Sports Betting 101 – What Every Sports Bettor Should Know

As a thrilling fusion of strategy, psychology and chance, sports betting is becoming more than just an ancient pastime; it’s now a massive global industry worth hundreds of billions. In fact, a report by Grand View Research predicts that the market will reach a valuation of $4.6 billion by 2025. As such, understanding the ins and outs of sports betting is no longer just an option for serious bettors; it’s imperative.

Whether you’re just getting started with this lucrative market or are a longtime professional, here are a few key things that every sports bettor should know.


The legality of sports betting varies by jurisdiction. In the United States, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 imposed a ban on sports gambling in all but a few states. This changed in 2018, however, when the Supreme Court struck down the law, opening up a wave of new state-authorized sportsbooks.

Bet Sizing

It’s important to understand how odds work before you place your first bet. Odds are a representation of an event’s likelihood, expressed as a ratio to your stake. The higher the odds, the greater your potential return. Odds can be either decimal or fractional, with decimal odds commonly used in European markets. To calculate your potential return, multiply the bet amount by the odds. For example, a $10 bet on a team with odds of 1.5 will yield $15 ($10 x 1.50).

Correlated Parlays

If you’re confident in a specific outcome, correlated parlays can offer significant payouts. But be warned that they are riskier than standalone bets and can quickly burn through your bankroll. As such, it’s crucial to exercise discipline in several aspects of your sports betting strategy, including bet sizing and money management. A good rule of thumb is to limit your bet size to 1-2% of your total bankroll per wager.

Can I make a living betting on sports?

In the short term, it’s difficult to make a profit from sports betting. But over the long haul, profitable bettors employ a well-crafted betting strategy that includes thorough research and disciplined bankroll management. That said, even professional bettors with lofty winning percentages struggle to maintain profitability on a consistent basis. So if you’re considering making sports betting your full-time career, it’s essential to start slow and build up your bankroll over time.