Reading betting lines, predicting futures, and every bet in between is actually pretty easy once you get the hang of it. If you're already an avid Arizona online sportsbook fan, you'll likely find the betting part to be exhilarating. Let's get into the hows, whats, and wheres. By the time you finish this guide on how to bet on sports in Arizona, you'll be ready to dive into the real money action.
How Do I Place a Bet on Sports Games in Arizona?
When you are betting on your favorite sports games you will be placing wagers on the predicted outcomes of sporting events where the potential payout is determined by a set of fixed-odds created by different operators in Arizona. You can either win, lose or push individual bets based on the outcome of the game. A push is when the bet neither wins nor loses. There are hundreds of different bets for the dozens of different betting markets available, so understanding what you're looking at is the most important part of the process.
How to Read Betting Lines
Reading betting lines such as the point spread or total and the odds can be overwhelming. No matter what you're betting on in sports, every wager will have odds attached to it. If a bet is likely to happen, those odds can be as low as -10000, or if something would be a massive upset, odds can be as high as +3000. For most betting options, typical odds for standard lines fall in the -125 to +110 range. No matter what bet you plan to make, always understand the potential payout before placing it.
The plus in front of the number means that the team is the underdog. Odds of +200 mean you must bet $100 to win $200 or $50 to win $100 and so on. A negative number means that team is the favorite. Odds of -200 mean you have to bet $200 to win $100 or $20 to win $10. The amount of your potential winnings is always shown on the betslip in your online sportsbook.
With the exceptions of promotions that often limit a max bet, there aren't too many limitations on how much you can wager on a single event. What is important, however, is understanding what you're betting as it pertains to your bankroll. Responsible gaming is a duty for all Arizona operators and there are copious resources available to make sure you aren't wagering too much money too often. If you want your bankroll to last the entire Arizona football betting season, don't bet it all in Week 1.
The Operator You Choose Does Matter
Even though you might be learning how to bet on sports in Arizona, you want a great experience. This starts with choosing the right operator. Once you are ready to test your knowledge, you should review each one of the sportsbooks and new sports betting apps in Arizona. Each one of our reviews will provide you with everything you need to know to get started, including the welcome bonuses like the BetMGM AZ bonus code or the Caesars sportsbook Arizona promo. Both these operators are a great place to begin.
Some operators have better customer service while others provide better odds for local teams. Some are more likely to hand out bonus bets, while others have a more lucrative sign-up bonus for big spenders. Do your research, test out multiple sites, find the best Arizona sportsbook promo codes and find the one that works best for you. Remember, there is no perfect bookmaker, but there is at least one favorite for every bettor.
Know What Bets You Can Make
You will always have a myriad of betting options in any given market. While there are dozens of different bets to place on any given game we'll go over the most popular ones, what each bet entails and how to most effectively bet on each.
Moneyline A moneyline bet on an AZ game will certainly be the most popular choice for beginners. This bet is one in which a bettor places a wager on the favorite or underdog he or she believes will win a match or game outright. For example, if the Phoenix Suns were -200 favorites against the +160 underdog Lakers, a $200 bet on the Suns to win would yield $100. Similarly, a $100 bet on the Lakers would yield a $160 profit.
Live Betting Live betting are wagers made in real-time during a matchup. Every Arizona operator will update point spreads, totals and moneylines for both teams based on what has happened in the game up to that point. This means bettors are able to place wagers from the beginning until the final seconds of most games. You'll need to be quick, though, as these odds update as quickly as every few seconds.
Parlays A parlay is a combination of two or more games or wagers that are linked together to form one single bet with higher odds. The caveat is that all legs of the parlay must-win for the parlay to be considered successful. For example, a bettor could parlay three -200 moneyline bets to create a parlay with +237 odds, thus paying out $237 on a $100 bet. But the bet is only successful if all three teams win. In general, parlay bets in Arizona will be considered a fun bet over a serious bet.
Over/Unders (Or Totals) To make an over-under bet in Arizona, also known as betting the total, you will need to decide on whether the total points scored of both teams combined will be over or under the number set by oddsmakers. For example, if the Cardinals are playing the Packers and the total is set at 47.5, a bet on the over means you believe the two teams will combine to score 48 or more points. Betting the under means you believe the two teams will score 47 or fewer points.
