The Basics of Sports Betting

Sports betting is any wagering on the outcome of a sporting game, event or contest (including motor racing and e-sports). The activity can be conducted by a person who has cash or something of monetary value to risk. A customer who places a bet is called a bettor, and the company that accepts wagers is known as a bookmaker, bookie or sportsbook.

The most common type of bet is a straight bet, where you place money on a single outcome of a game or event. For example, you might bet that the Toronto Raptors will beat the Boston Celtics in an NBA game or that MMA heavyweight Francis Ngannou will win against Ciryl Gane in a UFC fight. You can also place multiple outcomes on one ticket with a parlay bet, which allows you to increase your chances of winning by spreading your bets out across different teams and events.

Another common bet is the Over/Under, which is a total combined points bet. The number is set by the sportsbook and reflects its expectation of how many points will be scored in a game. If you expect a high-scoring game, you can bet the Over; if you expect a defensive slugfest, you can bet the Under.

The key to winning at sports betting is to study the rules of each sport, and be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each team and player. You should also stick to a betting schedule and avoid making decisions based on emotions, which can lead to poor decisions such as chasing a bad loss with more bets in an attempt to recover your losses.

Posted in: Gambling