Sports betting is a form of wagering that involves placing money behind an outcome and getting paid if it wins. A bet on the winning team in a game is called a straight bet or moneyline bet. A bet on the winning team against the spread is called a point spread bet. The odds on a bet are estimated and constantly recalculated throughout the prerace betting period. Bettors can make bets on the chance that a horse will win first place, place (come in either first or second), or show (come in first or second or both).
To be profitable betting sports, you must pick winners against the spread at about a 55% rate. That sounds simple enough, but you’re going to lose some bets — it’s a part of the game. That’s why most professional sports bettors maintain profitability by making small bets and only betting on games they believe they have a good shot at winning.
Another important key to success in sports betting is managing your bankroll. The best way to do that is to decide how much you’re willing to risk on each individual wager and stick to that number. Then, you must do your research and seek advice from winning sports bettors to help guide your decisions. Finally, you must keep track of your bets (a standard spreadsheet works fine) so you can see your net wins/losses. That will help you determine your betting strategy and budget as the season progresses.