Sport Betting 101


March 14, 2018, was a monumental day for those who love to make very charitable donations to their sports bookies or online. On this day, the federal ban on sports gambling was uplifted.  If you have the same luck I do, it is officially legal to give your money away all across the nation to your bookie.

A problem for most reading this is that you have no idea where to go to gamble or even how to submit a bet.

The problem is intensified for many of you reading that have no idea how to read the different money lines, odds, and “futures” that you can gamble on.  Gambling isn’t as simple as picking a team to win and can be similar to reading another language for beginners.  While most sports have very specific betting types and styles, ill take you through a couple websites and ways of betting to get you started.

WARNING: Be careful if you sign up for a site that has credits already listed in your account.  This does not mean they are giving you 500 credits, for example, or $500. You still have $0, this is just to entice you to bet.  So if you blow through that $500, you owe $500 only if you bet it.  This is not free money.

The industry’s authority, Sportsbook Review, releases reviews for over 1000 sports betting websites since 1999.  Most of the top sites and the ones listed below give free money for sign-up and even free play.



I would recommend these websites because they are all very safe to use and you don’t have to worry about being scammed.

Different Betting Types

  • Money Line

In this style of betting, the team you bet on just needs to win.  However, this is a lot easier said than done.  What makes this style different is that the team you pick has a different payout to what you bet.  In this hypothetical situation, the Penguins would be +200 and the Blackhawks would be -140.  The easiest way to do the math to find out the payout is using $100 as the base and doing the math from there to find out your payout for whatever bet you made.  SO if you bet $200 on the Penguins, you would win $100 since they are the favorite.  A $100 bet on the Blackhawks would win you $140.  When betting, this makes the underdog enticing to bet on and can make you think twice.

  • Odds

Events with multiple candidates use odds.  The Kentucky Derby would be an easy way to explain.  Each horse in the race is given certain odds to win the race.  The candidate with odds closest to 1/2 is the favorite and every other follows from there from best to worst.  The favorite, for example, may have 3/1 odds to win the race and the least likely horse to win may have 32/1 odds.  Furthermore, to calculate your payout, take the second number as your bet in dollars and the first as your payout also in dollars.  For example, for every $2 bet on the favorite, you would win $1.  For every $1 bet on the least favorite, in this example, you would win $32.

  • “Futures”

Those who have an extensive knowledge of the history of a team’s history and what they can expect (to an extent) on the future would do well-betting futures.  Futures give an opportunity to bet on a team or player before the regular season or playoffs start.  You would bet on the odds that player finishes in a certain position (usually 1st) and keep those odds all the way through.  You can make some good money winning these because sometimes a team’s odds start off terrible but then that team hits their stride in the post-season.  Why this is different from betting on the team in the championship is as I said before that you keep the odds all season.

  • Point Spread

I put this option in here because it is pretty common in football.  When betting the point spread, you want to essentially “cover the spread”.  This means that you want the team you bet on to not lose by the predetermined number.  Think of this as a handicap given to the underdog team.  For example, in a hypothetical game, the Steelers may be -15 and the Browns +15.  If the final score is Steelers-35 Browns-15, the Browns would lose because 15 (their final score) + 15 (the point spread) is still less than 35 (the Steelers final score).  However, if the Steelers won by just 3, the Browns would win the point spread because you add 15 to their final score giving them a 12 point difference in their favor.