Point Spreads A point spread is used by bookmakers to even the odds between two teams in a particular matchup. Every game has a favorite and an underdog, and each team is given several points taken (the favorite) or given (the underdog) from their final total at the end of the game to determine the winner. For example, if the Suns are -4.5 against the Grizzlies, they must win by five or more points to cover the spread. Similarly, the Grizzlies at +4.5 could lose by four or fewer points and win the bet despite losing the outright game.
Futures Futures are bets with an eye toward the future. Examples of these bets are winners of individual awards such as the MVP or Defensive Player of the Year or team awards like league champion, conference winner or division winner. These wagers are gaining popularity because there's real value early in the season before some of the individual and team races become clear.
Prop Bets While the majority of bets will be made on teams and final scores, placing an Arizona prop bet will give bettors the chance to bet on a specific player or team outcome. Examples of proposition bets include how many points a player will score in an NBA game, will a running back to rush for over or under a specific number of yards or boxing odds on which round a fight will end. There are also team props such as a baseball team scoring over or under a specific number of runs.
Sports to Place Your First Bets On
Now that you are learning how to bet in Arizona, you'll want to take a moment to consider the sports that will be available for betting. The most popular operators will have dozens of betting markets to choose from on their websites and mobile apps. However, most new bettors aren't as interested in cycling, darts and bowling. Nothing wrong with those sports, but they are not for the average bettor. The following are the most popular options; rest assured, they will be available at all of the Arizona betting sites:
It doesn't get more popular in the United States than the NFL, which owns Sundays and Monday nights in the fall and winter. Nationally-televised games and an increasing number of streaming options have only exploded the league's popularity and, subsequently, its betting landscape. Point spreads, totals, and futures bets like Super Bowl winner and league MVP are the most popular forms of wagers, but bettors will also put together parlays given that most games are played on Sundays. It's tough to go wrong with any Arizona NFL betting. Its certainly worth noting that you can place a bet on Thursday Night Football games, as well as the NFL MVP. Placing these bets are easy, and very good for beginners.
The NFL may own Sundays and the NBA may have its Thursday and Friday spotlights, but Saturday belongs to college football in Arizona from sunrise to sundown all fall. With hundreds of games taking place each Saturday, beginning in the morning and literally ending in the wee hours of Sunday morning, there is truly something for all bettors.
None of the major sports have grown in global popularity quite like the NBA, which features players from dozens of countries, streaming options around the world, and a fan base entrenched in social media waiting for the latest highlight. That means an uptick in basketball betting in Arizona, where individual player awards are always popular plays along with conference and league champions. An explosion in scoring has increased point totals and the ability for teams to come back facing deficits. What does that mean? Excitement every night in the Association.
Major League Baseball continues to shift its style of play, with hard-throwing pitchers creating more strikeouts than ever before and launch angle-minded batters hitting home runs at an incredible rate. It's made for a difficult betting scene but one that always has plenty of intrigue each night. The final score on a given night could be 1-0 or 10-9. In terms of betting on Arizona MLB games, it's a more difficult betting market than the NBA or NFL but also provides larger payouts on a given night.
Perhaps not as popular as its professional counterpart, the best betting weekend of the year takes place in late March with the NCAA Tournament. With 48 games taking place over four days, the opening weekend of March Madness is unparalleled in sports. That's not to mention Thanksgiving tournaments, conference play and conference tournaments preceding it. With so much young star power littering the ranks of college hoops, there's excitement from beginning to end. But if we're being real, March Madness is where it's at. While you cannot bet on college basketball in Arizona, you can bet on all college games outside of the state.
Young stars have infiltrated the NHL as a new wave of talent takes over the league. While the regular season can have its lulls at times, there's nothing more exciting in American sports than the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Pucklines and totals can swing in an instant and empty-net goals can turns wins into losses in the blink of an eye. While betting on hockey in Arizona is not as popular as the other three major sports, it certainly has its fair share of bettors, especially during the second season.
Other Sports To Bet On
Those are the main sports that bettors are placing wagers on at Arizona sites, but various soccer leagues around the world, golf tournaments, pool, the UFC and Olympic Games are also popular markets that you might want to explore. Once you know how to bet on Arizona sports games, like those above, these other sports should be easy to pick up.
