Sports betting is a huge industry, and since it has become legal in many states thousands of bettors have joined the action. But the jargon and terminology can be confusing for new players. Odds and lines specify the probability of an outcome and how much money can be won. They can be displayed as American (plus (+) or minus (-) odds, European (decimal), or fractional.
One of the most important aspects of sports betting is understanding how to read odds. This will help you make better decisions about when to place a wager. The odds will always fluctuate, but understanding why is essential to finding value and placing profitable bets.
Another important aspect of sports betting is knowing how to place bets on spreads and over/unders. The key to winning these bets is tracking initial lines and then seeing how they change as the game approaches. This is especially true in the NBA where huge shifts in public support can skew the lines in favor of a particular team.
Bettors can also use predictive models to determine a team’s win/loss probability. When a team’s predicted probability is higher than the implied probability provided by the sportsbook that is considered a good bet. This is especially true if the bet is placed on a moneyline. In these cases, the Taker is required to hold 5% of their bet in escrow. Those funds will be used to resolve disputes when they arise.