Sports 101: The Ultimate SpamandCheese Sports Betting Guide

To some, sports betting is a very challenging hobby but if you do it right, it can prove to be extremely rewarding. In our ultimate sports betting guide, you are going to find a number of golden rules with which you are going to enhance your overall betting experience – and earn some profit in the process. If you avoid some of the common mistakes, it’s possible for you to get results swiftly without losing any of the thrill and excitement of sports betting.

Since every sport offered online has different betting options, we’ve decided to compile a summary of each section. This way you can discover how to appropriately place your bet and increase the odds of winning. Because, after all, that’s all we want at SpamandCheese…

Whether it’s the World Cup, Premier League, Champions League, a Tennis Match, An Exciting Darts Match, or a Race, we have you covered with this guide. Here’s what you should expect from this guide:

  1. Popular sports to bet on
  2. Betting odds explained
  3. The markets that can you bet on
  4. How much do you need to know before you start to bet?
  5. How to start betting
  6. Explaining your bet slip
  7. Mistakes that you should avoid when betting

1. Popular Sports To Bet On

Online gambling and betting has grown to become one of the most popular activities that people engage themselves in to pass time. Sports betting in particular owes its continuous growth to the numerous sporting activities that are available on a daily basis. Betting on these sporting activities can be very thrilling, right down to the last second and this perhaps why we enjoy betting on sports. But with hundreds of sporting events, how can one know which one is the best?

Below are some of the most popular sports that people bet on. You can choose to bet on any one of them.

  • Football: Given its global appeal, it therefore comes as no surprise that football is the largest sporting event in terms of bet volume at the different bookmakers. In the UK you have the English Premier League; in Holland the Eredivisie; in Spain the Primera Division; in Italy the Serie A and in Germany the Bundesliga. All these competitions are very popular with punters across the world.

In addition to these top competitions, bets are also placed on international competitions such as the Champions League, Europa League and the world cup.

  • Tennis: During the famous Grand Slam tournaments, everyone including sports bettors and tennis fans, usually have their eyes glued to tennis. The US Open, the French Open, the Australian Open and Wimbledon are some of the very popular competitions among punters globally. Within the game itself, there are plenty of markets to choose from, making this sport one of the most sought after!
  • Formula 1: Watching every Grand Prix on its own is just thrilling to watch, but once you have come cash on a driver, the levels of adrenaline might just rise to abnormal levels. And that’s what we like about sports betting…the adrenaline rush! Formula 1 also has a number of markets to choose from besides which driver will automatically win the event.
  • Basketball: This is also a very popular sport that you can bet on and it applies to both European competitions and the ever popular NBA tournament in the US. Basketball usually has more than 8 markets to choose from.
  • Horse Racing: Traditionally, horse racing has always been one of the most popular sports to bet on more especially with the Brits, the Irish and Australians. This is perhaps because of the number of competitions that are found in these countries.

2. Betting Odds Explained

Betting odds are usually used by the bookie to determine the likelihood of an outcome in the sporting event. Bettors can use the odds quoted to determine the probability of a given outcome happening in any sporting event. It also helps you determine the expected return on your bet should your predicted outcome come to pass.

Before going deep into betting odds, below are some of the key terms that you have to familiarize yourself with.

  • Odds: This is the ‘price’ that you’ll agree to stake your bet at
  • Stake: It’s the amount that you decide to put in line as your bet
  • Payout: It’s the expected return on your bet should your prediction come to pass

Types of Betting Odds

There are three types of betting odds online. They include:

Fraction Odds: Anytime you see two numbers on a bookmaker separated by a slash, i.e. 5/2, this is a fractional odd. The number 2 represents the unit stake that you are betting in, while the number on the left represents the potential return per stake i.e., you bet £2 and if your predicted outcome comes to pass, you win £5. The total return on this bet will therefore be £7.

The probability of a 5/2 chance winning is 14%; based on the calculation 1/(5+2) = 0.14

Decimal Odds: They are the most popular alternative to the fractional odds and I personally prefer using them because they are straight forward to calculate. 5.0, 2.7, 6.7, 1.30 are just some examples of decimal odds.

If you place a £10 bet at odds of 2.7, your expected return should be £27, inclusive of stake. This means your profit is going to be £17.

The probability of a 2.7 chance winning is 12.7%; based on the calculation 1/(2.7 + 10) = 0.127%

American Odds: The American odds normally have a negative or positive sign to show the probability of a particular event happening. A positive number is used to indicate a long price while a negative number is used to indicate a short price. This could be +500 or – 300, for instance. When calculating American odds, you’ll be using £100 as the baseline figure. For instance:

  • – 300 means you are going to need a £300 bet in order to win £100. Should you win, then you’ll receive £400 (£300 stake plus the £100 winnings)
  • + 500 means that you are going to need a £100 bet in order to win £500. Should you win, you’ll receive £600 (£100 stake plus £500 winnings)

How are these odds determined?

If you randomly visit a bookmaker and look at the different beet options, you’ll see that there are notations made on each game. For example, in football, there’s the (1) for the home team to win, (x) for a draw and (2) for the away team to win.

There’s usually a thorough assessment made for the team that has the highest chance of winning beforehand. This team will be assigned the least odds. The team with the least chance of winning will be assigned the lowest odds.

These odds are generated from a combinations of factors including historical facts, complicated calculations and the explosive sports market itself. There’s no simple formula to determine the outcome, but one that uses very sophisticated computer systems and specially designed algorithms.

Usually, odds can change even a minute before the start of a game because of unforeseen circumstances!

