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Sports Betting Guide & News: Online Sports Betting 101

Welcome to Odds Shark’s sports betting guide, with news and expert online gambling advice. Odds Shark 101 is THE one-stop shop for everything betting-related. On this page, you’ll find the best betting resources as we break down the basics of online betting with how-to tutorials for your favorite sports, guides explaining every type of bet imaginable, and everything else in between for both new players and expert bettors alike.

Discover how sports betting works around the world. Explore the most popular betting events in the U.S., learn which leagues are the most popular to bet on, and discover the most common types of betting markets. Put your sports betting cap on and learn the legalities of betting on sports.

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We’ll also show you how and where to bet safely at the best legal sports betting sites. Wager on sports from the comfort of your own home via your desktop computer or tablet, or bet on the go via mobile betting with your favorite mobile device. Our sports betting bible truly captures it all.

Most Popular Sports & Events To Bet On

Odds Shark takes sports betting very seriously. If you want to wager on sports, including UFC Fight News and esports, we’ve got all the betting information you need to cash in on both minor and major sports leagues.

NFL (National Football League)

If you’re into professional pigskin, our NFL oddsNFL PicksNFL Props and NFL Sites will leave you feeling refreshed like you just had a Super Bowl Gatorade Bath. NFL football betting is one of the many markets we go Madden for.

NBA (National Basketball Association)

We know your sports betting includes basketball. Our NBA wagering ways are pumped up with NBA Props and elite NBA odds. Our NBA bets are bouncing off the walls and will hit you harder than a blindside pick. These NBA stats are as efficient as Giannis Antetokounmpo from the free-throw line in Game 6 of the 2021 NBA Finals. Stick with us and avoid slipping in the sharp standings.

MLB (Major League Baseball)

If you’ve been searching for a field of baseball betting dreams, then call us the Kevin Costner of MLB betting. Our MLB bets will have you seeing green like you’re in left field of Fenway Park. There will be little swinging and missing with our monster MLB content. If you’re looking to hit for the cycle, our MLB oddsMLB Consensus Picks and MLB prop betting tutorials will earn you a triple crown.

NHL (National Hockey League)

Get in on the NHL action with pucklines and scores like you’re Sidney Crosby sniping a childhood drying machine. Our Stanley Cup content is peppered with NHL Props, and our NHL betting sites get more customers than a Tim Hortons drive-thru.

NCAAB (College Basketball)

Don’t worry, we cover college sports too. The month of March is absolute madness as college kids compete in NCAA basketball’s 64-team tournament. With NCAAB Props, game logs and the best college basketball betting sites that even Cinderella approves of herself, our NCAAB bets are broken down better than a blue chip on a campus recruitment visit.

NCAAF (College Football)

If you’ve got the Alabama shakes, hold on tight as our NCAA football resources roll in like a Crimson Tide. Our NCAAF betting futures focus on conference and National Championships, and not what pair of pleated pants Nick Saban will wear next. Bet on Oklahoma sooner at our best college football betting sites online. Odds are, you won’t regret it.

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Sports Betting Options: Bet Types

As you may have noticed while scrolling down the page past our sports wagering news, there are a number of ways in which to place a sports bet.

Moneyline

The moneyline is one of the most popular ways to wager on sports. New, amateur and professional sports bettors use this common betting option because moneylines are one of the easiest ways to make a bet. Simply wager on which sports team you believe will win the game.

Our moneyline betting guide explains the wide range of moneyline bets, how online sportsbooks display moneyline odds, and how moneylines are different from other betting options such as the total or the point spread.

Point Spread

Point spreads are a way for oddsmakers to make matchups between unbalanced teams more balanced by giving points to or taking points away from each team. In point spread betting, the favorite is indicated by a minus (-) sign, and will have a certain number of points taken away from its final score. The underdog is indicated by a plus (+) sign, and will have the same number of points given to its final score.

Totals (OVER/UNDER)

A total, also known as OVER/UNDER betting, is the combined score between both teams in sporting events. The totals number is set by oddsmakers and is determined by how they believe a game’s scoring will ultimately unfold. Sports bettors need to wager on whether the total number of points scored by both teams will go OVER or UNDER the total that was initially set by the bookmaker.

Props

A prop bet, or a proposition bet, is a type of wager that’s based on occurrences or non-occurrences during sports events. Prop betting differs from point spreads, moneylines and totals in that these instances might not affect the overall outcome of a game or the final result of a match.

Prop bets are considered novelty bets because they deal with individual player milestones or team milestones, such as the number of catches a wideout will make in an NFL game, the number of strikeouts an MLB pitcher will record, or the number of assists an NBA player will dish out.

