Sports Betting Guide: How to Bet On Sports For Fun & Profit

Sports Betting Guide

Do you realize that sports betting has been going on for centuries? For as long as there have been people playing sports, there have also been people betting on them. The reasons why people bet on sports are always the same; betting on sports is fun and there’s a chance of winning money.

Let’s face it. It’s a lot easier to have fun while betting on sports than it is to make money. That’s why so many people focus on the excitement that this form of gambling brings. In fact, you could say that the majority of sports bettors are what we call “recreational bettors.” They want to win if they can, of course, but that’s not their main priority. They just enjoy putting their sports knowledge to the test and having some fun at the same time. They are typically avid sports fans that believe putting a little extra money on the game will make watching it even more exciting.

Most of these recreational bettors are perfectly capable of making money from their betting, even if they don’t realize it. They typically have more than enough sports knowledge; it’s just that they don’t know how to properly apply that knowledge. They don’t understand the strategy involved, and they’re not really interested in learning about it either.

There are, however, plenty of people who bet with the sole intention of making long term profits. Some of them are extremely successful. There are many professional gamblers around the world who make a very good income from betting on sports. Others just make a decent amount of money on the side. And of course, there are also those who don’t manage to achieve their goal, but who are still determined to keep trying.

In this guide to sports betting we have something for EVERYONE who has an interest in betting on sports. We provide a quick overview of what this guide includes in the “About This Guide” section. The rest of this page is dedicated to explaining exactly what we have to offer in more detail. While we do see the benefits of reading through this page in its entirety, it is possible to skip straight to any one of our sections if you already know what you’re looking for.

Are you a complete beginner that’s hoping to get started right away? If so, please check out our quick start sports betting guide. Here you’ll find a simple outline explaining the most important things you HAVE to know!

About This Guide

To say this guide is comprehensive would be an understatement. We firmly believe that it’s one of the best sports betting resources on the Internet, and it might just be number one. Okay, okay, we might be a little biased. You can decide for yourself just how good it is, but we’re confident that you’ll be impressed.

Here’s a quick summary of the four main sections of this guide.

  • Introduction to Sports Betting
  • This is where beginners should start. It explains the basics of sports betting, and it offers advice on how to develop some fundamental betting skills.

  • Types of Sports Betting
  • Here we look at the various types of sports betting. These include daily fantasy sports, exchange betting and spread betting.

  • Online Sports Betting & Recommended Sites
  • This section is all about placing wagers online. We offer lots of useful advice, and recommend the best sites in a variety of different categories.

  • Sports Betting Strategy
  • Our strategy section is where you can learn how to take your skills to another level, and start making real profits.

That’s not all we have to offer either! We provide individual betting guides for a variety of different sports in addition to an enormous amount of extra information and advice. Our guide will continue to be a work in progress, as it’s regularly being updated and expanded. We’re always trying to improve it in any way we can.

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve never placed a wager before in your life, or if you’ve got years of experience behind you. Nor does it matter whether your primary goal is to simply have fun or to make long-term profits. We WILL help you get what you want out of your sports betting. That’s a promise!

At this stage, you must be wondering exactly who “we” are. Well, it’s no big secret. We’re part of the sizable team behind GamblingSites.com, and our main focus is sports betting. We’re a small group of experienced bettors who have learned what it takes to win over the years. We don’t advertise our names because we’re not doing this for the fame or glory. Plus, we don’t want to attract bookmaker’s attention any more than we already do!

Before we move on to describing the contents of our guide in more detail, here are a few quotes taken from e-mails we’ve received from our readers in the past.

“I just wanted to say thank you very much for all the information provided on your site. Now I understand some of the intricacies of sports betting that I was never aware of before.”
“I knew very little about sports betting but found your guide really useful and easy to understand.”
“Sports betting used to be something I would do on the side for fun, but that’s all changed since I’ve been going through your guide. I take things a lot more seriously now, and my results are so much better.”
“You guys are awesome! I used to lose way more football wagers than I would win, but now, thanks to you, I’m winning just about as often as I lose. I still have a long ways to go before I would be able to consider myself profitable, but now I actually believe that I’ll get there someday.

In the interests of balance, we should point out that not EVERY email we get is positive. Here’s an excerpt from one reader who wasn’t too happy with us.

“Why do you ALWAYS talk about the Patriots and Steelers so much in your football betting guide? We’re not all in love with those teams you know. How about a little less bias? Go Falcons! Rise up!”

