There are no sure things in sports betting, and making money betting on sports isn’t easy. It requires discipline and careful research, but you can increase your chances of success by managing your bankroll wisely, avoiding bad habits like betting too much on “sure things,” and seeking out advice from experienced and respected sports bettors. One of the most important aspects of sports betting is the concept of units. This is the amount of money you plan to bet on each game and can help you stay in control by keeping a clear picture of your spending, winnings and profitability.
Another common term you’ll hear is “covering the spread.” This refers to a team beating a point spread, which is how many points the favored team must win by in order to cover (win) the bet and turn a profit for those who placed a bet on them. Covering the spread can also refer to a parlay, which is a group of 2-team bets that are added together to make a larger bet with a higher payout.
Lines in sports betting are constantly changing, and as a result, there are always opportunities to find value. In general, the more a team is favored, the higher the odds, while underdogs are marked with a negative sign and positive ones with a plus sign. In addition to adjusting the odds, sportsbooks will often add on the house edge, which is a small percentage of each bet that is charged to the bookmakers as a fee for taking the bets.