Parlays

Parlay betting allows you to wager on two or more point spreads, OVER/UNDERs or moneyline bets on one ticket. Combine a college basketball point spread with a Major League Baseball moneyline. With accumulators, combo bets or multi wagers, you can earn a higher payout if all of your picks win compared to placing single bets on each one individually. However, if you lose only one wager on your bet slip, your parlay is completely lost as well.

Teasers

Teaser bets, unlike straight wagers, come in an assortment of different sizes depending on which online sports betting sites you wager with. You can tease NFL lines by 6, 6.5 or 7 points or tease NBA lines by 4, 4.5 or 5 points. Teasers give you a lot more coverage and are easier to win compared to parlays, as parlay odds use betting lines that sports wagering sites come up with.

Futures

Futures betting allows you to wager on favorites or long shots within each major sports league to win their respective championships before the regular season ever gets going. Bet on the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, World Series or Stanley Cup champions long in advance of an active season. With futures bets, you can even wager on which athlete will win league MVP.

Live Betting

Live betting, or in-game betting as it’s also referred to, allows you to wager in real time while the game is unfolding live. Online betting sites release live odds (new spreads, moneylines, props and totals) prior to each period, quarter, half, inning and so on. In-play odds disappear quickly. If you see betting odds you like, pounce on them fast before they’re gone.

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Sports Betting Terms

While you may have heard of betting terms such as “fade,” “juice” and “ATS trends,” you may not understand what they mean and how they can help you win your bet. Our alphabetically sorted sports betting glossary covers all the basics and provides proper definitions so you will have an advantage come game day.

More Betting Resources

Learn more about advanced strategies and money management practices that will help preserve your bankroll, understand when the moneyline is a better deal than the point spread, and discover how you can save money by line shopping across multiple sportsbooks.

Legalizing Online Sports Betting

Like many, you’re probably wondering, where is sports betting legal? It's available in dozens of countries around the world, but let's take a closer look at the US, where almost every state has at the very least considered legal sports betting.

Legal and Taking Bets

  • • Arkansas - Physical sportsbooks only
  • • Colorado - Full mobile betting with multiple options
  • • Delaware - Physical sportsbooks only
  • • Illinois - Full mobile betting with multiple options (in-person sign up required)
  • • Indiana - Full mobile betting with multiple options
  • • Iowa - Full mobile betting with multiple options
  • • Michigan - Full mobile betting with multiple options
  • • Mississippi - “In-person online” betting
  • • Montana - “In-person online” betting
  • • Nevada - Full mobile betting with multiple options (in-person sign up required)
  • • New Hampshire - One mobile betting option
  • • New Jersey - Full mobile betting with multiple options
  • • New Mexico - Physical sportsbooks only
  • • New York - Physical sportsbooks only; online launch pending in 2022
  • • North Carolina - Physical sportsbooks only
  • • Oregon - One mobile betting option
  • • Pennsylvania - Full mobile betting with multiple options
  • • Rhode Island - One mobile betting option
  • • Tennessee - Full mobile betting with multiple options
  • • Virginia - Full mobile betting with multiple options
  • • Washington D.C. - Limited mobile betting options
  • • West Virginia - Full mobile betting with multiple options

Pending: Legal but Not Yet Accepting Bets

  • • Arizona - Approved and waiting further action by regulators
  • • Connecticut - Approved and waiting further action by regulators
  • • Florida - Approved and waiting further action by regulators
  • • Louisiana - Approved and waiting further action by regulators
  • • Maryland - Approved and waiting further action by regulators
  • • Nebraska - Approved and waiting further action by regulators
  • • South Dakota - Approved and waiting further action by regulators
  • • Washington - Approved and waiting for first bet
  • • Wisconsin - Waiting on federal approval
  • • Wyoming - Approved and waiting further action by regulators

Possible for 2021 and 2022

  • • Alabama - Action possible in 2022
  • • Georgia - Action possible in 2022
  • • Kansas - Action possible in 2022
  • • Kentucky - Action possible in 2022
  • • Maine - Passed by legislature and waiting on governor’s signature
  • • Massachusetts - Under consideration by legislature
  • • Missouri - Action possible in 2022
  • • North Dakota - Possible tribal action
  • • Ohio - Under consideration by legislature
  • • Vermont - Under consideration by legislature

Beyond 2023 or Never

  • • Alaska - No movement
  • • California - Possible tribal action
  • • Hawaii - No movement
  • • Idaho - No movement
  • • Minnesota - Possible tribal action
  • • Oklahoma - Possible tribal action
  • • South Carolina - Longshots under consideration by legislature
  • • Texas - Action possible in 2023
  • • Utah - No movement

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