There are many ways to make money on the side, but few of them are as rewarding as betting on sports. Thanks to the growth of the online betting industry, you can now take advantage of this side-hustle while watching your favourite sports teams play live. Although online sports betting is a relatively new industry, traditional sportsbooks have been around for decades, and now you can bet on the big games just as you would in the old days.
The most famous sportsbooks, like the one run by the state of Nevada, regulate and licence all wagers made on their platforms. But even if you live in a state where online sports betting is legal, you probably won’t want to bet with every bookmaker, because the odds could be all wrong. Which is why you should do some research before placing a bet, or at least make sure that the sportsbook is regulated in some way. Unfortunately, there are many unregulated sportsbooks out there, which means that you could be risking your own money, not to mention the money of the people you are betting on, if things go wrong.
Which Bookmaker to Use?
When you decided to get into sports betting, the first thing you will want to do is look for a reputable bookmaker to partner with. There are many things you should be on the lookout for, from the books’ responsiveness to whether or not they use US-based sportsbooks, but the most important consideration is professionalism. If you are new to this side-hustle, it can be hard to know where to start, but by familiarising yourself with the red flags presented by less reputable sportsbooks, you can avoid the most amateurish operators. Look for the following qualities:
- A responsive customer service team
- A clear understanding of trading and sports terminology
- An established history of operating within legal boundaries
- A consistent track record of offering fair odds
- A reliable and convenient betting platform
Above all else, make sure that the sportsbook you are considering opening a account with is one which is regulated by a governing body. In the United States, for example, all sportsbooks must be registered with the state of Nevada as a gambling operation, and all wagers placed must meet strict regulatory requirements.
The Different Types of Sports Betting
In the United States, most professional sports leagues allow for betting on certain events within their games. The most popular ones to bet on are NFL Football, NBA Basketball, and MLB Baseball, with the ability to bet on almost any sporting event taking place in the country.
If you are new to this side-hustle, you might wonder how exactly you are supposed to bet on something, since there is always more than one option for each event. To clarify, here are the different types of sports betting:
- Basketball – You can bet on the outcome of NBA games, which range from simple bets such as favourites vs. underdogs to more elaborate propositions such as whether or not a certain team will score a certain number of points in a certain time period. You can also make predictions on the performance of individual players and compare those against the points scored by the team they are playing for.
- Football (American League) – You can bet on the outcome of football games between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns, as well as all other National Football League games. There are two ways to lay a wager on a football game: You can either choose to follow the NFL odds which are usually published a few days in advance, or you can head to the sportsbook during the game and place your wager there. In-game betting allows for more flexibility when it comes to the amount you are willing to wager, and it also lets you to track the progression of a game while it is ongoing. In addition to the NFL, you can also wager on games from the Australian Football League, the English Premier League, and any other football league in the world. (Note: it is not advisable to place bets on horse racing or casinos, as in all cases, the operators are not accountable to the customers in case of a dispute.)
- Hockey – NHL Hockey is another sport which is available for betting. You can make predictions based on various scoring chances, goaltending performances, and determine the winner of the game via a props bet, which allows you to make an educated guess on the outcome of the game. (Tip: avoid betting on hockey if you are not confident in your ability to predict the outcome of a game.)
- Tennis – Tennis is one of the most popular sports to bet on, especially given that some of the top players can generate a significant payday even if they lose. You can make bets on singles, doubles, and even whether or not a certain player will win a certain match. If you follow tennis news and scores, you will have no trouble understanding the action, providing you are aware of the lingo used.
- Golf – In case you are looking to get into golf betting, the most popular golf leagues to wager on are the PGA Tour, the LPGA Tour, and the Champions Tour, although other sports like NASCAR and American motorsport can also be backed. You can make bets on the overall winner of a tournament as well as all the other games throughout the event. Even the way you structure your wagers is flexible, as you can bet on individual holes or on the entire round, as applicable. (Tip: get the point spread right and you will have no trouble winning your money back, provided the bookmaker you used is trustworthy.)
- Athletics (Outdoors) – You can bet on the outcome of numerous outdoor sports including football, tennis, basketball, and even baseball. The world of athletics is vast, so there is obviously the potential to bet on any event you can think of. The major problem is that not all bookmakers offer this type of bet, which means that you will have to go looking for them. A convenient way to find these odds is to enter the keywords “athletics’ into the search bar of your preferred betting website.
- Basketball (National League) – As mentioned earlier, NBA Basketball is one of the most popular sports to bet on. In the same vein, you can also make wagers on teams in the National Basketball League (Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa), as well as the various divisions of the American Basketball Association. (Tip: don’t bet on basketball if you are not prepared to risk some money.)
- Cricket – Finally, we come to one of the most traditional sports in the world, and one of the most popular ones to bet on as well: cricket. There are numerous affiliated cricket leagues you can follow and make bets on, including Tests, T20s, and even daily competitions. Just remember that the odds are usually dictated by the market, so you will have to look for the best prices. (Tip: get the point spread right and you will have no trouble winning your money back, provided the bookmaker you used is trustworthy.)
As you can see, there are numerous ways to make money on the side, but few of them are as rewarding as sports betting. If you want to get started, just follow these guidelines and you will be well on your way to doubling or even tripling your money in no time.