How to Find Value in Sports Betting

Sports betting is a wager that is placed on the outcome of a sporting event or game. It’s a form of gambling where the money you risk is greater than the reward and can cause financial ruin if lost. Sportsbooks set odds on occurrences during a game or event and bettors can choose which side they think will win based on the probability of the outcome occurring.

Betting on teams based on emotion, while fun, isn’t usually a good idea. A smart bettor will look at unique circumstances surrounding a team, and try to find an edge in the market that they can exploit. This includes examining how teams have performed in past games, what type of scoring plays they have made, and the quality of the opposition.

Finding value in the market is a challenge but possible. It takes time and attention to develop a sense for betting value and bets should always be placed with money that you can afford to lose. In general, it’s a good idea to bet between 1% and 5% of your bankroll on each individual wager.

One of the best ways to improve your chances of winning is by placing bets on sports events that are not as heavily contested. This will allow you to take advantage of more favorable odds on underdogs and increase your chances of beating the sportsbook in the long run. This is called positive expected value or +EV.