Sports Betting Tips for Beginners

Like any form of gambling, sports betting is a game of chance, precisely because you will never really know who would win in a match. However, all gamblers want to win. So, how do you make bets that increase the odds of your winning percentage? Below are some tips.

Start with Small Bets

One mistake the sports bettors make is they bet big when they are just starting out. It normally happens if the event is something that is highly anticipated or something that happens only once in a lifetime, like a match between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather.

To succeed long-term in sports betting, one has to understand the nuances of sportsbooks. There are many odds in the sports betting industry, and there are also many strategies that one must learn.

As a sports bettor, your financial resources are limited. You are better off splitting that cash into several bets and learning from your mistakes than spending in one bet.

Focus on a Niche

Sports betting is a huge industry. There are so many games—from boxing to basketball to soccer and NFL. Before you bet, you must ensure that you understand the game you are betting on.

For example, it does not make sense to bet on MMA if you have never followed the sport. If you do not know a great deal about MMA, you do not have any clue as to how the two fighters would fare against each other. You do not know their history, their weaknesses, and strengths.

In the same context, bet on a small area of the niche. If you go to sites like or other casino and sports betting sites, you will see that there are wagers for UFC and Bellator. The right thing to do is start with only one league or promotion, then move on to others as you progress.

Start with Moneyline Wagers

Sports betting has several markets or types of bets. There is a pre-match bet and a live bet. If you are just starting out, bet only on the moneyline. The moneyline is a straightforward bet. Here, you only have to choose who you think would win.

Why must you do this? As a beginner, your best way to succeed is to understand the opposing teams or players and then assess their likelihood of winning. You must analyze both of them and then choose. Once you know how to do this consistently, you are ready to move on to other betting markets.

Understand What the Moneyline Means

The moneyline in a straightforward bet is expressed in several ways. There are three of them, and there is no single standard for sports betting sites.

These are also called odds. The three types are fractional, decimal, and American or US odds. American odds are also called moneyline.

If you know how to interpret the odds, you will also understand how the bookmakers feel about the match. You will see that after careful analysis, they have reasons to believe that one team is more likely to win, and so they pay lower win amounts.

Fractional Odds

Some people call it the British odds, and they are represented like fractions. Below is an example:

  • LA Lakers: 12/5
  • SA Spurs: 8/2

In this example, it means that if you bet on the Lakers and they win, you win $12 for every $5 that you bet. If you wagered on Spurs and won, you win $8 for every $2 you wager.

If you wagered $100 on Lakers and won, your total cash prize is $$340.
Here is the breakdown: $100 x 12 = $1200 / 5 = $240. Then, they will give you back your original $100 bet, so your profit is $240. 

Decimal Odds

Below is an example of decimal odds:

  • LA Lakers: 4.00
  • SA Spurs: 1.3

If you wagered on Lakers and they won, you win four times your bet. For example, if you wagered $100, your prize is $100 x 4.00 = $400. This $400 already includes your initial bet of $100.

American Odds

Here is an example of American odds:

  • LA Lakers: +600
  • SA Spurs: -750

In this type of odd, pay attention to the positive and negative signs. For Lakers, you will win $600 for every bet of $100. The $600 does not include the initial bet of $100 yet, so you get a total of $700.

For the Spurs, it is a negative odd, which means they are likely to win. Therefore, you will win $100 for every $750 that you bet. Why? Because they have a very high probability of winning. If you bet on this and you win, they will give you back your $750 plus $100, for a total of $850.


Sports betting is a huge industry. There are many options, and one can easily get lost in the noise. Remember that you are betting real cash. As such, you do not want to risk it on a losing proposition. It is the only way you can become a professional sports bettor.

It takes time to master the art of betting. You must be patient and take the journey to sports betting slowly. It is alright to bet emotionally, especially for an event where your team represents your country. However, bet small and only bet for fun in these situations.

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