Sports betting is a popular pastime and can be profitable if done correctly. The most common bets are moneylines and spreads, but some sportsbooks offer a variety of other types of bets like over/under bets that are based on the total number of points scored in a game.
The first step to making money in sports betting is knowing how the odds are set. The oddsmakers set the odds based on a variety of factors, including current team and player performance, previous matchups, weather conditions, and home-field advantage. They also take into account a team’s conventional win-loss record as well as their records against the spread, which is known as its “ATS” record.
A key thing to remember is that the oddsmakers will try to balance out all of the different opinions and predictions from the public by adjusting the lines accordingly. This is why it’s important to follow the initial odds and then track them as the game gets closer. For example, if Seattle is a 7-point favorite against Detroit and ESPN is pumping the tires of the Seahawks all week long, that will shift public sentiment to favor the Seahawks and cause the odds to get inflated.
A good strategy is to ignore the noise and bet on a team based on their stats and history, not because of a national TV show or talking head. It’s also a good idea to follow the local beat reporters for each team, as they often pick up on breaking news in real time that can make a big difference like key injuries.