Sports betting is a great way to add a boost of excitement to every game and more than a dozen online sportsbooks now let any adult in New Jersey place a wager legally and easily.
Betting on sports is a great way to put your knowledge to work to win some extra cash and a fun way to make any sporting event more exciting. Since 2018, more than a dozen online sportsbooks have launched in New Jersey, so placing a bet has never been easier.
Finding your way around an online sportsbook can be intimidating for beginners but understanding odds, lines, and bet types is very easy once you get a hang of the basics. Below is a short guide to how bets work and some quick tips to get you started.
How Sports Betting Works
Before you start, spend a couple of minutes researching the sportsbooks available in New Jersey. Many offer free bets and deposit match bonuses to new players that you will want to take advantage of, but make sure to read the fine print since these all come with certain requirements.
Once you pick a sportsbook you like, take a look at the board. This lists all of the bets available and is usually sorted by sport. Many sportsbooks offer dozens of different bet types for each game but most bets will be placed on either the point spread or the money line.
The point spread is the margin of victory the favorite must win by in order to “cover” or win the bet. So if the Philadelphia Eagles are a -2.5 favorite, they must win by at least 3 points for the bet to win. On the other hand, if the New York Giants are a +4 favorite, they can lose by up to 3 points and your bet will still win. Baseball uses a “run line” and hockey uses a “goal line,” which are both similar to point spreads but do not change from game to game.
The moneyline is the ratio between your bet and the payout and is used for all other bet types. If the Eagles are a -150 favorite, you would have to bet $150 to win $100. If the Giants are a +160 underdog, your $100 bet would win $160. You will see a moneyline attached to every prop bet and many other bet types.
Over/under betting allows you to bet on whether the final combined score will be higher or lower than the projected total set by the oddsmakers. Prop betting allows you to bet on any individual single game event. Futures betting allows you to wager on longterm events like who will win the Super Bowl or who will win the NBA MVP. Parlay bets allow you to combine multiple bets into one, raising the risk but also the potential payout.
Sports Betting Tips
There are a few things to keep in mind before you start building your bankroll but the most important thing to remember is to avoid the biggest rookie mistake: going wild. Don’t start placing a ton of bets when you just sign up. Don’t keep depositing a bunch of money. Don’t bet on sports you are less familiar with. Instead, deposit an amount you feel comfortable losing and start with one sport. It may be best to start with just the moneyline, which simply requires you to pick a winner, before moving on to the point spread and over/under, which require you to guess margins of victory and point totals.
Spend some time researching games before placing your bet. Various factors like injuries, weather, lineup substitutions, and other events can greatly influence how a game will go.
Don’t be a homer. If you don’t want to bet against your favorite team you don’t have to but don’t wager money just because you are a fan. If you want to bet on a game involving your favorite team but don’t think they will win, consider betting on the over/under or the many prop bets available for the game.
Once you are settled, you can start betting on multiple sports and even shopping around from sportsbook to sportsbook to find the most favorable odds for your pick.