The Substantial Rise in Sports Betting

Ever since the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, PASPA, in May 2018, twenty-three states legalized sports betting, and several more have proposed legislation. Sports betting continues to grow in popularity. It is estimated that more than $700 billion is spent on sports wagers every year. Three of the most popular sports are football, basketball and soccer.

The Fundamentals

There is more than one way to bet. There are point spreads, money lines, totals, parlays, teasers, futures and props. Wagers can be made on which team will win, the total number of points scored in the game, future games, as well as specifics such as which team will win the coin toss or which player makes the first touchdown.

Betting is not free. Betters need to pay more than what they are looking to win. The “juice” is the portion of the wager taken from the bettor if he or she wins. This means that a $10 bet at -110 will be a $9.10 profit for the bettor if their team wins. That way the sportsbook gets $.90.

A negative number by a team’s name means they are the favorite to win. This number lets the bettor know how much money they need to bet in order to win $100. The underdog team has a positive number next to their name, which indicates how much a bettor would win if they bet $100.

What Sports do People Bet On?

Football is by far the most popular sport for bettors in the United States. Roughly 26 million Americans wagered on the Super Bowl in 2020. Football has a relatively short season with fewer games per week than other sports giving bettors more time to prepare and develop expertise.

Basketball is another popular sport that, like football, offers a highly anticipated championship game. Basketball also offers more games each season, which in turn, offers the bettor more chances to win. Also, in basketball, one player can make a significant difference in the outcome of the game.

In soccer, the world’s most popular sport, bettors have a month’s worth of games to bet on through the World Cup. Soccer games score far fewer points per game and limited scoring makes it more likely that a soccer match will end in a tie. This means that bettors can still win as long as their team does not lose.

The Benefits

Most people place bets for pleasure. Betting is complicated, but fortunately the betting process is similar no matter the sport. Despite the odds, bettors do have a real chance to win! If you want to try your luck and give it a shot, check out