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Fundamentals of Sports Betting

Jul 31, 2008
Betting is age old. It may be possible that no game was left virgin of betting. Bookies and wages have always been attached to different kind of games around the globe, and it has been more popular nowadays than ever. Sports betting, as the name implies, is the activity of making a wager on your proposed outcome of a sporting event.

Betting has always been controversial. In many countries, sports' betting is illegal. In the Europe and less than three states in the US, however, sports betting is legalized. They did so in the argument that it increases the interest of sport fans in particular sporting events. This, they say, benefits the teams, players and leagues being bet on because they will be having higher attendance in their games and bigger television audiences.

The Basics

There are different systems for betting and odds making for different sports and even for the same sport. It generally depends on what the bettors want to play, what the bookies and odds maker wants to implement and certain specific circumstances. There are basic jargons in the world of sports betting that one should first be familiarized with.

1. Action - This means betting activity.

2. Sportsbook - Also known as book, it is an establishment who takes the bet. The person who takes the bet is called a bookie.

3. Vig - This is the commission or percentage that the bookie takes as his profit. It is short for vigorish. It is also called juice.

4. To Handicap - This means to give one team a point advantage. This is usually done to even up the votes of the two opposing teams. Later, you will know why this is essential.

5. Handle - The handle is the summation of all the wagered money on bets.

How Does It Work?

It is popular to bet on a point spread. In a point spread, even the losing team can "win" their earnings. An example of a point spread may be quoted as Team1 -7 or Team2 +7. In this situation, if Team1 defeats Team2 by greater than 7 points, they win and bettors of team1 would receive $100 on a $110 bet. They would then get a total of $210. Those who bet on Team2 would lose their bet money. If Team2 would lose by less than 7 points, they would be the winner of the spread. They would be rewarded the same way bettors on Team1 would be rewarded if Team1 had won by greater than 7 points. If Team1 wins by exactly 7 points, then it is called a "push". Neither of the two sides wins, and all bettors get back their full money. This is why spread points are usually set on half points. Why do they do this? It is because odd makers and bookies try to keep the action balanced in both sides. When more bets are placed on one side of the game and it becomes the winning side, then the bookie will lose a lot of money. It is ideal that there would be almost equal division of bettors to both teams so that half of the bettors will lose. This way, the bookie takes home a reasonable amount of vig.

Reminder

In betting on a game, the bettor should have knowledge of the game and the one playing in it. Go with what you intuition and common sense say. Never bet big when you're betting for the first time. Like any other gambling games, it really takes some time to learn and develop skills in betting.
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