How to bet on sports

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Sports betting online can be a daunting task to newcomers. The different variations of bets, odds and points spreads can seem overly complicated and sometimes impossible to understand. The article below attempts to provide beginners with a tutorial on how to bet on sports online in New Jersey and explains the differences of betting on certain sports and specific bet types.

Online sports betting

The best sports betting sites give bettors the opportunity to place wagers on a wide range of bet types. While some of the bet types are very straight forward, others may seem confusing to newcomers in the betting scene.

The following list of online sports betting wagers provides easy to understand explanations for a variety of bets you may encounter when online betting, along with some examples.

It’s strongly recommended that you browse through all the different bet types to ensure you don’t miss out on any betting opportunities that may suit your betting style.

Win bet/moneyline

A win bet or moneyline wager is the most basic type of bet on sports. It simply gives bettors the odds of a select team/player winning a sporting event. If you are able to pick the winner, you will be paid out based on the odds of your wager and amount wagered.

The amount that you win will be simple multiplication of the odds X your wager amount.

For example:

Let’s say we bet on a game between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers. The odds for the Lakers to win is -100. If you bet $100 on the Lakers, you would receive $200.

Bet on sports
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Point spreads

Point spreads are slightly different to bet in the sense that when you bet on sports with a point spread, you’re not particularly betting on a team to win but rather betting on a team to ‘cover the spread.’ The spread is decided by a sportsbook, making both teams or players equal favorites, essentially evening out the matchup.

A favorite to win when you bet on sports is deducted points and the underdog for the matchup is awarded points to begin with.

For example:

If the points spread for a football game between the New England Patriots and New York Giants was -7 in favor of the Patriots, this would mean that the Patriots would have to win by more than 7 points and the Giants would have to lose by no more than 7 points to have a winning wager, respectively.

Handicap betting

Handicap betting is similar to point spreads in the sense that both sides of a wager are deducted and awarded points or goals. The difference is that when you bet on sports with handicaps, the wager doesn’t need to provide equal favorites.

A handicap wager simply looks to place a handicap on one of the sides of a bet.

Example:

A soccer bet between Arsenal and Chelsea with a -2.5 handicap on Arsenal will require the team to win by 3 or more goals to the bet to win. The odds on this sort of bet can be massive due to the unlikelihood of a team winning by 3 goals.

Over/unders

When you bet on sports over/under bets, you do not require a specific team or player to win a matchup but rather require you to predict whether the total points or goals will be over or under a given number.

Like point spreads, over/under bets are generally provided as equal favorites for betting either the over or the under.

Example:

Let’s say a basketball game between two teams has a total set for the over/under at 200 points. If you bet the under, you’re betting that the total points from both teams combined will be under 200. If the total is exactly 200 points, it will result in a push bet.

Prop bets

Prop bets or proposition bets allow bettors to bet on sporting events within an event that does not directly affect its outcome. Prop bets can come in various forms, ranging from ‘Which player will score first?’ to ‘Will (Player A) score more points than (Player B)?’ 

Prop bets can found in most sports, but football in particular is known for giving bettors a large number of prop betting opportunities.

Parlay bets

Parlay bets, also known as accumulator bets, give bettors the chance to combine multiple wagers when they bet on sports. When combining multiple wagers into one bet, the odds of each selection are multiplied together. In order to win a parlay bet, all the selections of a wager must be correctly predicted. If you manage to correctly predict only 3 out of 4 selections in a parlay bet your bet will still lose completely.

Online sports betting odds types

There are three major odds types which can be used to bet on sports at new betting sites: Decimal, Fractional, and American. For most sportsbooks, American is the default odds type used to bet on sports but can be changed to decimal or fractional with just a toggle of a menu bar.

Decimal odds

Decimal odds are popular to bet on sports at European sportsbooks, which can be greatly attributed to their simplicity. With decimal odds you simply multiply your stake by the decimal odds to get your potential payout if you win.

Potential payout = Stake x Decimal odds

So, for example, if the odds on your wager are 1.50 and the stakes you place is $100, then you would receive a potential payout of (100 X 1.50) = $150. Keep in mind that with decimal odds your initial stake is part of the calculation, thus, in this example, your overall profit would be $50.

Fractional odds

Fractional odds are commonly used in the UK and Ireland. When using fractional odds, you multiply your wager by a fraction instead of a decimal. The other difference between fractional and decimal odds is that with fractional odds you will be determining your profit and not your total potential payout.

For example, if the odds on a fractional wager were 3/2 and the stake was $100, then you would win (100 + (3/2 X 100) = $250.

American odds

American odds is the most common odds type used in New Jersey-based sportsbooks. The odds are quite easy to understand as they give bettors the amount of money they would have to wager to win $100. 

The odds can be either positive or negative. If the odds are positive, the odds show how much a $100 bet would win if placed. If the odds are negative, it shows the amount of money that is required to be wagered to win $100. Thus, favorites will always have a minus (-) symbol and underdogs will have a plus (+) symbol.

Example:

If we bet on the Boston Celtics at -150 odds, we would need to wager $150 to win $100. If we win the bet, the net profit would be $100, and the $150 stake would be returned for a total of $250. On the other end, if their opponent were listed with +150 odds, then it would only take a wager of $100 to return $150 in profit.

Betting on specific sports

Specific sports give bettors the option of making specific wagers that are not always available with other sports. While there might not be sports betting systems to guarantee results, knowing which sports provide which type of bets can be very helpful when online sports betting. Use the following list of wagers and online betting tips to make more informed bets on these specific sports:

Soccer

Soccer is one of the most wagered-on sports in the world. With dozens of leagues and hundreds of matches available daily for betting, soccer bets can be hard to choose from. Hence, one of our most important soccer tips is to limit your soccer predictions to leagues that you are familiar with.

Bet on soccer
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Some of the possible bets you can make on soccer include:

  • Three way Win-Draw-Win
  • Handicaps/Asian handicaps
  • Over/under
  • Outright winner
  • Prop bets

Football

Football betting consists of all of the major types of bets including money lines, handicaps, point spreads, over/under, and prop bets.

Prop bets are most often associated with football. Everything from whether the coin toss will be heads or tails, to how many passing yards a quarterback will throw for, can be bet on.

Horse racing

Horse racing has a rich history in sports betting. You can bet on horses from all over the world now without having to actually be at a racetrack. Horse racing betting at most sportsbooks include horse racing tips and odds for all the races each day.

The best advice for making horse race bets is to do your due diligence by researching the past performances (PPs) of horses and make the most educated bets using the resources at your disposal.

Popular online horse race bets include:

  • Win, place, show
  • Exacta
  • Trifecta
  • Superfecta
  • Daily double
  • Pick five
  • Pick six

Sports betting in New Jersey

It is legal to bet in New Jersey via online sportsbooks since late 2018. Many of the top bookmakers from around the world have now entered the New Jersey market, attempting to stake their claim as one of New Jersey’s best sportsbooks.

Top 3 New Jersey sportsbooks

The Top 3 New Jersey betting sites in our opinion are: 

With a tried and tested formula, each brand has been able to successfully bring their software into the U.S. and give bettors a massive selection of sports and leagues to wager on.

At the moment, all three sportsbooks provide users with some of the best welcome bonuses and best betting offers available in New Jersey. Welcome Bonuses offer you the chance to get bonus money on your first deposit or provide you with a risk-free first bet.

Mobile bettors will be able to download a mobile app for each sportsbook on iOS and Android devices which can be used anywhere within the state of New Jersey.

→If you want to learn more about these sportsbooks and their respective promotions and features, feel free to read our reviews.