A sports betting strategy should be based on your own financial situation, risk tolerance and betting style. It is important to remember that even a “sure bet” can go sideways, so you should never bet more than you can afford to lose.
It’s important to block out media hype when making a sports bet. This includes TV shows, radio stations and web sites that are focused on covering sports. These outlets are in the business of ratings and the loudest, most controversial opinions tend to generate the most attention. This can skew public perception of games and the outcomes of sports bets.
Sportsbooks are aware of this and are often able to predict the direction of public sentiment. They will adjust their lines to reflect this by slanting them toward the more popular team or outcome. In the case of football, this means a team that is favored to win a game has higher odds than one that is considered an underdog.
The favored team will often have better players, more experience and/or better coaching than their opponents. They also typically have a track record of success that suggests they are more likely to win than their opponents. The underdog, on the other hand, may have inferior players and/or less experience, or their track record of success is more negative than that of the favored team.
Another common type of bet is the over/under, which involves predicting whether the total number of points scored in a game will be above or below a line that the sportsbook sets. The over/under is often set prior to the season and will get adjusted throughout the year as teams perform.