Many people love watching sports, and a good number of those fans love betting on sports, too. The combination of the thrill of the game, the charge of competition, and the adrenaline of an exciting bet generates a heady rush.
Casual betting can be fun, but what if you want to consistently make money from it?
Become a “Pro” at Sports Betting
The good news is that consistent success is possible to achieve. The bookie’s advantage (the house edge) averages 4.5%. Some folks do worse, and some better. Skilled bettors flip that advantage. We call them “pros” because they actually make a living from their sports wagering.
Learn the Fundamentals of Sports Betting
Before you get serious, you want to learn all the basic sports betting options. To become educated on point spreads, moneylines, straight bets, parlays, teasers, and proposition bets (‘prop bets’), consult our Guide to Sports Betting. Once you know the basics, a few tips can help get you on the road to making more money.
Winning Sports Betting Tip 1:
Use a Management System
Most bettors who consistently wins at sports betting use a system for managing their wagering. Here’s how many pros set up their management:
- Determine your base bet.
- Calculate the number of times you expect to bet in a specific time period, whether a season, a month, or a year.
- Multiply your base bet by the number of wagers you expect to make. This determines your bankroll for that time period.
- Set up a bank account solely for managing your sports betting funds.
- Deposit your bankroll into that account at the beginning of each time period.
- Set up a betting schedule for the period, listing games or matches you are confident in wagering, and keep to the schedule.
- Create several accounts at various online or casino bookmakers.
- Bank your winnings and withdraw them at the end of the period.
Winning Sports Betting Tip 2:
Do Your Homework
Of all gambling games, sports betting requires the most knowledge and skill. That’s right. Watching sports is fun. Betting on sports is fun. Betting and winning on sports is hard work.
• Know your sport in detail:
o Who’s winning or losing
o Individual players and their statistics
o Injury status of important players (who’s playing and who’s on the bench)
o Historical results between teams
o Coaching records and trends
As a general rule, if you’re not confident in a bet, you shouldn’t make it.
• Only bet on markets you understand. Point spreads are simpler, while prop bets can be trickier.
o For example, if you bet on a team to win the final half of a game, for instance, the team must outscore the other team in that half, regardless of which team actually wins the game.
• The way to consistently make money in sports betting is to make the best value wager you can find. Knowing your sport in detail gives you a wider range of markets in which to find a high-value wager.
• A particular game may not offer a reasonable value for a straight bet or moneyline. However, that same game may provide a good value prop wager for an individual player’s performance in that game.
Winning Sports Betting Tip 3:
Line Shop for the Best Value
The above tip on management instructs you to set up several accounts with bookmakers online and at casinos. The reason for creating several bookmaker accounts is to compare them to find the best odds or value for any given wager.
1. Do your homework and look through all:
a. straight bets
c. prop bets
2. Repeat this at all your bookmakers
3. After finding the best odds or value, make your wager
As we said before, the only way to consistently make money in sports betting is to find the best-value wagers.
Importantly, following trends in the moneylines pays off. Bookmakers adjust the moneylines to balance players’ wagers. If more people than expected bet on the favorite, its moneyline (or point spread odds) decreases and the underdog increases.
You are looking for the place in the trend where you get the best value for your wager.
Winning Sports Betting Tip 4:
Don’t Get Distracted by Big Payouts
Best Sports Bets to Make
1. Straight bets—betting on the point spread odds—offer the highest consistent returns to the player.
2. Moneyline bets offer unique values to players who watch the trends carefully.
Note: Most pros mainly stick to straight bets and moneyline bets because they offer the most consistent results.
3. Prop bets are a unique opportunity to beat the house if you know the sport inside and out. At minimum there are a few things you need to remember.
a. Bookmaker odds on prop bets are typically sloppy. If you really do your research, you will easily find profitable prop wagers.
b. The bookmakers know this, so they seriously cap the amount you can wager.
c. Players pile on the wagers with the sloppiest odds, so they quickly get corrected.
Sports Bets to AVOID
There are some bets that, while seeming good, should be avoided because the odds of losing are too high.
4. Parlay Bets promise huge payouts, but they are so unlikely to win that you are simply throwing your money away.
5. Some gambling gurus will try to convince you that you can beat teasers, which are parlay bets modified with point spreads. Even with the sophisticated systems they use, you can expect to lose money over the long run.
Simply put, the pros don’t chase big payouts, they focus on consistent payouts. As the saying goes, “a dollar here, a dollar there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.”