Sports Betting 101: Topics, tips and advice to be a better bettor


Beginners and experienced bettors have all had to start somewhere in the sports betting space. While some are more advanced than others, there are a lot of concepts and topics that need to be understood in order to have the best possible chance of winning money and being successful.

Our Sports Betting 101 series from Josh Appelbaum is a good starting point for new bettors and a good refresher for those that have been around, but may need to brush up on the basics.

Before diving into the content, there are some initial topics and betting terms that everybody should use as a prerequisite before taking the Sports Betting 101 "class".

Sports Betting for Beginners - Learn the Basics of Sports Betting

Sports Betting Terms Everybody Needs to Know

Read along as Josh, author of The Everything Guide to Sports Betting: From Pro Football to College Basketball, Systems and Strategies for Winning Money, gives you a crash course into the world of sports betting.

How to Place a Bet

You can't place a bet without knowing how. In this article, Josh talks about how to place your wagers online or in-person at the sportsbook.

Sportsbooks, Oddsmakers and Setting the Line

On this topic, Josh looks at where you can bet on sports and how oddsmakers set the lines for the games. He also talks about betting limits and the function they serve.

Bet Types

Favorites, Underdogs and the Point Spread

On this topic, Josh examines the function of the point spread and why one team is considered the favorite and why the other team is considered the underdog.

Totals (Over/Unders) for Full Game, 1st Half and 2nd Half

On this topic, Josh discusses the "total" or "over/under", which is a measure of the combined scores of both teams.

Moneyline Betting

On this topic, Josh discusses moneyline betting, which means simply picking a winner, but that could come with a higher cost or more risk.

Parlays and Teasers

Parlays and teasers continue to grow in popularity. Does Josh believe that these are smart wagers?

The House Edge - "Vig" or "Juice"

Here, Josh discusses what is called the vigorish on a betting line. Think the -110 that appears next to a point spread or total. What does it do and what does it mean for the bettors and the books?

Sports Betting Strategies

Bankroll Management and Long-Term Success

Sports betting is a long-term thing and not a get-rich-quick scheme. Josh emphasizes that notion here, along with some tips for how to manage your bankroll.

Flat Betting

Flat betting is a popular bankroll management technique for new bettors. Josh talks about the reasons why and how to make use of it with your daily wagers.

Bet To Risk vs. Bet To Win

A popular question is whether or not a bettor should bet "to risk" or bet "to win". Josh explains both and his preferred method.

What Is A Middle?

The concept of middling (and also arbitrage) are ways in which a bettor can maximize a strong opportunity to make money.

The Do's and Don'ts of Playing Middles

Middling can be a tricky concept for a lot of bettors, so here is some advice on what to do and what not to do.

Betting Advice - Who To Trust and Who To Avoid

In this piece, Josh discusses why some people's opinions on betting should be considered more than others.

What Are Sharp Bettors?

What makes a bettor "sharp"? Who are these people and what impact do they have on the betting market?

How to Bet Like a Sharp

You, too, can follow the same practices as sharp bettors if you know what to look for.

What Is Closing Line Value (CLV)?

The best indicator of future success is getting CLV on your bets. What is it and how do you do it?

What is Line Shopping?

One of the biggest advantages bettors have over sportsbooks is the ability to look for the best line. Advice on how to do that and why it matters.

Should I Buy Picks?

Professional pick sellers (also called touts) offer special packages and promotions, but are their picks worth buying?

Using Trends and Betting Systems

Here, Josh, an expert at utilizing trends and betting systems, talks about why this strategy helps to avoid recency bias, which is the act of putting too much emphasis on recent results.

The Dangers of Confirmation Bias and Gambler's Fallacy

In this piece, Josh cautions readers about the risks of only absorbing information that fits your opinion, as well as the "due factor" of the Gambler's Fallacy.

The Dangers of Gambling Addiction

When do you know that you have lost control and when should you seek help?

How to Bet on Sports

Handy how-to guides for betting on different sports.

How to Bet Football Totals

This article is all about betting over/unders in the NFL and college football.

What are Key Numbers in the NFL?

Key numbers are very important when betting spreads and Josh has some advice on how to make the most out of those opportunities.

How to Bet on NFL or College Football Season Win Totals

Season win totals are popular futures and prop bets that can be very profitable if you know what you are doing.

How to Bet on College Football Bowl Games

When the bowl season rolls around, you'll be prepared with this guide on betting those college football games.

How to Bet on NBA

The NBA is a tough league with so many scheduling spots and player absences, but Josh has some tips.

How to Bet on College Basketball

Some helpful tips for betting on college basketball.

How to Bet on March Madness

Betting tips for March Madness and the NCAA Tournament.

How to Bet on NHL

Tips for hockey bettors.

How to Bet on Horse Racing

Interested in playing the ponies? We've got some advice on how to do that.

How to Bet on Golf

Tips for wagering on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and other golf events around the world.

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