Sports Betting Guide: Your Ultimate Resource for Betting on Sports

Sports betting is one of the oldest forms of gambling in existence. People were betting on the outcomes of sporting events hundreds of years ago, just like they do today. A lot has changed since then of course, but the basic concept of sports betting has remained the same. You simply put your money on whatever outcome you think is most likely. You win if your prediction is correct, and you lose if it’s not.

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The relatively straightforward nature of sports betting is one reason why it’s so popular. There are others too, as we’ll explain later. However, certain aspects of this form of gambling can be a little more complex. It’s easy enough to get started with just some basic knowledge, but there’s a lot to learn if you want to get the most out of betting on sports. This is especially true if you have aspirations of winning money consistently. Even if you’re just betting for fun, learning more about how to do it could never hurt.

The purpose of this sports betting guide is to teach you everything there is to know about the subject. Like all the gambling guides on this site, it’s extremely comprehensive. It’s been compiled by a team of genuine experts, who have years of betting experience between them. The information and advice we have to offer here is truly INVALUABLE.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never placed a sports wager in your life, or if you have lots of betting experience under your belt. Nor does it matter if your goal is to have fun or to make money. You WILL find this guide useful. For rookies, there’s information about how sports betting works and what’s involved. There’s also plenty of basic advice that’s really easy to understand. There are some advanced topics too, for the more experienced bettors, and lots of strategy advice. We even help you to find the best places to bet online.

Now, we’re not promising that we’ll turn you into a successful bettor overnight. This isn’t a step by step guide to guaranteed profits. Our goal is to give you the information and advice that you need to develop your betting skills over time. Combine those skills with the right attitude, and plenty of willpower, and there’s every chance you’ll start making money.

This page features full details of what our guide has to offer. Everything has been neatly categorized, so it’s easy to find what you’re looking for. You can read through the whole page, or go straight to something specific using the links we provided below.

On This Page

Sports Betting for Beginners

This part of our guide is specifically for those who are new to sports betting. It focuses on all the basics, which are important to understand. Although it’s relatively easy to start betting on sports, it’s not the best idea to start risking money without knowing exactly what’s involved. So spending a little time learning the basics is highly recommended.

You might want to take a look through this part of our guide even if you’ve been betting for a while. There’s no harm in refreshing your memory every now and again, and who knows? You might just learn something new.

Before we get into the details of everything covered here, let’s first take a look at some of the reasons why you should even consider betting on sports.

Why Bet on Sports?

Simple to Learn
The basics of sports betting are very straightforward. There’s nothing especially complicated you need to know before getting started. You just need to understand the basic mechanics of how it all works, and learn how to actually place a wager.

Fun Factor
Arguably the best reason of all to bet on sports is the simple fact that it’s a lot of fun. Testing your sports knowledge against the bookmakers can be very enjoyable, and it makes watching sports even more exciting too.

Banking Options
Sports betting is different to most other forms of gambling, as you are NOT completely reliant on luck. Although the bookmakers have an inherent advantage, this advantage can be overcome if you know what you’re doing.

Easy to Place Bets
Online betting sites have made it easier than ever before to place your sports bets. All you need to do is log into your account from your computer, smartphone or tablet. Then you can bet whenever and wherever you want.

These are the four main reasons why so many people bet on sports. It’s an incredibly popular form of gambling, enjoyed by millions all over the world. There are some people who bet purely for the fun of it, and some people who take it very seriously. Some people even make a very good income from it.

Don’t rush to open a betting account and start placing wagers just yet though. There are a couple of other things you should know about sports betting before getting started. These are as follows.

1. Most sports bettors lose money overall.

2. Bookmakers are very skilled at what they do.

The first point listed here is an undeniable fact. Although we don’t know the exact numbers, the vast majority of people who wager on sports definitely lose money. This figure is probably close to 90%. It might be easy to learn the basics of sports betting, but learning how to win is MUCH more challenging.

