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How to Bet on Sports: The Ultimate Guide

Updated: Apr 14, 2022

Learn about...

  • Reading odds

  • Line shopping

  • The different bet types

  • Managing your bankroll

  • Tracking your bets

  • Learning from your mistakes

  • Tips on how to improve

How to Bet on Sports: The Ultimate Guide

Do you love sports? Do you love making money? If so, sports betting may be the perfect hobby for you!

In this guide, we will teach you everything you need to know about sports betting. We will discuss the different types of bets that you can make, how to read sports odds, and how to use a bet tracker to improve your results. We will also provide some tips for winning more often when betting on sports.

So whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, this guide has something for everyone!

1. Sports betting is a great way to enjoy sports even more 🤩

Betting on sports can be a great way to enhance your enjoyment of the game. But if you're going to bet, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

First, it's best to treat sports betting as entertainment rather than as a way to make money. Even seasoned bettors who spend 8+ hours per week doing research, often still treat betting as entertainment to a degree.

Second, always bet within your means, and never bet more than you can afford to lose. Winning and losing are part of the game, so don't let a bad day ruin your enjoyment.

2. Know the odds before placing your bet 🤔

Before placing any bet, it is always important to know the odds. This will help you to determine whether the potential payoff is worth the risk. There are a number of factors that can affect the odds, such as the type of sport, the teams involved, and the current standings.

Odds can vary widely from one sportsbook to the next, so it's important to shop around and find the best possible price (this is called "line shopping"). The difference of price at DraftKings, for example, with a +105 odds versus BetMGM with +112 odds may not seem like much, but it can actually have a big impact on your potential winnings over the course of a season. Download the Vault app to use its simple "odds board" that allows you to see odds from 9 different sportsbooks at one time!

To help you understand how odds work, here are a couple of examples:

  • Odds are +105. In this case, you would bet $100 to profit $105.

  • Odds are +100. In this case, you would bet $100 to profit $100.

  • Odds are -110. In this case, you would bet $110 to profit $100.

  • Now you try! Let's say the odds are at +135. How much would you profit if you bet $100? If you said $135, you got it!

  • ** Note that I'm just using $100 as an example. For odds at +105, you could bet $10 to profit $10.50, and so on.

The Vault bet tracking apps odds board on iPhone

An example of an odds board showing Spread bets for NCAAMB games. The odds are shown in parentheses. Notice how even top books like DraftKings and FanDuel have different odds. Download the Vault app here to access this free tool!

3. There are many types of bets to choose from 🏈

When it comes to betting on sports, there are many different types of bets that you can choose from. Some of the most popular include point spread betting, moneyline betting, and over/under betting. Each of these has its own set of rules and odds, so it's important to understand the differences before placing a bet.


Point spread betting is one of the most common types of bets in sports. In this type of bet, you are essentially wagering on whether a team will win or lose by a certain number of points. The odds for point spread bets typically favor the favorite, so it's important to know how these work before placing a bet.

An example of a point spread bet for a Green Bay @ Minnesota game could be Green Bay -3, Minnesota +3

The number -3 is called the "line" and represents how much Green Bay needs to win by in order for you to win the bet. If you bet on Green Bay and they lose or only win by 2 points, then you lose the bet. However, if they win by more than 3 points, then you win the bet!

Similarly, if you bet on Minnesota with their line at +3, they need to win the game, or not lose by more than 3 points for you to win the bet.


Moneyline betting is another popular type of bet, and it is simply wagering on which team will win the game. There is no point spread involved in this type of bet, and the odds are usually more favorable to the underdog.

For example, if you wanted to bet on Minnesota in the previous example, their moneyline might be +115. This means that for every $100 you bet, you would win $115.

Green Bay in this case would be the favored team, meaning they are more likely to win. Their moneyline might be -108 meaning that you would need to be $108 to win $100.

Over/Under (also called "Totals")

Over/under bets involve betting on whether the total score in a game will be above or below a certain number.

For example, in an NFL game between Green Bay and Minnesota, the over/under could be set at 43. This means that you are betting on whether the total points scored in the game will be over or under 43.

If you bet the over, and the final score is Green Bay 34, Minnesota 13, then you would win the bet!

4. Set a budget and stick to it 💰

Anyone who's serious about betting on sports should always set a budget and stick to it. This is often referred to as "bankroll management". It's far too easy to get caught up in the excitement of the game and bet more than you can afford to lose.

By setting a budget upfront, you'll be able to better control your impulses and make more informed decisions about which bets to place. And even if you do end up losing money, at least you'll know that it was within your budget and not leave yourself with regret later on.

So if you're planning on betting on sports, always remember to set a budget first and stick to it no matter what.

5. Use a sports bet tracker to improve your results 📱

Any seasoned sports bettor will tell you that one of the keys to success is staying organized. With so many different games and matches taking place on a daily basis, it can be difficult to keep track of your bets and see where you are making or losing money.

This is where a sports bet tracker comes in handy. By keeping a record of your bets, you can quickly identify which types of bets are working for you and which ones are not. This information can then be used to adjust your strategy and improve your results over time.

If you are looking for an easy-to-use bet tracker, nothing compares to the bet tracking app Vault. The app allows you to automatically track your bets, see your stats, and make better decisions about where to put your money. Download the app for free here!

Find the Vault bet tracking app for iPhone on the App Store

An example of an app that tracks your bets so you can view your stats, net profit, and find which bets are making you the most money. You can download this iPhone app for free here!

6. A final note - tips for winning more often when betting on sports 🏆

Before placing a bet, research the teams and study the trends. Look at the team’s statistics, recent results, and injuries that might affect the outcome of the game. You should also be aware of any external factors that could influence the result, such as weather conditions or changes in the lineup.

Also, know the teams and players involved, and have a good sense of their strengths and weaknesses.

Once you have all the information you need, it’s time to start placing bets. It’s important to remember that you won’t win every bet, so don’t get discouraged if you lose occasionally. Even the most seasoned bettors only win about 53%-55% of the time.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of winning more often when betting on sports!


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