Five Different Ways to Bet on Sports

There are several different ways to bet on sports. You can now bet on events while they are actually taking place — known as live betting. This opens up a whole new range of betting opportunities, as does using betting exchanges instead of bookmakers. There are also several different types of wagers. You should spend some time familiarizing yourself with the all the ways to bet.

Betting on sports you know and like

Picking the right sports to bet on is not suggesting that certain sports are better than others. The focus here is what sports are right for you. Generally speaking, these will be the sports that you know and understand the best.

Is it better to focus on a small number of sports or play to your strength. Handicapping requires a certain mentality that fits your level of expertise.

How to know where your best advantages and opportunities exist is what makes a successful bettor. Spreading yourself too thin is a weakness that saps your true ability to profit.

Manage your money well

One of the biggest and most costly mistakes that bettors make is choosing a poor bankroll management plan. If you cannot properly manage a bankroll, you have a small chance of success in the long run. More people have gone bust through poor bankroll management than through poor betting skills. There is no room for emotion when it comes to sports betting.

You have to make rational decisions based on sound reasoning which means using your head and not your heart. There will be times when your emotions threaten to get the better of you. You have to be able to control them and remain disciplined.

Emotional decisions are almost always bad decisions in the context of betting. However, your gut instincts and feelings about a team can be an emotional bet to use sometimes.

The importance of value

The one important thing about sports betting is the importance of value. Nothing is more fundamental to success in this field as finding value in the betting markets. Value is usually associated with getting nice points on the dog playing at home in the playoffs.

Value is perception of a situational match-up when a six point favorite wins easily by 21 points. A value bet is hard to find but the oddsmakers depend on their computer stats and miss some key factors that can bust any game line. It is your job to find that weakness.

Finding value on a regular basis is anything but easy. It actually requires you to be better than the bookmakers at assessing the probability of potential outcomes of sports events. Bookmakers are professors that are good at numbers. They have the inherent advantage of being able to set the odds and build their commissions into those odds.

You can overcome the bookmakers’ advantage if you uncover the value when it is available. Being able to spot value is a vital skill to insure profits even when a value bet losses. Long term value investing is a true axiom in any type of market. Invest with online data services that prepare and filter stats for a minimal monthly fee.

Three different sports betting markets

There are different ways to bet on sports if the global markets allow US bettors to join their betting platforms. All US bettors use the Vegas style of betting called fixed odds betting, better known as the point spread or line on a game.

The point spread is a fixed number that can move up or down a little depending on the action. Most US bettors are not aware of the other global sports betting markets called exchange betting and spread betting —- used in the UK, where sports betting is legal.

Las Vegas has the legal jurisdiction to operate a fixed odds sports betting platform. The sports books use a consulting service to establish a point spread from computer programs and post them for bettors to decide their preference. Millions of dollars are bet in Nevada and online through off-shore books that use the Vegas lines to offer their customers. This style of fixed odds or point spread betting is the most used sports betting format but not the only form of sports betting.

What is European spread betting

Most sports bettors refer to an NFL or college game handicap as the spread. But that word is very different in other world betting markets. The UK uses a betting platform called “spread betting” and is not the same as the US format. however, it is based on US sports in college and professional leagues.

How is a betting spread created

US bettors analyze the spread on an upcoming game. Does it matter if we say spread or line. The real definition of the US spread is called “fixed odds” in the European sports betting markets.

Their format of spread betting is very different from a fixed number used in the States. Spread betting on the NFL in European markets is a more dynamic betting platform than our rather simple format using a fixed number.

This is not a case of semantics but a more sophisticated betting platform. The spread is not a fixed number but a spread of two number usually one number below and one number above the fixed number.

Betting spreads in worldwide markets

When an NFL game has the favorite listed at minus 3, it is a fixed number. The fixed number can move to up or down a little —maybe 1/2 point — but it is stationary when game starts. If it stays at minus 3, the same game spread bet in say London would be 2 to 4. You would either buy the favorite (lay minus 4) or sell the dog (take the plus 2). It is still NFL betting and requires doing your homework.

With spread betting, you are betting on the outcome of various sporting events (NFL) in the form of 2 spread numbers. The payout is based on the accuracy of the wager. The amount you win or lose is based on how right or how wrong you are compared to their spread. Unlike fixed odds in US (even money minus vig), the more right you are the more you win. The more wrong you are the more you lose. The risk-reward outcome is in multiples of your bet amount or stake (spread bet term).

The profit or loss is determined by the difference between the final score and the spread you took (buy or sell) multiplied by your money stake or bet amount.

Other exciting betting formats

It may seem a little confusing at first, but I did mention it was a highly sophisticated betting platform. If you bet the favorite (buy at minus 4) and then win by 10 points, your profit is 6 times your money bet (10 minus 4 = 6). If they lost by 10 points your loss is 12 times your money bet (plus 2 plus 10 = 12). This is a simple example of this betting platform.

The whole spread betting platform can take a few months to get used to but is worth a look. One of the best companies in the UK is They do not accept US customers but their site is very stimulating for any sports bettor to follow.

This spread betting style of action is not really known to American bettors. Million of bettors outside the US use spread betting on American sports and even the stock market (spread betting on stocks in the Dow is another story).

The future of spread bets

If online sports betting becomes legal and regulated in the US, then spread betting will catch on in the US. Now is a good time to become familiar with real spread betting along with the fixed odds betting the US bettor is so accustomed to using.

It is far more stimulating than our boring even money payout.You must have that special tolerance for the high risk-reward mentality associated with spread betting. Some have it and most do not. It is an evolutionary extension of the standard fixed betting system that needs refreshment.

Betting exchange platform

Although the intensity of spread betting is amazing, the head to head challenge of a Betting Exchange is more subtle and simplified. A betting exchange is very similar to a Nevada sports book. You are matched up against other players like a poker game. The house (exchange) takes a small rake or percentage of each play.

Instead of winning or losing to a sports book, you are exchanging funds with another bettor just like you. Exchange bettors have accounts to play against other bettors. Winners or losers are determined by the exchange which makes the adjustments in the bettors accounts with user friendly software.

The Exchange is an intermediary that uses their software to regulate and operate the action. Their betting lines are the same as Las Vegas lines with the difference being the dollar odds or juice posted by another bettor.

A dime line can become a nickel line in seconds. This unique exchange between bettors produces much lower juice odds on the betting line. If you are laying -7 points or taking the dog, then you are usually risking $-110 to win a $100. However, with a Betting Exchange, you can easily find someone willing to take -102 or -106 for your bet instead of giving -110 to the sports book.

You can post your own money odds and actually become the book

If a bettor posts the best price on the board, why not get the best money odds for your bet.  A difference of opinion exists on all sporting events as you know. A betting exchange is not legal on US soil but is a popular format worldwide. Their revenue comes from a very small commission on each bet between players.

The significance of these global formats are the betting opportunities and hedging strategies. Sports betting will rise to a higher level if investment possibilities. More betting innovation  is the future of global sports betting markets.