This is primarily because of the second point listed here. Bookmakers aren’t in business for the fun of it, they’re in it to make an overall profit. And they do. They have a clear advantage over their customers, as they are the ones who get to set the odds and lines. They build a commission in to those odds, which means their customers effectively pay a fee every time they place a wager. The bookmakers are also very good at setting the odds and lines in a way that makes them hard to beat.

A lot of people assume that a bit of sports knowledge is all they need to win money from betting, but this just simply isn’t the case. It might help them to win a few wagers now and then, or even reasonably frequently, but it’s not enough by itself. The bookmakers know their stuff too. The guys setting the odds and lines are often real experts in at least one sport, and they also tend to be excellent with the numbers. So you need a lot more than just a little sports knowledge to take them on.

Although it’s important to understand this, don’t worry about it too much. It may be that you’re not too worried about winning money, and that you’re just interested in betting for the fun of it. That’s absolutely fine. As long as you’re only risking money that you can afford to lose, then it’s no different to spending money on any other form of entertainment. However, try to bear the following point in mind.

Betting for fun is great. Betting for profit is BETTER.

OK, so this is obviously our opinion rather than a hard fact. It’s surely not hard to imagine that sports betting is much more enjoyable when you’re winning though. This is precisely why we encourage people to take their betting seriously and strive to make a profit from it. There’s still plenty of fun to be had, with the potential of actually having something tangible to show for it. And even if you only manage to break-even, this at least means that you get your entertainment for no cost at all.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though. Although it’s worth thinking about what you want to get out of betting even as a beginner, the first step is of course to learn the basics. So please take the time to read through our beginner’s section as a starting point. This will give you a solid foundation to work from. Here’s a list of what’s included, along with a link to the section itself.

  • Benefits of Sports Betting

    This article looks at the benefits of sports betting compared to casino gambling and playing poker. It also includes some other reasons for betting on sports.

  • Mechanics of Sports Betting

    Here we explain exactly how sports betting works. We look at the three main components that make up a sports wager: a selection, a stake and the odds.

  • How to Place Sports Bets

    In this article we explain the process for actually placing a sports wager. We also detail the different methods available for placing wagers, such as using casino sportsbooks and online betting sites.

  • Understanding Odds

    A proper understanding of odds is absolutely vital. This article explains odds in detail, looking at how they work and the different formats they come in.

  • How Bookmakers Make Money

    It helps to know the techniques that bookmakers use to ensure their profits. This article fully explains the advantages they have over their customers.

  • Probability and Value

    Value is an important concept in sports betting. Here we explain why, and also discuss the relationship between value and probability. This is a must read article.

  • Top Tips for Beginners

    This selection of fairly simple tips has been compiled specifically to help beginners form good habits from the moment they start betting: another essential read.

  • Mistakes to Avoid

    All beginners make mistakes when they first start betting on sports. This is natural, and part of the learning process. This article will help you avoid some of the most basic mistakes though.

  • Sports Betting Glossary

    Many of the words and phrases used in sports betting are entirely self-explanatory. Some are not though. This glossary explains them all, and is a useful reference tool.

  • Types of Wagers

    This is an overview of all the different types of sports wagers. It features brief explanations of each one, with links to additional information where appropriate.

There are a few more articles we’ve written for beginners too. These are listed below, and each one covers an alternative to traditional sports betting. You may not have much interest in these, and we don’t consider them essential reading. There’s definitely some benefit in learning about these alternatives though, especially live betting. This one of the very best ways to wager on sports in our opinion.

  • Live Betting

    This involves placing wagers on sports events while they are taking place, as opposed to before they start. Its great fun, extremely exciting and it offers many excellent opportunities to win money.

  • Exchange Betting

    Exchange betting eliminates the need for bookmakers. Wagers are struck on a peer-to-peer basis, at agreed odds and stakes. This opens up new possibilities, and can be very profitable.

  • Spread Betting

    This is one of the more complex ways to bet on sports. Not to be confused with the point spread, it’s very risky but comes with the potential for big returns.

  • Daily Fantasy Sports

    Daily fantasy sports, or DFS, is not really betting at all. It does involve putting your sports knowledge to the test though, and risking money in exchange for the chance of winning.

