Beginner’s Guide To Sports Betting Basics

If you’re a sports fan and want to bet on sports in the past, but are burdened by all the technical jargon like point spreads, odds and bookmaking, relax. After reading this post, you will be ready to participate in no time. While sports betting may seem quite daunting at first, it is not as complicated as it seems.

A Brief History of Betting in Sports

Gambling has deep roots in England and naturally  , the colonists brought their love of gambling to the United States and continued the tradition. Early colonizers had been known to bet on cockfighting, boxing, and horse racing. In the early nineteenth century, the majority of gambling was centered on horse racing with boxing in second place. However, with the increasing popularity of baseball, the focus of sports gambling shifted to baseball betting towards the end of the century .

In the early 20th century, sports such as college basketball and football began to gain the attention of the general public and over time these sports competed with baseball in terms of popularity. Early forms of betting on football and basketball involved the use of odds – a system still practiced today – also known as money lines.

Sports Evolution Betting

This method of betting with money lines poses a huge problem for bookmakers and they are forced to come up with substitutes. The majority of bookmakers tend to place bets on college teams that are quite ahead of their opponents, taking the outcome of the game as a foregone conclusion and resulting in losses for the bookmakers. Just before the Second World War broke out, bookmakers introduced a new method of sports betting that changed the industry forever.

Enter Point Spread

In simple terms, a point spread is a handicap placed on the possible winners of any basketball or football match in points. For example, if the Lakers are expected to crush the Clippers, the point spread for the game can be calculated as high as 20 points. Simply put, 20 points will be deducted from the Lakers’ total score, or added to the Clippers’ total score. In such a case, any sports fan who places a sports bet on the Lakers will only make money if the Lakers win by at least 21 points. Similarly, gamblers who bet on the Clippers stand to win their bets if the Clippers win the game and even if the Clippers lose, the gambler can still win as long as the Clippers lose 19 points or less.

The point spread helps bookmakers to balance their books as betting on sporting events is more evenly distributed as compared to the previous system where the majority of gamblers placed bets on the same team.

The Advent Of Totals

The massive success of the point spread helps bookmakers realize that the more betting options the public has, the bigger bets they will place. This realization resulted in the creation of another system, total. Also known as “overs/unders,” this betting offer provides gamblers with betting on the total score of both teams, regardless of the outcome of the match.

Sports betting has gone through many stages of evolution with the passage of time. Betting continues to produce betting methods and odds, the latest of which are teasers and parlays. However, placing sports bets with traditional money lines, against the point spread, or through totals, continues to be the three most popular forms of sports gambling. No matter what sport you participate in, there are now equal opportunities to make money from your favorite sport.