Introduction to Sports Betting

Sports betting has taken the United States by storm. Up until May 14, 2018, you basically had to go to Nevada in order to bet legally. When the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) by a landmark 6-3 decision, the floodgates opened.

Sports leagues are on board. Legislators and lawmakers are on board. Nearly half of the 50 states have some form of legal sports betting. Most even take wagers online or through mobile apps. All of the developments of the last few years would have been simply unheard of before the Supreme Court struck down PASPA.

Because of the increased visibility of wagering on games and events, it has led a lot of people to wonder, “What is sports betting?” No, not the basic act of risking money on the outcomes of a sporting event, but what actually goes into the process of sports betting? Who can bet on sports? How can you bet on sports? What is “the spread”? What is a “money line”?

Sports betting has a language all its own. Those that have been around the business for a long time rattle off the lingo and talk about odds and bet types and all of the technical elements of the industry.

For those who are just dipping a toe into the sports betting pool or those who are just jumping in with no regard for the temperature of the water, it can be overwhelming. The learning curve can be quite steep. The number of options may be surprising. Mastering the basics is a vital step of the process. Going from Handicapping 101 to Handicapping 201, 301, 401, etc. may take some time and it may take some a lot longer than others.

Don’t be discouraged. Be a sponge. Soak up all of the information that you can. Ask questions. Most people that have been in and around the business for a long time are willing to take the time to help novice and newbie bettors learn and improve.

With our Introduction to Sports Betting page, we’ll highlight a variety of different topics and also provide links to read about those in more detail. Our primary goal at is to be a resource for everybody, from the rookie bettor and the weekend warrior to the seasoned bettor looking for different perspectives.

If you have additional questions, don’t be afraid to reach out, but also don’t be afraid to go down the rabbit hole about sports betting. The more you find out, the better your chances are of having success.

Caesars Pick

First Bet

Up To $1,250 On Caesars
Claim Bonus
BetMGM Pick

First Bet Offer

Get Up To $1000 Back In Bonus Bets
Claim Bonus
DraftKings Pick

Odds Boost

Bet $5 Get $150 In Bonus Bets

Claim Bonus
FanDuel Pick

Bet & Get

Bet $20, Get $200 Instantly
Claim Bonus
BetRivers Pick

2nd Chance Bet

Second Chance Bet Up To $500
Claim Bonus

First Bet Promo

Up To $500 First Bet
Claim Bonus

In the United States, most states require that you are 21 years of age. You must be physically located in an approved jurisdiction in order to legally bet on sports. As long as you are able to provide the basic personal information at sign up that will allow the sportsbook to verify your identity, you can sign up and start betting.

We cover the industry from a lot of angles, including Legal US Sports Betting News, and sportsbook review pages. The sportsbook review pages will explain the states that offer that particular sportsbook and information on how to sign up, claim a deposit bonus, and begin betting.

At the time of this writing, the states and districts accepting legal sports bets were:

Other states that could be coming soon include:

There are some basic betting terms that every bettor needs to understand. Whether you are presenting your bets to a representative at the counter or at a betting window, or are simply chatting with friends, colleagues, family, other associates about sports betting, these are the most common words and phrases in sports betting.

Once you get into the habit of using these terms and get accustomed to seeing the odds presented and talked about in this manner, it will become second nature for you. Resources like ATS are going to be extremely beneficial as you progress as a bettor and as a handicapper. We’re happy to teach you the basics and to help with the more advanced concepts as well.

Betting on sports can be a lot of fun and can also be profitable, so long as you have an idea of what you are doing and can take advantage of the opportunities that presented by the fact that the oddsmakers have to put a line up on every single game.

You don’t have to bet every game, but they have to balance risk and consider a lot of different factors for every game. That means that they aren’t going to be right all of the time. If you can utilize these different bet types and find some edges, you can be a successful sports bettor.