To be fair, we didn’t really feel like we’d mentioned the Patriots and Steelers that much. However, we wanted to show our disgruntled Atlantic Falcons fan that we care about his concerns, so now we go out of our way to make sure we don’t focus too heavily on any specific teams or players.

Introduction to Sports Betting

One of the most appealing aspects of sports betting is how simple it is at a basic level. We try to predict the outcome of an event and then wager our money accordingly. We win when our predictions are correct and lose when our predictions are wrong.

Although the fundamental concept is very straightforward, there’s obviously more to it than just making predictions and winning or losing. Before you put your hard earned dollars at risk, there are a few things you need to understand. That’s exactly why we’ve put together this section of our guide.

Let’s go over what you can expect to find in this section. In the first part of our introduction, there are several articles on a range of different topics. Here are a few examples.

Why Bet On Sports?

A look at the many valid reasons for choosing to bet on sports, along with a couple of reasons for choosing not to.

Betting Facts & Betting Fiction

We list some important facts that every good bettor should know, and dismiss a number of myths that get repeated far too often.

Betting for Fun vs Betting for Profit

This article explores the relative merits of the two approaches to sports betting, and offers some advice for each one as well.

The Biggest Challenges of Sports Betting

Think you’re ready to start betting? You might not be so sure after reading this article, where we look at the biggest challenges you’ll face.

There are also articles covering the legalities of sports betting, how it compares to other forms of gambling, the risks and rewards involved and more. In the second part of the introduction, we focus on the important information you need to actually get started. We’ve listed a few examples below.

Getting Started: The Basics

This is a detailed article covering all the fundamental aspects of sports betting, such as the components of a wager and the role of bookmakers.

Types of Wagers

Some wagers are incredibly simple, and some are more complicated. While using them all won’t be necessary, it still helps to understand how each one works.

Understanding Odds & Calculating Payouts

Odds are a key component of any wager or selection, so it’s crucial that you properly understand them. This article explains what you need to know.

Making Your Selections

This article covers how to make your selections. It includes a practical explanation of what to do, and some advice for making selections the right way.

The final part of our introduction is especially valuable. It features lots of advice that will help you develop some basic betting skills. This is useful for those who want to bet for fun, and essential for those who are betting for profit. Here’s a small selection of what’s included.

Top Tips For Beginners

Following the tips in this article will ensure that you form good habits from the moment you get started.

Common Betting Mistakes

Here we list several mistakes that are commonly made by novice sports bettors. We also offer advice on how to avoid them.

Bankroll Management & Simple Staking Plans

Bankroll management is one of the most vital skills you need when betting on sports. This article is EXTREMELY important.

Finding Value in Betting Odds

Identifying value is another skill that’s absolutely vital. Learn more about the concept of value and discover why it’s so significant in this article.

Types of Sports Betting

In this section of our guide, we explore the different forms of sports betting. There are more of these than you might think! The “traditional” form is fixed odds, and that’s the primary focus for most of our guide, but there are several other forms of betting that you should be aware of.

One of the forms we mention in this section is daily fantasy sports (DFS). DFS contests have become incredibly popular in recent years, especially in the United States. Not only are they a lot of fun, but they’re also a unique way to put your sports knowledge to the test and make some money. DFS is COMPLETELY different from fixed odds betting, and in some respects it carries a lot less risk. We actually dedicated a whole section of our website to DFS, so please check it out if you’d like to learn more.

The other types we cover are as follows.

Online Sports Betting

Placing wagers online wasn’t even an option when we started betting on sports. Now, though, virtually every single one of our wagers is placed online. There are just so many advantages of betting this way, that it rarely makes sense to do anything else. It’s fast, it’s convenient and it’s VERY easy. You don’t even need a computer these days, as it’s possible to place wagers with a smartphone or other mobile device. Isn’t technology wonderful?

Our section on online sports betting includes a step by step guide to getting started, and plenty of tips for making the most out of the online experience. If you’re in interested in placing bets online, be sure to check it out.

Below we have listed just a few of our favorite articles from this section.

Advantages of Betting Online

A detailed look at the various benefits that online wagering offers in comparison to its alternatives. This article covers the minor disadvantages as well.

Choosing Where to Bet

It seems as if the number of sports betting sites to choose from is endless. This article is designed to help you make educated decisions regarding which online betting sites to use.