Online Sports Betting

We strongly recommend using the internet for placing sports wagers. It’s the easiest and most convenient option by quite some distance. It also gives you access to a wide range of betting markets, and consistently competitive odds. Not to mention, there’s a plethora of bonuses and rewards to choose from. These can make a notable difference to how much money you make over time.

It’s important to use the right sites though. The best sites enable you to take full advantage of all the benefits of betting online, while others will just give you a poor experience. So please think carefully before deciding where to join. Or, even better, just use one of our recommendations. These are all top quality sites that provide a great service.

Another big advantage of betting online is that it’s easy to compare the odds and lines available at different sites. Doing this ensures that you get the best possible value for each and every wager you place. There’s not always big differences in what’s available, but getting even slightly better odds and lines can significantly improve your overall results.

Please see below if you’d like to learn more about betting online.

  • Advantages of Betting Online

    This article features a more detailed explanation of all the benefits of using the internet to place sports wagers. It’s a good read if you’re still unsure whether or not this is the way to go.

  • Choosing Where to Bet

    Here we offer some advice for picking the right site. Although we make it easy by providing recommendations, this advice is useful if you prefer to do your own research.

  • Betting Bonuses and Rewards

    Bonuses and rewards can provide a welcome boost to a bankroll. It’s important to understand how to take full advantage of them though. This article will help with that.

  • Using Multiple Sites

    We recommend opening accounts at more than one betting site. There are several reasons why this is the case, as we explain in this article.

Sports Betting Essentials

This section of our guide is a little more advanced than the previous two. It features several articles covering a range of important topics. Some of these articles are purely informational, while others contain tips and advice. Either way, each one is very useful. We recommend reading them all if you’re the least bit interested in improving as a bettor and becoming successful.

Here’s a list of some of the most popular articles, along with a link to the section.

  • What Makes a Successful Bettor?

    Reading this article will help you decide if you have what it takes to make money from betting on sports. We explain all about the attributes and characteristics that you really need.

  • Bankroll Management

    Bankroll management is one of the most important skills required for betting on sports. This article explains why, and also offers advice for managing a bankroll effectively.

  • Choosing Which Sports to Bet On

    Picking the sports to focus your attention on is an important decision. Although we can’t tell you with confidence which sports are best for you, this article does provide some general advice for making a choice.

  • Picking Selections the Right Way

    This article addresses some of the fundamental considerations that need to be made when picking selections for your wagers. It’s one of the most useful articles in our whole guide.

  • Odds Converter

    Here we offer a free tool that can be used at any time to convert odds into your preffered format. We also explain in more detail implied probablity and understanding vigorish

  • Keeping Records and Analyzing Bets

    A good way to improve as a bettor is to assess past performances and identify strengths and weaknesses. The advice in this article will help you to do this effectively.

Sports Betting Strategy

In most forms of gambling, chance is the overriding factor in determining who wins or loses. Take casino games for example. The outcome of all casino games is random, so players need to be lucky if they’re going to win. Most of them do get lucky at least some of the time, but they’re always likely to lose in the long run. This is because of the house edge. The odds are always stacked against them, and in favor of the house. There’s nothing that can be done to overcome this.

Chance plays a part in sports betting too. And there’s also a house edge of sorts, in the form of the commission that the bookmakers charge. But this form of gambling isn’t like most others. There’s no need to rely on luck to win, and the bookmakers’ edge CAN be overcome. With the right approach, it’s possible to win money on a consistent basis.

Now, this isn’t easy. It’s not even close to being easy. It requires discipline, patience and a great deal of time and effort. It also requires plenty of sports knowledge, and a good understanding of the strategy involved.

This section is dedicated to the subject of sports betting strategy. It contains several articles, all of which have been written by proven winners. None of them provide perfect systems that are guaranteed to win, but they do provide some very useful advice. The most popular articles in this section are listed below, followed by a link to the main strategy section.

