How to Place Sports Bets at a Sportsbook


A sportsbook is a gambling establishment that accepts bets on various sporting events. In the United States, the legality of a sportsbook depends on the state in which you live. For example, Nevada and Oregon allow sports betting while Utah and Hawaii outlaw it. Many online sportsbooks also allow bets on non-sporting events such as politics and fantasy sports. Typically, you’ll be required to verify your location to make sure you’re not in one of the restricted states.

When making bets on a sports event, it’s important to shop around and find the best lines. Sportsbooks are free to set their odds as they see fit, so some will offer better lines than others. For example, the Chicago Cubs may be -180 at one book while they are -190 at another. The difference in the odds might only be a few cents, but it will add up over time.

Aside from determining which team will win, you can also place wagers on the total score of a game or the individual player’s performance in a particular competition. These bets are known as “over/under” bets, and they involve predicting whether the two competing teams will combine for more (Over) or fewer (Under) runs/goals/points than the number posted by the sportsbook. It’s a good idea to learn about different odds and payout calculations before placing a bet, as this can help you to choose the right bet for your budget. Most online sportsbooks will provide a list of available bets and their current payout amounts.