Betting on Football
The NFL is the largest sports wagering category in the US. The immense popularity of the game and weekly format on a relatively limited number of games draws in a huge volume of bets.
The strategy for the NFL is to be very selective, and have a well-developed set of comparative power rankings to analyze match-ups.
The betting lines are very tight in the NFL. A “weak” line is almost non-existent. This does not mean there are not opportunities, but with the NFL, bettors must be very selective and very careful to manage their bankrolls.
Current information is essential in NFL spread analysis. Information on injuries, playing surface, weather conditions can all have an impact. The weekly format on limited games means a lot of analysis time between events, and time for the betting lines to move slightly.
The strategy for the NFL is to stay current on team performance, game day conditions, and be very wary of the heavy public favorites. These are the teams that win a lot of games on the national stage but do not do well against the spread. Most value opportunities in the NFL boil down to finding real value in the underdogs.
The most common bets in football are not standard moneyline wagers. Choosing which team you believe will win will typically yield poor odds.
Instead, most bettors prefer to make point spread wagers. This is why you’ll often read articles about NFL teams and ‘covering the spread’.
What is the Point Spread Wager?
As the most common bet in football (and in many other sports), the point spread wager will likely be the bet you make most often.
For this example, we’re going to pretend the New Orleans Saints are playing the Carolina Panthers.
When you look up the bet you find that New Orleans is -8 and Carolina are +8. What this means is for betting terms New Orleans has an eight-point advantage. To cover the spread they need to beat the Panthers by at least eight points in order for those who bet on New Orleans to win the bet.
If they beat Carolina by three points, you lose the bet because New Orleans didn’t cover the spread.
In a game like football, sportsbooks are looking to create equal favorites and to reduce the chances of a push.
So even in a garbage game with two 0-15 teams, the point spread wager makes it still worth watching.
Betting on Basketball
Basketball is the second most popular sport for gambling in the US. The season is long and there are far more games than in the NFL, thus offering ample opportunity to gamble. Basketball betting typically takes place mainly in the NBA, but there’s also a flourishing market in college basketball.
The NBA closely follows the NFL in terms of amounts wagered and offers good odds/payout opportunities. There are games scheduled every day and as a result, there is a great deal of statistical data available.
Statistical Value is provided by observations where valid patterns can emerge. NBA stats can provide insight on scoring, rebounds, home and away results. The strategy for this sport sports is to focus on the numbers. Develop comparative analysis on the volumes of stats data available. It is recommended to keep a daily stats-feed so that you can be ready with objective analysis to gain an edge.
Again, point spread wagers are extremely common. However, the close nature of many basketball games makes the moneyline wager (or win bet) a highly popular option.
Most newcomers to basketball gambling should opt for match bets, so you don’t lose your bet simply because the match is a draw and the game goes into overtime.
Exotic Bets in Basketball
Basketball is one of the few sports that has a range of exotic betting markets. You have markets where you can bet on which teams are going to make the playoffs or which team is going to win it all.
Basketball takes this one step further. The winner of the season MVP award, as well as Rookie of the Year, are highly popular markets. Betting on basketball markets like these is a great way to follow one player and potentially win big.
These types of markets do heavily fluctuate, so betting on them is recommended for basketball fans who keep their fingers on the pulse of the season.
Betting on Baseball
Baseball is another of America’s ‘big four’ sports. Betting on baseball can be as simple as you like. You can bet on the team you want to win, bet on who will be in the playoffs, and put your money on the team you believe will win the World Series.
However, baseball can be a complex game. That has also led to a range of highly specific bets, such as how many runs will be scored per quarter.
Baseball stats can provide insight on critical pitching matchups, runs scored and fielding errors. Serious baseball bettors need a daily stats-feed. There are games every single day during MLB season, and a bettor needs to be ready with objective analysis to gain an edge in this category.
Betting on Baseball? Look at the Variables
Unlike other sports, baseball is more heavily influenced than any other by specific stadiums and the environmental conditions on the day of the game. Successful betting on baseball requires you to understand this so you have a higher chance of winning, particularly when it comes to point spread wagers.
For example, if you’re betting on a high number of runs per game, you’d be looking to bet on matches held at Coors Field or Chase Field. On the other hand, low-scoring games tend to happen at AT&T Park in San Francisco and Safeco Field in Seattle.
This is because all baseball stadiums have different dimensions.
