Sports Betting 101


A sportsbook is a place where people can make wagers on sporting events. The sportsbook takes bets from customers and pays winners. To ensure profits, the sportsbook limits how much people can bet and sets a maximum winning amount. It also offers odds and payout bonuses, which vary by sportsbook.

Betting has become woven into the fabric of professional sports and even hard-core fans who don’t bet can’t ignore it anymore. Sportsbooks have a presence in televised games and pregame shows, as well as online and mobile apps. It’s not surprising, as betting is a huge industry. The Supreme Court struck down a law banning sports gambling in May 2018, and states are now legalizing it at a rapid pace.

When making a bet, you can choose between placing a straight bet or a spread bet. Straight bets are simply predicting that a team will win. For example, if you think the Toronto Raptors will beat the Boston Celtics in an NBA game, you would make a bet on the Raptors. A spread bet, on the other hand, reflects the expected margin of victory between teams.

If you bet on the underdog in a spread bet, you’ll win more money than if you bet on the favorite. This is because the underdog has a lower probability of winning and therefore a lower risk than the favorite. To calculate potential winnings, add the amount you bet to the sportsbook’s odds and payout formulas.