Online Betting Safety

Online betting should be a safe and enjoyable experience. This article focuses on the precautions you must take to ensure that’s the case.

How Online Betting has Evolved

Find out how online betting has evolved since the earliest days of internet gambling. Some of the developments are truly amazing!

One of the most important things we do at GamblingSites.com is help our readers find the best places to gamble online. You may have noticed that we’ve include some advice for choosing where to bet in the online sports betting section outlined above. As useful as that advice is, we think it’s even more useful to give you some direct recommendations.

So, without further ado, here are the sports betting sites that we currently rate the highest.

We’ve made these recommendations based on extensive research and testing. We’re constantly assessing which sites have the most to offer, and at this moment in time it’s the ones we’ve listed above that come out on top. Interested in learning more about the process we go through to evaluate sites? Please see the following article.

In addition to rating the best sites overall, we also rate them in a wide range of different categories. For example, we’ve ranked which sites are best according to what region you are betting from and according to specific requirements you may have. Here’s a selection of our most popular categories.

For a complete list of our ranking categories, along with more information on our top recommended sites, please see the following page.

Sports Betting Strategy

This section of our sports betting guide is arguably the most valuable of all. It’s where we share the knowledge and experience that has helped us make substantial sums of money from betting over the years. But before we go any further, we need to make something very clear.

Our strategy section is NOT some perfect blueprint for sports betting that guarantees instant success. Unfortunately, nothing like that even exists.

Please don’t think that simply reading through our strategy section will immediately turn you into a winner. It won’t! Some of the information and advice we provide is straightforward and easy to understand, which means you should be able to put it to good use right away. We never tell you exactly what to do and when to do it, however, so don’t think for one minute that the strategies here will make winning money without having to think for yourself a possibility.

Our goal is to help you to develop your betting skills, and teach you how to make good betting decisions on regular and consistent basis. If you’re looking for a quick way to make money, you’re in the wrong place. You’ll need to put in some serious time and effort to get the most out of the information and advice that we have to offer.

Below are a few of examples of the articles featured within this section.

  • Sports Handicapping for Beginners
  • Basic Sports Betting Strategy Tips
  • Simple Betting Strategies That Work
  • Statistical Analysis & Distribution
  • Developing Predictive Models
  • Psychology & Heuristics

Betting Guides by Sport

Everything we’ve covered so far relates to sports wagering in a general sense. If you’re serious about trying to make money from betting on sports, then you need to know that different sports require different approaches. Placing wagers on a tennis match, for example, requires a different skill set than placing wagers on a basketball game.

With this in mind, we’ve put together a number of guides that focus on individual sports. These feature information, advice and strategy that are specifically relevant to the sport in question. They also contain details of the major tournaments, leagues and events you can wager on.

Our most popular guide is our football guide. This is extremely comprehensive, and includes an extensive strategy section covering both the NFL and college football

The following popular guides are also worth taking a look at.

Soccer
Soccer
Golf
Golf
Baseball
Baseball
Basketball
Basketball
Ice Hockey
Ice Hockey
Tennis
Tennis

We also provide guides on less popular sports, like the ones listed below.

Cricket
Mixed Martial Arts
Boxing
Motor Racing
Rugby
Field Hockey
Darts
Snooker
Cycling
Aussie Rules football

Miscellaneous Information & Advice

Some sections of our sports betting guide just don’t fit into any specific category. For example, we provide a useful odds convertor tool. This is free to use, and can quickly convert odds into your preferred format. It calculates the implied probability of odds too. This will definitely come in handy.

We’ve also compiled a useful list of recommended sports betting books. If you want to expand your knowledge even further, the books on this list can all teach you something new. The following articles can do that too.

  • Successful Sports Bettors: Bios, Case Studies & Interviews
  • Sports Betting Scams and Scandals
  • Working in the Sport Betting Industry
  • A Guide to Betting With Friends
  • Sports Betting Touts, Tipster & Pick Services
  • The Different Types of Sports Bettors
  • Betting Pools & Sweepstakes
  • Forming a Betting Syndicate

Sports Betting FAQ

The information and advice in this guide is so extensive that it will answer any question you could possibly have about sports betting. It will probably even answer questions you have never thought of before. Before you get overwhelmed, we suggest reading through the rest of this article. For your convenience, we have selected a few of the MOST frequently asked questions and explained them in detail below.

Why is sports betting so popular?

