If you’re just a casual sports bettor hoping to increase your wins or if you’re looking to delve into the world of sports betting but don’t know where to start, a solid understanding of sports betting depends on knowing and using certain terms. It’s pretty confusing to be taken seriously against a seasoned sports bettor if you don’t know the vocabulary. Here are three basic — but incredibly important — terms to know and use when you get into sports betting:
- Bookmaker: The agent who accepts bets on games and teams, and does so legally. The term “bookie” sometimes has more of a negative connotation, but both can be used interchangeably. Being a bookmaker can actually be an incredibly profitable career, especially since sports betting makes up about 13% of all gambling worldwide.
- Favorite: The term applied to a certain team or player expected to win a game. Saying that the Dallas Cowboys are “the favorites” for next Sunday’s game means that they are predicted to win — it doesn’t mean that everyone suddenly became a Cowboys fan and feels a strong attachment to the team.
- Pick games: A sports event becomes a “pick ’em game” when neither team is favored to win; many bettors choose to bet on these games because of the excitement of not knowing which team will win, and also because betting on a certain team in these games can require a lot of background research on expert betting picks. Some betting websites offer free sports picks daily while others let fans buy sports picks from expert bettors (and some good websites offer both options, for both casual and hardcore fans). Alternatively, you can search for certain expert betting picks websites that focus on certain sports and can provide very detailed football betting picks or MLB draft picks (just to name a couple). If you don’t have time to analyze all the little details behind a sport such as injuries, games played, and even possible weather conditions, then it’s a good idea to find a source for expert betting picks so that you can make more informed predictions.
The first step to being a sports betting pro is understanding your sport and how to bet on it — something that can easily get confusing if you don’t know the lingo that sports bettors use. And even if you don’t have plans to take over the world of sports betting just yet, you can impress (and maybe intimidate) your friends a little bit at next year’s Super Bowl — hey, it can’t hurt to at least sound like you know what you’re doing, right?