3. Which markets can you bet on?

Markets is simply a word that’s used to refer to the ‘elements’ that you can bet on the sporting events. Different sporting events offer different markets for you to bet on. Basketball, for instance, can’t be compared to Tennis. Similarly, even though American Football share a name with Football, you cannot compare the markets that they have.

For the savvy bettors, they all know that betting is much more than picking up a winner. There are a wide range of bets to choose from ranging from bets on how each player will perform, the results, cards, goals, points and other special circumstances. And this is a great site that compares different bookies and all the sports and leagues you can bet on.

Below are just some of the few popular examples that you can choose to bet on:

  • Football: You can put your money on the winning team; the number of goals to be scored in a match; the number of cards to be given in a match; which player will be sent off; who will be leading at half time; which player will score a goal; number of goals a team will score; which team will win a given half among many other markets.
  • Tennis: Predict who will win at the prestigious events. You can also choose to predict the ultimate finalist and the number of sets that will be played. Some bookies are very innovative and even give you the option on whether or not a streaker will interrupt the match.
  • Formula 1: Who is going to be in the race? Who will win the first round? Who will come in the seventh position? Again innovative bets allow you to bet on the total number of times the so-called safety cars will have to ride out
  • Basketball: Most people are well versed with the NBA tournament but forget that there’s also the Euroleague and Eurocup competitions. With all these competitions, you can predict the winner of a match and how many points they’ll clinch the win with. Also, predict on whether the final score will be uneven or even.

4. How much do you need to know before you start betting?

Every sport has its unique rules and betting systems. There are cases where you’ll only have a handful of betting options such as ‘losing’ or ‘winning’. But there are usually so many sports bets which will make it even more interesting. This is the reason why you should ensure that you are familiar with all the rules of the sport that you want to try your luck on before starting to bet.

Basketball for instance has the so called ‘spread’ betting, or a spreading of points between the two teams playing, which they must achieve by the end of the match for you to win. Tennis is usually played in sets, while a seven aside rugby match will have only two periods. As for a tennis match, you could choose to bet, for instance, on the player that will win the second set, and for a football match you could choose to bet on the team that will win the second set.

In other words, I’m saying you need to conduct a thorough research. This should help you know which individual can make a difference in the match, or rather what can make the difference in the sporting event and thus the bet you’ll be placing.

5. How do you start betting?

If you are new to betting, the steps below should help you through the simple and straight forward process should you get you through the process of placing your first bet.

Accessing Your Account

  • You cannot access an account that you don’t have in the first place. That’s why you need to create one at any one of the respectable online bookmakers. There are hundreds of websites out there so it’s crucial that you choose one that already has a stellar reputation for delivering safe and secure services; has a valid license and has a history of making payments within the shortest time.
  • As part of the registration process, you are going to be prompted to provide your personal information, choose a password for your account and confirm your email address. It’s important to again ensure that you provide accurate information because the site will always ask for it from time to time due to security reasons.
  • Once you have an account, you can choose from the numerous payment option to make your initial deposit in order to receive your welcome bonus. Top bookmakers will have subsequent promotions for you depending on the country or region that you come from. Brits and Irish punters are always in luck because they tend to have plenty of option to pick from.

Picking Your Initial Bet

You might be very excited or nervy as you place your first bet. I remember my first time placing a bet on Bet365 was an exciting affair. In fact, thanks to one of the very many tipsters found on Twitter, I literally placed a bet within a minute.

We also want it to be very easy for you and that’s why you have to pay extra attention to this section. Otherwise, you might just end up losing all your money.

There are two ways you can place a bet:

  1. Pre-match: This method allows you to place your bet before the start of an even. That’s why it’s referred to as the pre-match. In football, for example, there are more than 100 pre-match markets to choose from
  1. In-play betting: The other word used for in-play betting is live betting. Unlike the pre-match bets, you have fewer markets to choose from – usually ranging from 80 up to 120 for top flight leagues – and only a handful for the lower leagues.

In-play betting, you’ll be placing bets as the event continues. It has odds shifting depends on how the event proceeds. For instance, if before the start of the match Arsenal have odds of 2.70 to beat Chelsea and at half time they are trailing a goal behind, then the odds of Arsenal to win will be slightly higher – say at 10.00. If they manage to equalize before the 50th minute, the odds will drop to say 3.40.

Therefore, what in-play betting helps you to do is get the best value of odds from a bookmaker. Any experienced bettor will tell this is the way to go if you want to make a profit from betting.


In the middle of the screen, you are going to be presented with the list of all the available bets that you can make. You can also click on the in-play section to see which events are already taking place. The odds will be listed next to the events for you to choose.

Once you’ve found your desired bet, just click on your selection to add it to your bet slip. You can place a single bet or an accumulator bet (many bets under one bet slip), and once you are done with your selection, enter the amount you wish to wager and click on the bet section to send your bet. Wait for the outcome.

6. Explaining Your Bet Slip

The bet slip is the region or section on the screen where you get to see all your bets. It shows you the teams or sports that you have chosen as well as the amount that you have wagered and what you should expect should your predictions come to pass.

However, there are other additions on the bet slip that you have to understand. They include:

  • Cash Out Feature – Usually located on the slip and lets you cash out from the bet before the event ends. This should enable you evade running into a loss or enable you to lock in a profit before the end of the event. However, not all markets or sporting events have the cash out feature. Those that have it will be indicated before the start of the event
  • Auto-cash out – Again, this one lets you lock in a profit or evade a loss before the end of the event. However, the auto cashout feature should let you set your cash out amount, go on your duties and if the amount set is reached, the cash out will automatically be processed by the bookmaker.