Where do we start? There are MANY reasons why sports betting is such a popular form of gambling. For starters, the basics are very straightforward, so it’s really easy to just jump right in. Unlike some other forms of gambling, there’s no need to learn loads of complicated rules first. People also like the options they have to choose from when it comes to sports betting. Not only are there a wide variety of different sports available, but there are all kinds of different wagering options too.

Some people like the challenge it presents. It’s a great way to put our sports knowledge to the test, and see if we really know as much as we think. Others simply enjoy the thrill that comes from betting on sports. Watching sports is SO much more exciting when there’s money at stake.

One of the main reasons why sports betting is so popular is because it comes with the possibility of winning money. All we have to do is make a selection, get our money down, and we have the chance of earning a nice payout.

Is it really possible to win money?

Yes, yes and yes again. We can’t stress this enough. We hate the fact that so many people think it’s impossible to win money from betting on sports. It really isn’t. Yes, it’s HARD to win regularly and consistently. And, yes, losing is always a possibility. But there are plenty of people out there who beat the bookmakers time and time again. Can YOU do the same? Absolutely. If you really want to, there’s very little that can stop you. You just need the right approach, the right skills and the right knowledge. All of that and more can be found right here in this guide.

Why do most sports bettors lose?

You may have heard the well-known saying, “You never see a poor bookmaker.” This isn’t actually true, but the meaning behind the saying is entirely valid. Most bookmakers do make healthy profits, because they’re very good at maximizing the advantages they have over their customers. Plus, most of their customers aren’t prepared to do what’s necessary to beat them. These customers are usually more concerned with having fun than winning money, which is completely fine.

The simple fact is that beating the bookmakers is very, very hard. It takes a lot of time and effort to become a successful sports bettor. The people who don’t put in that time and effort ARE going to lose.

Is sports betting legal?

It depends. It isn’t in our nature to be so vague, but unfortunately we can’t answer this question definitively. Why? Well, it’s because the laws relating to sports betting vary from one part of the world to the next. In some regions it’s 100% legal, and in others it’s 100% illegal. In most regions, it’s not quite that clear cut. It’s quite common for some forms of betting to be legal and some to be illegal. The best advice we can offer here is simply to check your local laws.

How much money do I need?

Relatively speaking, you can spend as much or as little money as you want. It’s unnecessary to spend large sums of money to enjoy yourself, and most bookmakers offer very low minimum stakes. A reasonable sized bankroll is required if you’re serious about trying to make money, but we’re not talking thousands here.

The most important thing to remember is that you should only ever bet with money you can afford to lose. It doesn’t matter what the actual figure is, as long it’s not money that’s needed to pay the bills. Risking disposable income is fine, but risking the rent money is NOT.

Can I get addicted to sports betting?

Yes. As with any form of gambling, or with any activity for that matter, there IS a risk of addiction. If you have an addictive personality, or struggle with self-control and discipline, then it’s probably best to forget about gambling completely.

Addiction only affects the minority of gamblers, but it’s still important to be aware of the risk. Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking it can’t happen to you. It can happen to ANYONE. So please take the necessary precautions to make sure you know how to gamble responsibly.

Where should I place my wagers?

Ultimately, this is your decision to make. Keep in mind that you may not have many options, though, depending on where you live. If you live in Nevada, or close by, then there’s the option of using the sportsbooks that are found in many of the Las Vegas Casinos. If you live in the United Kingdom, there are plenty of bookmaking shops to use. In other parts of the world, there’s a good chance that these option just won’t be available.

However, as long as you have internet access then you can always use online betting sites. In fact, that’s exactly what we recommend doing. In our opinion, it’s EASILY the best way to place wagers. Just make sure that you only use reputable and trustworthy sites, like the ones we recommended further up this page.

Which sports should I bet on?

Again, this is entirely up to you. There’s an argument that some sports are better than others for betting on, but the best sport for one person isn’t necessarily the best for someone else. It’s essentially a matter of personal preference.

The most logical thing to do is concentrate on the sport(s) you know the most about. This will give you the best chance of winning money in the short term.

How many sports should I bet on?

Again, this is your choice. It depends to some extent on whether you’re betting primarily for fun or primarily to make a profit. If it’s the former, it doesn’t really matter how many sports you bet on. If it’s the latter, we suggest maintaining a more narrow focus. You don’t necessarily have to specialize in one single sport, but it wouldn’t be wise to bet on a ton of different sports either.