percentages.” If a team opens at -3.5 and rapidly moves to -4.5 or -5, that can be an indication of smart money.

To help you determine whether the betting line is moving because of smart money, oddsFire’s Smart Money feature analyzes positions where 80% of the bets are on one side, but only 50% or less are on the other. This is an indication that smart money is driving the line move and a great opportunity to take advantage of the sharp action.

Halftime bets

When it comes to sports betting, halftime bets are one of the best options for sports fans. These wagers allow you to place a bet on the outcome of a game before the action even begins.

These bets are available for many NBA and NFL games as well as major college football contests. The odds are usually posted as soon as the first half is finished.

Halftime lines are based on the first half of the game and then adjusted based on how the second half plays out. This is a great way to make more money from your bets.

Parlay bets

Parlays are a popular form of sports betting because they offer big payouts. However, they are also a risky gamble because multiple outcomes need to happen in order to win.

Parlay bets are also known as combo bets because they combine a number of wagers into one. They can include moneyline, point spread and totals bets from multiple games.

Some sportsbooks allow you to combine in-game prop bets as well. These types of bets have skyrocketed in popularity because they significantly boost bettors’ interest in individual games from start to finish.

Parlay bets are not a long-term money-making strategy, but they can be fun for players who enjoy watching sports and want to get the blood pumping. They are especially useful in football, where more eyes are glued to more games each week.

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