Betting 101 – How to Identify Value in Sports Betting

At its core betting is about predicting something that will happen during a game or event and placing a wager on that occurrence. Sportsbooks set odds on these occurrences which allows bettors to place a wager on the side they think will win with the sportsbook taking the opposite of that opinion. When a bet has high probability, it will have lower risk and won’t pay out as much as something with low probability and higher risk. Understanding the concept of a value bet is a key part of this and allows you to calculate what the true probability of a wager is and compare it to the odds offered by the sportsbook (known as implied probability).

Betting comes in all shapes and sizes, with moneylines, spreads and parlays being the most common. There are also prop bets which allow bettors to have a vested interest in more specific outcomes, such as how many points a team will score.

In general, a profitable wager involves finding teams or individual players who are undervalued by the market and thus offer better odds than they should. This requires a lot of research and can be tedious, especially if you bet on multiple events each week. However, if you can master the art of identifying value, it will make all the difference when it comes to turning a profit over the long run.

A good place to start is with a sport or league you already know well. This will give you a solid foundation in terms of understanding the teams and their history. From there, it’s easy to expand your knowledge to other leagues and eventually apply what you have learned in other markets.