The name for this column was inspired by brothers in my fraternity who called me the “Candy Man” due to how much candy I not only ate but would hand out like it was Halloween 24/7. The nickname stuck and here we are. 

Twitter: @CandyPicks

Author’s note: All statistics and information come from oddsshark, ESPN, Sports Reference and ActionNetwork

An Introduction to Sports Betting 

Sports betting can bring more excitement to sports and gives viewers a chance to earn some money along the way. As a beginner, bettors have to expect some losses to occur. The first advice would be to set aside a realistic amount of money that you have saved and be real with yourself; expect that money to be lost because there are no guarantees in betting. Though, if you do win money, use that winning money on the next bet. Let’s take a look at where to begin and what there is to offer in the sports betting world. 

Where do you begin?

Before anything else, check to see if your state allows sports gambling. You can check your state at USA Online Sportsbooks. As a beginner, you have to do your own research on what sportsbook has the best lines and best bang for your buck. The easiest for sports betting is to make your selections online. I suggest you do your research on what site is the best so you can get money in and out legally and safely. There are some videos on YouTube that can help you.  

The Types of Bets: Let me break down the types of bets for beginners. For experienced bettors, you can move along to tonight’s first free pick.  

The Moneyline:  The Moneyline is when a bettor chooses a team to win straight up with no exceptions. It is a safer choice than choosing the spread. That being said, if you choose Team A to win and their money line is -150, the bettor has to put down $150 to win $100. If you chose Team B and their Moneyline is +$150 and you put down $100, you have a chance to win $150. If your team won, you get the money, the stake, plus the winnings. For Team A, you would get a total of $250 back.  

The Spread (ATS – “Against The Spread):  This is my favorite type of bet because it adds an extra aspect to betting. The best way to explain this is the favorite or team that is expected to win will be known as the “fav” and the team that is expected to lose is the “dog.” The favorite will start from behind. For example, Team A, the favorite is -5. This means they start down by 5 to start the game and to “beat the spread,” the bettor has to win by 6 points. If the bettor only wins by 5, that is called a “push.” You earn no money and just get your stake back. Now, if your team is +5, they start with a 5 point lead. If they lose by less than 5 they “beat the spread.”  

The over/under: This bet combines both team’s scores either over or under the score Las Vegas or the sportsbook puts out.  

Parlay: This bet puts more than two teams together for tougher odds but a higher payout. It would be like putting Team A, Team B and Team C to all win. They all have to win or beat the spread.  

Free Pick: UCLA Bruins vs. Arizona State Sun Devils – THU, February 6th 10 PM ET: 

CandyMan Pick: UCLA Bruins +6.5 

The Bruins come in 4-1 ATS the last five games and the Sun Devils 5-2 in their last seven. Conference play has been in full swing and this game will be closer than this spread indicates. The Bruins can keep games close, especially on the road where they are 3-3 ATS. The Sun Devils are 5-5 ATS at home. This gives you a reason to lean UCLA. These teams haven’t played against each other yet this year, but the Bruins lead the series 6-4 head to head against the Sun Devils. Take UCLA Bruins +6.5 in this one. 

I am 23 years old who will be graduating from UNL this coming May. I am from Lincoln, Nebraska have been born and raised here but the goal is to get out and experience the world of sports and journalism.