Many sports fans use their love of a game to make some extra cash on the side by placing wagers on games. For some, it becomes a full-time career. But before you try your hand at betting for a living, there are some key factors you should keep in mind.
The most basic type of sports bet is the straight bet, where a bettor places a wager on a specific outcome. Odds are set on these outcomes based on their probability of occurring, and the higher the likelihood, the lower the risk and smaller the payout.
Another common type of sports bet is the over/under bet, where a bettor bets that a game’s final score will go over or under a certain number of points. In this type of bet, the team that beats the point spread (i.e. wins the game) is referred to as “covering” the spread.
There are also exotic and novelty props, which can range from how long the national anthem will be to the first song that the Super Bowl halftime artist will perform. These bets usually have lower payouts than win, place, or show bets, because they have to be split among more bettors.
The most important factor to consider when betting on sports is money management. It’s recommended to set aside a bankroll and establish a unit size, which will be used to place each wager. A good rule of thumb is to risk 1-2% of your bankroll per play, which will allow you to withstand cold streaks without going broke.