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Now that sports betting is legal in several states, it’s only a matter of time before legal online sports betting floods the entire country. This means that we could very well see an entirely new generation of sports gambler.

If that’s you, then you’re going to need to know a few things about sports betting before getting started. Otherwise, your very first step could very well result in a faceplant, and nobody wants that.

To prevent that faceplant, we’ve assembled the 4 sports betting tips every beginner needs to know.

The Top 4 Sports Betting Tips Beginners Need to Know

You wouldn’t dive into the ocean if you didn’t know how to swim, would you? Of course not. Utilizing the same brand of common sense, you shouldn’t step into the world of sports betting without knowing at least how to doggy paddle.

Without further ado, here are sports betting tips you need to know.

1. Know Your Options

Betting on sports isn’t as simple as putting money on a winner, and even a bet as simple as that falls under a term you may not be familiar with: Moneyline bets.

You have far more options when it comes to making bets, and you’ll want to familiarize yourself with these bets in order to achieve the most optimal outcome.

For instance, you may not be familiar with Point Spreads, but they can make betting on a game with a clear winner far more interesting. If you bet on the favorite, then the favorite must win by a certain amount of points for you to win. If you bet on the loser, then the loser must either win or lose by fewer than a certain amount of points. With this kind of betting, every game becomes a 50/50 shot, or at least close to it.

The other most popular form of betting is the Over-Under bet. With this one, the sportsbook decides how many points are going to be scored in a game. From there, you can choose whether the score will go over or under the sportsbook’s choice. Like Point Spreads, this is also a 50/50 bet, which makes it great for beginners.

2. Don’t Give Just Anyone Your Money

Just as when dealing with any business, you want to do some research beforehand, so you don’t inadvertently walk into the arms of a huckster. It’s the same with legal online sports betting, which has its fair share of hucksters.

But there’s a lot of honest businesses, as well, such as Caesars Casino, which has a great sports betting section on their website. They offer everything from football and basketball to golf and tennis.

Another great resource for legal online sports betting is 888sport. Not only do they offer regular sports betting, but they have live betting, too. This means you can bet on games in real time, even if they’re half-way through.

This is possible because the site updates the odds based on the game’s conditions. Therefore, if a game only gets interesting in the second half, you can jump in and make it even more interesting.

3. Never Lose Your Self Control

If you’re new to sports gambling, you may quickly fall in love. It takes a game that you’re already invested in and multiplies that feeling of investment tenfold. When emotional investment and economic investment cross streams, it can be hard to pull yourself away.

For this reason, it’s important to set limits for yourself. A great way to do with is by using PayPal, which many sports betting sites support. With PayPal, you can allocate certain money to be sent there from your bank, which means you can give yourself an allowance.

The last thing you want is to get caught up with a winning streak, only to bet a little too much and fall behind on your bills.

Sports betting is fun, but it requires a fair bit of responsibility.

4. Do Your Homework

Unlike a roulette wheel, sports betting isn’t based entirely on luck. There are a certain number of factors that can go into making a successful bet, as long as you’re willing to do the homework.

As every team is made up of many players, there is an overwhelming number of variables that can go into a team winning or losing, but you can use what variables you do have to make your decision.

For instance, if a team is playing a Thursday game after playing a Sunday game, that means they’ve had fewer days of rest, which might inform your bet.

This isn’t a perfect system, but it’s better than taking a shot in the dark. If there was a perfect system for winning, then it wouldn’t be gambling, would it?

You’re Finally Ready With These Sports Betting Tips

Even though sports betting always interested you, it being illegal was too much of a turn-off. But with legal online sports betting, those days are over.

Now, the only hurdle in your way is the hesitancy of taking the first step into uncharted territory.

With these 4 sports betting tips, that first step is no longer an uncertain step into the dark, but a confident step into familiar ground.

Just as you should do your homework before making a bet, a similar amount of preparation should go into understanding sports betting as a whole.

Of course, you could learn through trial and error, but when real money is on the line, you want to be as confident as possible.