How to Bet on Sports in Maryland

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Sports betting is officially legal in the state of Maryland. Here is everything you need to understand about how to place your bet.

What Do You Need to Know About Betting?

Betting is wagering money on the outcome of an event, and in the world of sports today, that event can be just about anything. For example, in a single basketball game you can bet on: who wins the game, how many total points are scored, who wins each quarter and half, which player scores first, the amount of points, rebounds, assists, etc… recorded by every player in the game, and much, much more. You can place a bet on anything you want.

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What Do the Odds Mean?

The odds tell you how likely a certain event is to happen. American or US odds are based on how much you can win if you wager $100. If the odds of an outcome are “+200”, that means you’ll receive $200 on top of a $100 bet if you win. If the odds of an outcome are “-200”, that means you’ll need to wager $200 just to make a $100 profit on winning your bet.

screenshot of odds info ravens vs patriots

The odds here are in green. The Baltimore Ravens (in the top right box) are listed as -165 in their Week 3 matchup against the New England Patriots. That means you need to bet $165 on the Ravens to win to make a $100 profit if they win (you’d get your $165 back plus an additional $100). If you bet $100 on the Patriots who are listed at +140 and they win, you’ll get your $100 back plus an additional $140. This specific type of bet is called the moneyline.

Is Winning a Bet More than Just Getting Lucky?

A lot of gambling is luck. When betting on sports though, skill also plays a role, and you can make informed bets based on analytics and statistics. The odds will reflect what you find in your research of course, but you aren’t going in blind. You can study the tendencies and trends of a team or a player in certain matchups and in specific situations to help you strategize how to place your bets.

What Kind of Bets Can Be Made and How Do They All Work?

Bets come in all shapes and sizes and there is no right or wrong when choosing which type of bet you want to make. The various betting types differ in: what needs to happen for you to win, how risky the odds are, and the subject (a team, player, total score, etc…) you are betting on.

The most common type of bet is the moneyline, as briefly explained above. In any sporting event, the two opposing sides will be given odds written as plus or minus (+ or -), and you simply place your bet on the team you think will win. The higher the number is following the +, the less likely the sportsbook deems that outcome, and therefore the higher the potential payout.

Moneyline betting ranges from extremely risky to extremely safe, depending on where you put your money. If you bet on a team at -500, that’s a pretty safe bet, but you have to put up $500 just to win $100 so you’re risking a lot of money on a likely outcome. If you’re betting on a team at +500, it’s a much riskier bet and far less likely to hit, but you can put down significantly less money in hopes for a big payout.

Here are a few more popular betting types that explain how to bet on sports

  • The Spread
odds slip for spreads betting type

The spread is the first set of boxes here. In every sporting event there is a favorite and an underdog. Here, the Ravens are the favorite, and are expected to win by 3 points, that’s called the spread. If you bet on the Ravens, they have to win and cover the spread of 3 (beat the Patriots by at least 3 points). If you bet on the Patriots, they don’t necessarily need to win, but they need to come within at least 3 points of winning for you to win your bet. The odds in green represent how the money is paid out.

Either way you bet on the spread here, you’ll need to bet $110 to win $100. The oddsmakers try to set the spread number at a mark that will cause bettors to bet evenly on both sides.

  • The Over/Under
odds info over under

Using this graphic one more time, the Over/Under is the middle two boxes. If you think this will be a high scoring game, you bet the over, that means you think the total score of the Ravens/Patriots game will be above 43.5 and if it is, you win. This is another type of bet, like the spread, that’s essentially a coin toss.

  • Futures Bets

A futures bet is betting on an outcome that will happen at the end of the season, like the championship winner or the MVP winner.

screenshot of future bets

These are the current odds available for a futures bet on the 2022-23 NBA champion. Futures bets are inherently risky as a lot can happen between the time you bet and the time the bet wins or loses, but you can get great odds on an unpopular outcome that you strongly believe in like the Knicks winning it all.

  • The Prop Bet

A prop bet is betting on something specific occurring in a game. For example, how many receiving yards a player will have on Monday Night Football.

screen shot of pros bet

These are the receiving props for every player on the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles. The line for A.J. Brown is set at 75.5 yards, and you can bet on him having more or less than that.

  • The Parlay

A parlay is when you bet on two or more outcomes in the same bet. For example:

screen shot of betslip for parlay bets

In this parlay, you’re betting on the Vikings to win, Justin Jefferson and Miles Sanders to score touchdowns, and Kirk Cousins to throw for over 279.5 yards. These are risky bets because you need every event or “leg” in your parlay to happen in order to win the bet. If one leg doesn’t hit, you lose the whole bet.

  • The Round Robin

A round robin is a less risky version of a parlay. Say you want to bet on three games in Week 3 of the NFL season: The Ravens over the Patriots, the Saints over the Panthers, and the Chiefs over the Colts. In a parlay, all three of your picks need to win in order to win the bet, but in a round Robin, you split your picks into three different combinations: Ravens and Saints win, Saints and Chiefs win, and Ravens and Chiefs win. You win money for each one of the mini two leg parlays where both teams win. You have a higher chance of winning in a round robin, but even if all three of your two leg parlays hit, you’d still win less money than if you bet on a single parlay with all three teams winning.

Other types of bets include:

  • Pleasers
  • Teasers
  • Live betting
  • Half/Quarter betting
  • Asian handicaps
  • Straight bets
  • Alternate lines.


How do I place a bet?

If you live in a state where sports betting is legal, like it is now in Maryland, all you need to do is login to any online sportsbook, deposit money, and start filling out a bet slip. When you finish just click “place bet”.

How do I read odds?

US odds are based on how much you can win if you wager $100. If the odds are +200, that means you’ll receive $200 on top of the $100 bet you placed if you win your bet. If the odds are -200, that means you’ll need to bet $200 just win an additional $100

How much money should I bet?

While there’s no “one size fits all” answer to this question, it is important to have a plan for your bankroll. Decide how much money you want to be spending in a certain amount of time and work from there.

What is the best sport to start betting on?

The best sport to bet on is likely the sport you know best and are most familiar. No sport is necessarily easier or harder to bet on, but you’re far more likely to know what you’re doing if you follow the sport closely and are up to date on trends and news

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