Environmental conditions also have to be taken into account. High humidity means the ball will travel further through the thinner air. High winds could mean more runs as it’s much harder to get caught out.
The impact of these conditions makes baseball a much harder sport to successfully bet on.
Betting on Ice Hockey
Betting on ice hockey is a relatively simple prospect. There are no draws, most games are close, and the same wrinkles that apply to a sport like baseball don’t apply here.
The standard bets in ice hockey are moneyline bets, point spread wagers, and total goals scored in a match. You can also make season-long bets on which team you think will win the Stanley Cup.
The most popular betting markets are those in the NHL, but there’s also a growing market for the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), which consists of teams from countries like China, Finland, and Belarus.
What Do You Need to Know About Betting on Ice Hockey?
Ice hockey is more about understanding the teams. The goaltender has a disproportionate effect on the whole team. A terrible team with a great goaltender can have a lot of success throughout the season. Before betting on any team, make sure you know the goaltenders.
The stadiums, due to their enclosed surroundings, also play a major factor. Fans can heavily influence games in ice hockey, so it’s important to know which teams are strong at home.
For example, the Anaheim Ducks score 1.15 more goals at home than when they’re on the road. So you wouldn’t want to bet against a team like that at home.
Betting on Golf
Golf is a very simple sport to bet on because most bets revolve around choosing the player who will win the tournament. Players can also bet on whether a player will finish in the top 5, the top 10, and the top 20 (in the bigger tournaments).
There are also bets on the winning margin.
Due to the fact, golf has much larger fields than the big four sports in the US, payouts are bigger because the odds are longer, even with the top players.
Betting On Tennis
Tennis is becoming increasingly popular in the US. Most of the action revolves around the four Grand Slam tournaments of the year: the Australian, the French, Wimbledon, and the US.
Betting on tennis is extremely simple. Nearly all the action is on the winner of individual matches or the winner of the tournament.
There’s a strong in-play betting market, such as who will win the next set, but these markets are still dwarfed in comparison to the others.
Tennis is one of the simplest sports to bet on for beginners.
Betting on Boxing
Boxing is another simple sport to bet on because most bets revolve around the victor. There are few variables to bet on.
Players typically bet on who will win and the method of victory. For example, you can place bets on whether there will be a knockout or whether it will go to the judge’s scorecards.
Betting on boxing can also encompass predicting which round the bout will end in. Many place these bets before the opening bell, but there’s also a strong in-play market for these types of bets.
Betting on NASCAR
Racing is always a popular sport to bet on, and NASCAR betting is more intriguing and complex than it first appears.
Yes, you can place bets on who will win a race and who will finish in the top five or top ten. But betting on NASCAR goes further than that.
You can also bet on head-to-head battles. These bets take two to four drivers and to win the bet your driver has to beat the other head to head participants. The rest of the race doesn’t matter as long as your driver wins the head to head.
There are also prop bets to take into account. These include: betting on which manufacturer will win the race, how many caution flags will be thrown, and the number of crashes.
Betting on Cycling
Cycling is less popular for sports betting in New Jersey. Most of the major races that gain
action are the three grand tours of Spain, Italy, and France. But an increasing number of players are starting to get interested in betting on cycling.
There’s more to cycling than just betting on the individual rider or team who wins the tour.
Each Grand Tour has separate classification winners, so as well as the overall winner there are classifications for things like best sprinter and best young rider.
There are also other forms of cycling to bet on, such as track cycling, BMX, and the cycling events at the Olympics.
Both collegiate basketball and football offer good odds/payout value. In fact, many experienced bettors will argue the best betting value is with college sports.
The reasoning behind this is the volume of college games, and again, the fact that the sportsbooks offer lines on just about every college conference. This volume of betting options on non-professional teams of various competition levels can make for some real opportunities.
College basketball is stats-driven and football is more recent, comparative strength-driven. Gameday spread performance can be heavily impacted by:
- "home" and "away" results
- non-conference vs rivalry games
- home-coming games
The college football bowl games are also good opportunities for odds/payout value, primarily with underdogs in the minor bowl games.
The NCAA March tournament will experience a lot of “over-betting” on perennial favorites.
College sports are played by young student-athletes at various competition levels and there is a lot more variability in the spread outcomes. With disciplined research, you will often find more potential betting value in this category versus the professional ranks.