Sports Betting 101

Sports betting is the act of putting money behind an outcome that you think will happen during a game or event. The sportsbook will then pay you if that outcome occurs. There are many different bets to choose from including moneylines, spreads and parlays. There are also prop bets which allow you to bet on more specific outcomes such as how many points a player will score.

While a lot of people like to gamble with their hearts, consistent profits only come from following a strategy. Having an understanding of the odds and how they are priced will help you find value. It’s also a good idea to have access to multiple sportsbooks so that you can shop the lines. For example, if one book has the Cavs -8.5 and another has them -7, you can make the same bet at both and get better odds.

Over/Under bets, or totals, are a type of bet that focuses on the total number of runs, goals and points scored in a game. The oddsmakers will set a total and you can bet on whether the teams will combine for more (over) or less (under) than the predicted amount.

In addition to the basic bets, some sportsbooks offer live betting which allows you to place bets as the game unfolds. This is an exciting way to watch the action and can lead to some big wins if you are smart about it. For example, if you see that the public is piling in on a team, you can try to fade them by placing a bet on their opponent.