Sports Betting Guide: All You Need to Know

Updated on February 24, 2022

Over the years, sports betting has been the fun and money-making arena for many bettors, which has not changed. The significant difference in sports betting is seen in its advancement, including online casinos. 

Before delving in, visit for accurate and updated betting predictions.

Although the interest in betting varies globally, research shows higher participation in basketball, hockey, American football, auto racing, boxing, baseball, track cycling, and martial arts. 

Contrary to popular opinions, sports betting may include non-active games such as political elections and reality shows. Whatever sport you have an interest in, it is crucial to understand how it is done. More reasons why anyone can be a sharp sports bettor with the information below.

How to Place Your Bet

Before placing your bet, read the odds displayed by the sportsbook, which will help you determine the possibility of winning, and what favorite odds are worth betting. 

When placing a total bet, the sportsbooks present the points that may result from the game. Then, bettors decide if the result will be higher or lower than the set point.

On the other hand, if you are betting on moneyline, you only need to select the number in front of the team you support. After clicking the number, you will input the amount you wish to wager. Then, you await your bet result.

Ten Basic Bet Terminologies You Should Know

1. Point Spreads: Often, sportsbooks introduce point spreads in games to create even results. Hence, there is a 50/50 chance of winning between the involved parties. So, when bettors go “against the spread”, the aim is to “cover the spread”. Hence, your team winning beyond the specified point spread is what accounts for your result. 

Note that your team winning a game does not mean you win the bet. You only win when the team wins with the point spread.

2. The juice/cut/vig: These three terms means the amount the sportsbook charges for placing a bet.

3. Parlay: Parlay is a combination of sports betting in a single stake. For every game you wager, the prediction must be suitable for each event. Although the chances of winning are slim, the payout is always enormous.

4. Teaser: Teaser is similar to parlay, only that bettors are allowed to adjust their point spread. Here, the chance of winning is higher, but the payout is meager.

5. Moneyline: A moneyline bet means you are standing by a team as the winner of a game. Hence, it is referred to as the straightforward bet. The most standard leagues where moneyline is available are; NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, and UFC.

6. American odds/Decimal odds/Fractional odds: These three types of odds indicate the value format. Usually, the American odds appear as a +/- sign. For example, -110 and +230. 

The decimal odds are the easiest to calculate among the three, and the odds are usually in decimal, as the name suggests. For example, 2.40 and 1.61.

The fractional odds are most common in horse racing and the Uk. For example, 1/2 and 9/5. Bettors refer to these odds as “one to two” and “nine to five” when talking.

7. The +/- symbol: The (+) sign represents an underdog, while the (-) sign represents the favorite.

8. Underdog: Underdog means the party that is less likely to win the game.

9. Favorite: Favorite means the party with the higher power. That is, the party is more likely to win the game.

10. Push: A push is another term referred to as a tie. Although it is not odd, it can also influence the payout. In a push, there is neither win nor loss, and bettors get back their wagered money.

How to Calculate Your Winnings in Betting

To practically explain how to calculate your winnings in bets, this guide focuses on American odds with two football teams as a case study, namely PITTSBURGH PENGUINS and OTTAWA SENATORS.

For instance, the odds on Penguins and Senators are -130 and +110, respectively, with the former being the favorite and the latter an underdog. That means to win $100 for betting your choice; you need to wager $130, while you will need to wager $100 to win $110. Hence, for every positive sign, it shows the amount a bettor wins after wagering $100, while the negative sign depicts the amount you need to wager before winning $100.

Here is a quick calculation;

Provided you bet $60 on Penguins: 130/100 = 60/x

Then; x = 46.15

It means your profit is 46.15. However, your payout will include your profit and your original wager (46.15+60) = $106.15. Hence, the higher you wager in betting, the higher your payout.

The Winning Strategy

1. Understand arbitrage betting

Arbitrage betting is bettors identifying the betting sides with profits regardless of the winning team. Often, this works in games where you can adjust your stake, such as a teaser.  It is crucial you begin with free training and bet on the amount you can risk for starters. 

2. Matched betting

While most betting sites offer free bets to first-timers, maximize your matched betting strategy. To pick a profitable event, you need to ensure the favorite is not pronounced. Here, you use your free chance to place a lay bet. A lay bet means you are betting that a particular team may either win or lose.

3. Use price boost to your advantage.

Often, sportsbooks offer enhanced odds to attract bettors, with the promise of giving a high payout. Some bettors step into this opportunity without giving it a deep thought. Use the betting exchange means and back bet to wager on the boosted odds, and predict the possible outcomes from another event. Putting this strategy to use is a good one, provided there is no liquidity issue.

4. Choose the most suitable type of bet for you.

If you are betting with moneyline, the strategy is to bet the underdog to receive a high payout. Although there is a slim chance the underdog will win, you can go for it if you think it’s worth it.

Another thing you should consider in moneyline bet is to check for the bet lines because they are not the same for every sportsbook.


The best way to get better at betting is to keep learning. Sportsbooks bring in new approaches and house strategies daily, and bettors can beat them by updating themselves. Find out things you have missed and if there is any new term introduced to the game. Since there are many games you can bet on, choosing your area of interest is crucial. By doing so, betting would become a hobby, which will reflect on your winning rate. 

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.