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Sports betting is a multi-billion dollar business that has been around for centuries. In the USA, there are just a few states that allow you to wager on sports. The 2 meccas of sports wagering are Atlantic City and Las Vegas, where people travel all over the world to gamble on sports.

To a select few, sports betting can be a lucrative career. Depending on their bankroll, professional betters can make more than 6 figures a year. Unfortunately, for every 10,000 sports betters there is a professional better. Most of these gamblers are just sports fans betting on their favourite teams or with the swing of the betting lines. This is where things can get fishy.

The one thing every sports gambler should realize is that the sports book will always come out on top. Even when you win, they win money from somebody else. There is a specific method that they use to ensure this; otherwise, they would not have made it in the business world this long.

Depending on the sport, the favoured team to win will have a higher line than the opposing team, for example; New York Yankees -200 vs. Washington Nationals +150. The Yankees’ line is so high because they have a higher winning percentage for the season, the National’s best pitcher may be hurt, or a plethora of other reasons. This will lead the masses to place their money on the Yankees. In doing so, they are only wagering $2 to win $1. On the other hand, if you were to place your wager on the Nationals, you would be wagering $1 to win $1.50.

The sports books make the majority of their money on the underdogs, or the teas that are favoured to lose. This is because so many people place heavy wagers on the favourites and end up losing more money than the sports books have to pay off to the people who bet on the underdog.

Another factor is that throughout the day, the lines will consistently change. They will move up or down sometimes up until 5 minutes before the beginning of the game. The way these lines move depends on how the population places their wagers. Take into consideration the example from before. If the Yankees line opened up at -200, but more and more people began placing their money on the Nationals, the Yankee’s line would begin to decrease to even out their odds of attaining a profit.

At the end of the day, even two completely evenly matched teams will provide the sports books with profits. Evenly matched teams would both have lines of -105 or -110, meaning you are wagering $1.10 or $1.05 to win $1.00. Either way, the sports book will see profits every single day.

One of the most important rules sports books have to keep from losing money is setting a limit on how much you can bet. Few casinos allow wagers in excess of several thousand dollars. This is to insure that just in case there is a string of consecutive high rollers wagering on underdogs that the casino will not lose too much money.

The moral of the story is, even when you feel that you are picking a winning sports team when you choose to bet, don’t make a habit of it because you will lose in the end if you do not truly understand both the sport and how the sports book works.

This Guest Post was written by Nisha for (US players can play for fun).