  • Introduction to Sports Betting Strategy

    This article explains the fundamental aspects of sports betting strategy. We explain what strategy is in this context, and look at exactly how it can help.

  • Sports Betting Research and Analysis

    Successful betting requires carrying out a lot of research and analysis. In this article we look at some of the best methods for this, and provide some useful tips and advice.

  • Developing Your Sense of Value

    A good sense of value is absolutely essential if you want any chance of making a profit from your wagers. Here we provide some helpful advice for improving your ability to spot value.

  • Basic Strategy for Point Spreads

    This article focusses entirely on placing point spread wagers. We explain some of the main factors to consider when choosing which way to put your money.

  • Basic Strategy for Totals

    Another wager-specific article, this one focusses on totals. These simple wagers can be very profitable with the right approach, and this article explains some basic strategy considerations.

  • Arbitrage Betting

    Arbitrage betting can result in guaranteed profits. Opportunities are rare though. This article explains how it all works, and how to find the best opportunities.

  • Fading the Public and Chasing Steam

    This article covers two well-established strategies that are based on where other people are putting the money. We look at how they work, and their pros and cons.

  • Using the Kelly Criterion

    The Kelly Criterion is a staking plan that many professional gamblers swear by. We discuss its merits in this article, and also explain how to use it.

Betting Guides By Sport

Everything we’ve covered so far relates to wagering on all sports. The information and advice is as relevant to a popular sport like football as it is to a minor sport such as badminton. In addition to all this, we’ve also produced some betting guides that are dedicated to specific sports. Rather than focusing on general theories and concepts, these go into more precise detail about things that apply to an individual sport.

We currently have guides for football, soccer, basketball and tennis. These are four of the most popular sports in the world, so they naturally attract a lot of betting interest. They also present a lot of opportunities for making money.

We’re also working on guides for a number of other sports too. We’re hoping to have these completed and added to our site in the near future. So please keep an eye out for them. They’ll be worth waiting for, we promise. Here’s a list of what’s coming soon.

Betting Sites by Sport/Event

Here we have compiled the best online betting sites for each of the following sports and sporting events.

Sports Betting FAQ

We think that this guide does a great job of answering any questions that our readers are likely to have about sports betting. We recognize that some people who visit our site are looking for short answers to simple questions though. They’re not necessarily interested in reading through detailed articles, as they just want to get the information they need as quickly as possible. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions and then answered them. Here are some examples.

Can sports betting really be profitable?

Yes. There are people all over the world who make regular and consistent profits from their sports wagers. And you can be one of them. You’ll need to study hard, and digest a lot of information. This will take time, so you can’t expect instant results. But if you genuinely put the effort in, you’ll have a great chance of making money in due course.

Is it safe to bet online?

We get asked this one a lot. The answer is yes, but that’s under the assumption that you use reputable and trustworthy sites. There are, unfortunately, some sites on the web that probably aren’t very safe. So you need to be careful and make sure you avoid them. This isn’t too hard to do, as you can just follow our recommendations.

How much should I stake?

This depends on a few things. What’s the size of your bankroll? What kind of staking plan are you using? What’s your attitude towards risk? Without knowing the answer to these questions, we can’t tell you how much you should be staking. What we can say, though, is that you should never stake more than you can afford to lose. That’s a vital rule to follow. We’d also suggest that the stake for each wager you place should represent a very small percentage of your bankroll. 1-2% is ideal, and certainly no more than 5%.

Legalities of Sports Betting

The laws relating to gambling can vary in different parts of the world. Although gambling legislation tends to be targeted at those who provide gambling services rather than those who use them, it’s still a good idea to check what’s legal in your jurisdiction before starting to bet on sports. We highly doubt that you’d be breaking the law, but it’s still better to be safe than sorry.

You can find information on gambling legislation around the world in our gambling laws section.

Latest Up-to-Date Picks

Our goal on this site is to make you into the best bettor you can be and give you the most advantage possible. In order to help you with that we provide daily picks and predictions for major sporting events and whether or not there is value to be had. You can visit our betting picks section or see our latest picks below.