Introduction to Betting: Part 1

Twitter: @GGirlSports. 

Welcome to Ballislife Bets! If it’s your first-time sports betting or need some tips, you’ve come to the right place. Here we offer the best tips, tricks, and betting advice for every level of bettor. Our goal is to provide you with accurate information about betting types, and how to bet, so you can get your best experience and return. We will feature several articles about the basic information of betting so you can get started with confidence.

Sports betting has taken off since the legalization in 2018. In addition, it’s not legal in all 50 states, and some states have different age requirements. If you’re unsure of the requirements, make sure to investigate your states betting age law and limitations. It’s also important to use and recognize legal sports books when making a bet.

Here at Ballislife, we mainly use Draft Kings, however, There are other sportsbooks to use. 

States that allow legal online sports betting:

More in-depth legal sports betting Information can be seen here

New Hampshire
New Jersey 
New York 
Rhode Island 
West Virginia 

Starting advice

We had the chance to interview a few professional sports bettors and asked them their tips and tricks when getting into the hobby of betting.  Chelly, a Content Creator for Bookit Sports sat down with us with some advice. "My number one advice when it comes to betting would be to try and get involved some sort of positive-minded community. Finding a group of people to surround yourself in such an often-negative space is much better for you mentally and you will often see the results in your bets." Having positive and knowledgeable mentors is key when it comes to betting. Click here to follow Chelly, who bets daily.

Finding the right Sports book

As mentioned before, we provided a list of our top sports books, however, that does not mean you need to use those exact ones. There are over 20 legal United States sports books, and not everyone is legal in your state. We highly recommend you do the research to find which sports books are legal, and the ones that you are most comfortable with. For example, Draft Kings has bonuses and existing player promotions daily, and offer different types of bets compared to other books. This includes odds boosts, missions and more. In addition, they offer VIP and dynasty awardsIdentifying the right book and knowing how to deposit funds are the two most important steps. It’s also important to learn how each sports book app works and to learn the interface before making any bets.

Examples of some legal sports books in the United States include Draft Kings, Fan Duel, Points Bet, Bet MGM, Caesars Sports Book, Bet Rivers, Unibet, and WynnBet. Again, it’s important to make sure you’re wagering your money with a LEGAL book.

As far as the promotions go, some books will give you a reward just for signing up.  Additionally, it’s up to the customer to review the terms and conditions of the app. For example, Draft Kings offers $200 in bonus bets if you place a bet of $ or more on any game. Often, there will be requirements for these bets, age requirements, expiration dates, and are only legal in certain states.

What do the Odds mean?

If you’re new to betting, you will notice various lines next to a player or team names. For example, you may see Dallas Wings -165 or the Atlanta Dream +140. If you’re feeling a little confused, don’t worry. It’s important to distinguish the meaning of these numbers before diving into the types of bets you can make. Although there are different formats of odds, we will stick to American odds for now.

According to Draft Kings, odds are how likely an event or outcome is to happen. In addition, they show you how much money you can win from a wager. Here is how we rate the books .

Here is an exact example from DraftKings sports book

Anything that says negative before the number sign always means the outcome is favored. In this case, you have to bet more to win more.  Whenever there is a plus or positive sign in front of a number, it means the outcome is not favored.  If there is a plus sign, it means the risk is greater when you place your wager, although the payout could be significantly higher. It’s important to note your units placed on bets is completely up to the individual, although there are maximum bet laws in the states. We will discuss the word “Units” in the next few sections.

Although we won’t get too much into the types of bets, you can live bet during an event or game. As the game continues and progresses the odds will move in favor of the winning team. However, this can continuously change. In the Dream and Wings example, the Dallas Wings-180 simply means they are the favored team in the game the moment you bet. However, this line isn’t set, and can move days before an event, and during an event.

What causes the lines (odds) to move or change?

Aside from live betting, the odds and lines usually change before an event. The factors that would change the odds include weather conditions, player injuries, how many people are betting on that subject, and so forth. It’s important to pay attention to these factors when making a particular wager.

Shopping around for the best odds

We briefly talked about the legal sports books in the United States, and which ones we recommend for you to use. It will be up to you to shop the NBA odds lines. Let’s talk about the Atlanta Dream and the Dallas Wings game again. The Dream odds to win may be higher in another Sports Book. For example, the odds for Atlanta could be +140 on DraftKings, and +170 on FanDuels sportsbook.  Third parties’ apps, such as PIKKIT Sports are convenient apps where you can shop lines.  Shopping for the best bets may be time consuming, however, it can maximize your profits in the end.

Bank Roll Management

Sports Bettors are simply known as “Cappers” in the sports betting world. Most cappers would recommend that you bet responsibility, and don’t wager on bets with money you can’t afford to lose. Bank Roll Management is extremely important when it comes to sports betting. It can lead to a more profitable gain in the long run, and there are strategies that can help grow your bankroll.

Engaging in sports betting can either be a long term or short-term investment, along with a loss. The return on investment can be quite large in the betting world, however you must consider what you can afford to lose. For some sports betting is a hobby, and for many it’s an investment. The occasional bettor may make one wager for their lifetime, and others may wager regularly in hopes of a profit return.

Bank Roll management is an important concept that must be understood before investing in sports betting. How much you deposit into your sports book can be weekly, monthly, yearly, and so on.  If you set aside $1000 for your bank role management in betting, it can be lost very quickly, or you can get a decent sized ROI (Return on Investment). As you bet responsibly, it’s possible to grow your bank roll management, and protect it.

What does a unit mean?

Now that we discussed bank role management, it’s important to understand the meaning of a ‘unit.’ Once you determine your bank role, it’s important to note how much of your bank role you want to wager on a bet. According to Forbes, professionals’ advice bettors to bet 1 % to 2 % of your overall bankroll, 2 % leaning towards experienced bettors.

For example, let’s say you put $1000 in your bankroll on any given sports book. If you go to make a bet on a particular team, 1 % of the bet would be 10 dollars, which would be less of a risk. Another words, you are putting '1 Unit down on a particular bet.'  If you were to put down 2 % of your $1000, that would be a riskier bet of $20. That 20 dollars would also be known as “2 units put down on a bet.”

What is a bet slip?

A Bet Slip is going to show what you are wagering, how much, and how much return you would get. For example, on Draft Kings, it typically is a white colored slip with a green symbol that states “bet slip.” The Betting Slip refers to the actual place where you build and make a bet. 

Here, is an example of a bet slip. A $10 wager on +140 would make you $14 dollars in profit.

As the odds are higher, you MAY have a greater return in profit.  At +140 odds, if you risk $100, depending on your bankroll, there is a chance for a GREAT return. If the Dream win here, the return would be $140.

Stay tuned for more Betting Advice and information, Click here for more NBA betting strategies.

For More NBA Betting Info & Game Predictions, Follow us at @BallislifeBets.

Sara Jane is a full-time content creator, focusing on both college basketball, the NBA, NFL, and writer of Don’t forget to follow her on Twitter/YouTube/Kick/Twitch/Instagram: @GGirlSports.


The National Council on Problem Gambling operates the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network. The network is a single national access point to local resources for those seeking help for a gambling problem. The network consists of 28 contact centers that provide resources and referrals for all 50 states and US territories. Help is available 24/7 and is 100% confidential.


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