How to Bet on Sports Like a Pro

friends cheering watching soccer

Kicking things off with an important disclaimer - this is not an instruction book for making a mint at the bookmakers. Instead, we’ve put together a brief, informative and important guide on how to bet online in NJ like a pro - safely, sensibly and responsibly.

With online sports betting in NJ having recently been legalized, operators across the state have experienced an influx of interest. Much of which comes from those with no prior knowledge or experience with legal online betting in NJ.

In this guide, we’ll be covering the basics of sports betting from a newcomer’s perspective. Read on for all the info you’ll need to make the most of every wager you place online.

Sports Betting: A Different Kind of Gambling

Every sports betting activity qualifies as gambling. However, sports betting is an entirely different kind of gambling to traditional casino gambling, for example.

Think of it this way - each time you place a bet in a casino, the odds of any given outcome are fixed. If you bet on red, there’s nothing you can do to accurately predict whether the ball will land on a red or black square. All the research in the world making no difference whatsoever.

By contrast, sports betting puts additional power in punters’ hands. The better you get to know any specific team, sport or event, the easier it becomes to predict any given outcome. There’s still a level of risk involved - hence you’re ‘gambling’ with your money. Nevertheless, it’s entirely possible to tip the balance in your favor by making safe and informed decisions.

The outcome of any given casino game is always random - the outcome of a sporting event can often be easy to predict.

Nevertheless, it’s surprisingly common for sports betting fans to place wagers completely at random. In which case, you’re gambling your money on the roll of a dice, rather than on the basis of logic and reason.

Making Sense of Betting Markets

Getting started with online sports betting in NJ means first making sense of the various betting markets available. For the record, ‘betting markets’ simply refers to the various sports, events and ‘things’ you can bet money on.

Examples of the most popular betting markets in NJ right now include Soccer, Basketball, Tennis, Bowls, Boxing, Football, Rugby, Cricket, Futsal, Golf, Hockey, MMA, Snooker, Squash, Table Tennis and Water Polo. It’s also possible to place wagers on non-sporting events and happenings, including political elections, TV shows and even the Oscars.

As a rule of thumb, it’s advisable to stick to the sports and markets you understand and enjoy. This way, you’re far more likely to make safe and informed decisions. But this doesn’t mean it isn’t worth spicing things up from time to time with something a little different. When choosing a legal online bookmaker in NJ, go for those that cover an extensive and diverse range of betting markets.

Odds and Margins

With odds and margins, it’s simply a case of ensuring you get the best possible value for money. The more competitive the odds, the more you stand to win if your wagers are successful. Likewise, the more competitive the margins, the bigger the prize you’re paid if things go your way.

Hence, comparing online bookmakers in NJ to find the best possible odds and margins is important. You’ll find the independent listings helpful in choosing a quality legal NJ online betting site to do business with.

Actually making sense of the odds as they’re published isn’t quite as difficult as it seems. Odds are indicated in different ways in the United Kingdom and Europe, but the only odds you need to worry about in NJ are American odds.

Also referred to as ‘lines’ or ‘money odds’, American odds are preceded with a “+” or a “-“. Positive odds begin with a plus sign, which indicates how much money you will win with a successful state of 100 units of currency. Negative odds begin with a minus sign and indicate how much you will need to wager to win 100 units of currency.

In a working example, UK odds of 4/1 indicate that if you were to bet 100 and win, you’d pocket 400. In the US, the odds would be indicated as +400.

If the odds stated were -400, this would mean you’d need to put 400 on the line to win 100, if your wager was successful.

Once you’ve placed even a handful of wagers (successfully or otherwise), the whole thing becomes easy to read and interpret at a glance.

Popular Types of Sports Bets

Starting out, you don’t need an encyclopedic knowledge of the different types of sports bets. Nevertheless, every wager you place will fall into one of the primary sport bets categories.

The most popular of which being as follows:

Straight Bets

This is the most basic type of wager you can place on an event or outcome, in which you bet whether any given team or competitor will win or lose. In the event of a tie, no money is won or lost.

Total Line Bets

An exciting and enjoyable variation, in which you bet on the total number of points that will be scored by both teams during the course of the game. You decide whether the total tally will be under or over a set number to win.

Parlay Bets

A parlay bet refers to the grouping together of multiple wagers into a single unified bet - aka a parlay. You can combine anything up to 12 different sports and predictions/wagers into one parlay, which must all be successful to win a generous cash prize.

Head-to-Head Bets

This is where a wager is placed on the result of an event between just two specific competitors, popular across a variety of sports including professional golf and motor racing.

Special Bets

Many bookmakers are also willing to accommodate requests for special bets, which may include who scores the first goal, which player is penalised first, within which quarter of the game a certain points total is reached and so on.

How to Bet Online in NJ

Once again, we can’t tell you how to bet online in NJ and win every time. If we could, the entire sports betting industry would go bankrupt overnight.

However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot and will not benefit from a handful of helpful tips for enjoyable and safe online betting in NJ. The most important of which being as follows:

  1. Beware ‘golden’ tips from unknown sources
  2. Try to set achievable objectives
  3. Establish a budget and stick with it
  4. Do the necessary research and legwork
  5. Avoid outside bets where possible
  6. Shop around for the best odds and margins
  7. Keep detailed records of your betting
  8. Never, ever attempt to chase losses
  9. Don’t gamble under the influence of alcohol
  10. Always trust your instincts


Above all else, keep your online sports betting in NJ casual and enjoyable. As said by leading gambling charities worldwide - when the fun stops, it’s time to stop!

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