Many bettors wonder if there are any safe bets in sports betting, and if so, which ones they should be making? To help you figure out the safest odds to back in sports betting, let’s take a quick look at the different types of bets you can make and how they might affect your bottom line.
Odds vs. Spread
When you lay wagers on sporting events, you usually have two options: you can select the odds offered by the bookmaker or you can choose to play against the spread. The difference between these two types of bets is that the bookmaker sets the odds of an event, while the spread-bettors assume the roles of both the player and the bookmaker, resulting in them handling the odds calculation themselves. One thing you should note about the spread is that it is possible to achieve positive or negative equity, meaning that no matter what the final score of an event, you will have won or lost based on the amount you wagered (plus or minus the amount you won or lost on the opposing team).
Even vs. Odds
Sometimes you can’t control what odds a bookmaker will offer, and in those cases it’s best to just pick the even odds instead. Even odds means that the team you favor will win by an even number of points. Evens are generally the safest bet in most sports, especially since you don’t have to worry about the bookmaker changing their mind and offering you odds in the other direction. The one downside to evens is that if your team barely wins by a few points, you will not see your return on investment even slightly. Another option that many fans enjoy is taking the points spread and creating an even money wager. In this scenario, if your team wins, your winnings will be the same as your loss; if they lose, you will lose what you wagered (plus some). It’s easy to see how creating an even money wager can help you manage risk, and it’s why so many fans choose this option when they want to bet on sporting events.
Some bookmakers only offer odds on whether a team will score more or less than a certain number of points in a game. When you lay wagers on whether a team will prevail by a certain amount of points, you are playing the over/under game. For instance, you can bet on whether the New England Patriots will score between 17 and 23 points against the Buffalo Bills this upcoming week. In the over/under game, the general rule is to avoid bets where the amount you are risking is more than five points. Additionally, it is usually best to avoid betting on total points scored or a game that involves the use of both hands. When you are unsure of how a game will turn out or if there is any chance of a sudden death, you should avoid over/under betting altogether.
A proposition bet is when you take a team you believe in and place a wager on whether they will win or lose an upcoming event. For example, you can lay a wager on the New England Patriots to win the Super Bowl this year. The upside is that you will win if your team wins and you will lose if they lose. The downside is that you have to be absolutely confident in the outcome of an event. Because of the risk involved with proposition bets, it is usually best to only place them on events you are certain will happen as predicted. Additionally, be careful when selecting which teams you back as you want to make sure you are picking winners that can actually perform on the field. If the team you pick loses, there is no way to recover the loss, so make sure you are using this option wisely.
An accumulator bet is when you place a wager on multiple events that will take place within a certain time frame. For example, you can lay a wager that the New England Patriots will win the Super Bowl this year and the World Series in the next month. The upside is that if your team wins the accumulator bet, you will win a prize; the downside is that if one of the other events you bet on doesn’t happen, you will not win anything. The best part about these types of bets is that you can place them on virtually any sportsbook website and get competitive odds offered by reputable bookmakers. Additionally, since these bets involve multiple games there is more opportunity for your wager to win as compared to single game bets. It is also possible to lay an accumulator bet that involves multiple hand-sportable gaming devices, allowing you to place your wager from virtually anywhere.
Sometimes it’s nice to be able to lay a wager on which player will win a particular matchup between two teams. This type of bet is called a head-to-head because it involves wagering on which player will outperform the other in a direct competition. For example, you can lay a wager on Tom Brady vs. Drew Brees this upcoming season; if you are confident that Brady will outperform Brees in their head-to-head matchup you can have a great shot of winning the bet. The downside to this type of bet is that the players you select might not be available at the time you place the wager. Additionally, head-to-head betting is more complex because you have to keep track of multiple games, and you need to make sure that the players involved in each game are actually matched up in the right way. If you are uncertain of how to lay a head-to-head bet, it might be best to just keep it simple and go with one of the previous options instead.
A handicap bet is when you place a wager on an event and then adjust the odds to make it more favorable. For example, you can lay a bet on the New England Patriots with a 5-point handicap, which means the odds of that team winning will be 5 points less than they would otherwise be. The upside of the handicap is that it can help you level the playing field a bit by making sure your team has an equal chance of winning regardless of how much money you are wagering. As before, make sure you are using this option wisely and only on events you are sure will happen as predicted. The downside is that the more you wager on a race, the more you will lose; for example, you could lose a lot of money on a handicap horse race where the favorites come in first, second and third place.
An intelligence bet is when you place a wager based on the outcome of a particular game or matchup between two teams. If you are unsure of how a game will turn out or if there is any chance it could end in a tie, you should avoid betting on the result of games and sporting events altogether. However, there is one exception to this rule – if you are certain that one of the teams will win based on their past performance, there is no reason to lose out on the opportunity to place a wager in favor of your side. The upside of an intelligence bet is that it is relatively easy to place and can be done in a hurry. Additionally, you can find numerous resources online that can help you find the winning teams based on your desired criteria. Lastly, there is the added bonus of having your wager earn you rewards, so long as the team you back is recognized for achieving something great in the past. The downside is that there is no way to make sure your team will perform as expected, so you might end up losing a lot of money if they don’t. If you are looking for a safe bet, you might want to consider an intelligence wager, but only on events you are certain will happen as predicted.
Binary betting is when you place a wager based on the outcome of a coin toss. For example, you can lay a wager on either the New England Patriots or the Philadelphia Eagles to win the Super Bowl this year. The upside of this type of bet is that it is extremely easy to place and can be done in a hurry, as long as you have the ability to place a bet remotely, which many sportsbook websites offer. The downside is that there is no true way to predict the outcome of a coin toss, so you might end up losing a lot of money even though you did nothing wrong. The best thing about binary betting is that it is a great way to practice as you never actually have to leave the comfort of your home; all you need is a laptop and an internet connection to get in some practice before placing your wager on the actual event.