Become a Great Bettor with These Simple Tips & Strategies
Learning how to bet on sports in AZ consists of a number of facets. For example, understanding what goes into handicapping bets, learning terminology and finding a reputable Arizona betting app will be some of the first steps. But there are a handful of tips and strategies that you can utilize to maximize your experience.
Sign Up For Multiple Operators
You will find an operator that you feel most comfortable with. You will likely enjoy this particular operator more than others, but it's still important to have options. Sign up for multiple operators. By doing so you get to take advantage of multiple sign-up bonuses, shop lines for particular markets you are interested in and get maximum perks like odds boosts, contests and same-game parlays. No one operator has everything, but every operator has something.
Shop The Lines
This is one strategy we simply can't stress enough. Different operators all have similar, yet often, different betting odds. It may not seem important, but the difference between getting the Suns at -5.5 at one site and -6.5 at another becomes a big deal when the Suns win the game by six points. Browse your different accounts to take advantage of the perks offered, one of which will be different spreads and odds on the majority of plays.
Stick To A Betting System
There's nothing quite like a gut feeling in betting, where you can't put your finger on why you think a particular bet is going to hit but you take it anyway. That's certainly an option but it's not a long-term strategy. Adhere to a specific strategy, for example, taking NBA home favorites when they're -7 or more; or not taking NFL West Coast teams when they travel across three time zones. Use research and trends to find this betting system or strategy. Keep in mind, this approach tends to come naturally to bettors with time and practice. Don't worry too much if you're a beginner and still learning how to make a bet in Arizona.
Start With Straight Bets
There are literally thousands of different wagers that a bettor could make. They're as obscure as whether the total number of points in a Suns game played in the 200s will be an even or odd number. Bettors can bet on what color Gatorade will be dumped on the Super Bowl winning head coach. Bettors can also create complex parlays, round robins or player props. In reality, those take plenty of research, experience and decision-making. Newer bettors should stick with straight betting that includes more traditional plays like point spreads, moneylines, totals and simple props.
Bet Smaller Markets
Arizona Betting Super Bowl Sunday or the NBA Finals is certainly fun but betting smaller markets can provide an advantage for less experienced bettors, especially if they know a niche sport better than most. There are also usually smaller betting limits with these markets, which can allow newer bettors a chance to ease in to their betting experience.
Make Small Wagers
Bettors should always know what their bankroll looks like, including pending bets and future bets. And while major plays and potential massive payouts can be enticing, playing small wagers is usually the more responsible, less stressful option for most bettors. Always gamble responsibly, utilize help pages that many operators provide and never bet more than you can afford to lose.
Just because a game has started does not mean you can't bet. All of the online operators you find on this site offer live betting for most major markets. Caesars Sportsbook Arizona and FanDuel Arizona are two operators with incredible live betting platforms. They're also great for beginners. From a desktop or app, you can place a bet in real time on the point spread, moneyline and total. These odds are constantly changing so you will need to act quickly to take advantage of any odds they like.
Practice Your New Betting Skills
Now that you know how to bet in Arizona sports games, it's time to put your new skills into practice. Take some time to get to know the different operators and what they will offer you. Once you find one, or more, that you like, sign up and place your first bets,
How to Bet on Sports in Arizona FAQ
Moneyline betting is a perfect bet for those who are new to sportsbooks in Arizona. All you need to do is pick a winner. The amount that you win depends on how big of a favorite or underdog that you chose to back.
An underdog at +120 moneyline odds will mean a $100 wining wager will net you $120 in profit. You do not need to bet $100. A $10 wager would get you a $12 win ($22 returned to you, including your original stake). A $5 wager would get you a $6 win ($11 returned to you).
No one wins a bet every time. You can practice some simple strategies to increase your chances of winning. For example, remember the favorite does not always win, shop around different sites and make sure you know how to bet on sports in Arizona.
Mark Strotman writes about the NBA and sports betting for BetArizona.com. He is a veteran sports journalist who covered the Chicago Bulls and the NBA for NBC Sports Chicago for about 8 years. His work has also appeared on ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, The Chicago Tribune, Yahoo Sports and NBC Sports.