Sports betting is an exciting pastime that allows you to place wagers on a variety of sporting events. There are many ways to make legal bets, including spread and total bets, and parlays.

The most popular sports include the NFL and NBA. These two professional sports draw huge interest in the fall and winter months, especially when it comes to postseason and the World Series.

In addition, the NHL draws a big following and is popular during the Stanley Cup playoffs.

College sports are also very popular in some regions, but laws can vary on a state-by-state basis. Some states restrict certain subsets of bets, such as player props, so it is important to check with your local jurisdiction.

Pro bettors have decades of experience and are fearless but disciplined. They watch countless hours of game film, study each team’s tendencies, strengths and weaknesses, read local team beat reporters, and take advantage of any information that can give them an edge in their wagers.

Betting syndicates are large groups of bettors who share their knowledge and resources. These groups work together to maximize their profits by placing bets on a variety of sports.

In-play or live betting is a popular option in the NFL and NBA. These wagers allow you to take advantage of the swings in the game as teams adjust and gain momentum.

Professional bettors also use a system called “unit size,” which is the amount of money they invest on each play. This keeps their plays consistent and allows for variance to play out without going broke.