How to Win at Sports Betting

Betting on Sports: A Simple Guide to Making Money

Betting on sports games is a hobby for many people, and most consider it to be a fun and friendly pastime. However, there are ways to consistently make money on sports betting. The tricks are understanding betting strategy and the different types of bets you can make, understanding the odds, making smart bets, and walking away from bad bets. It’s also important to remember that making money on sports betting requires time and dedication: it’s not about making a single huge bet and winning lots of money in one shot. Instead, it’s about making a series of small, smart bets that add up over the season to an overall gain.

Part 1: Getting Started On Sports Betting

Step 1: Open a Specific Bank Account

Open a specific bank account just for placing bets. To really make money on sports betting, you have to be dedicated. When you open this account, invest enough money to cover your bankroll for an entire season or year, not just a single game. To ensure you have enough money, multiply your base bet by at least 100, and that’s the minimum amount you should keep in this account at all times. If you’re new to sports betting and don’t know your base bet, put in whatever money you have set aside for this venture and determine your base bet on the size of your bankroll (each bet should represent one to two percent).

Step 2: Create Accounts with a Few Sportsbooks

Create accounts with a few sportsbooks. To place bets, you need an account with at least one sportsbook, though it’s ideal to have at least three because then you can compare offerings and place smarter bets. Some sportsbooks offer signup bonuses, so shop around. Most sportsbooks are available online these days, and some of the more popular sites include Bookmaker, Bovada, and BetOnline.

Step 3: Learn to Make Smart Bets on Sports Betting

Learn to make smart bets. There are several rules to follow, and while some are about numbers, others are about which teams you should and shouldn’t bet on. For instance, while each bet should represent about one to two percent of your bankroll, you can reduce this to 0.5 percent if you aren’t confident about a bet. Similarly, you can increase the bet if you’re very confident, but never place a bet that exceeds four percent of your bankroll. Some experts say never to place a bet if you aren’t confident because it’s better to walk away and find a better bet that you feel good about. Many experts recommend not betting on your home team in any sport because your bias can cloud your judgment, leading to great losses.

Step 4: Create a Betting Schedule

Create a betting schedule. Don’t bet on every game. Each week, look at the upcoming games and pick the ones you want to bet on based on your confidence in the potential bet. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a bet right before the game. Odds change, lines change, and point spreads change. If you’re no longer confident about a bet, either don’t make it or reduce the bet.

Step 5: Don’t Chase Bad Bets

Don’t chase bad bets. This refers to the practice of trying to recoup losses from a previous bet with more betting. It’s dangerous because many people will set aside good judgment and place more bad bets in an attempt to win back what was lost, leading to further losses. The opposite is also true: don’t chase a good bet (one where you won) with more bets in an attempt to win more or double your money. Have a betting schedule or routine and stick to it.

Step 6: Bet Sober

Bet sober. This means betting with a clear mind and focus. Many people think this is common sense, but you would be surprised how many people break this rule. Emotions can get the best of us, and bad decisions can be made from those emotions. “Going on Tilt” is a term used when sports bettors let their emotions cloud their judgment, resulting in losing their bankroll.

Part 2: Understanding Sports Betting

Understand moneylines. The moneyline is a plus or minus number associated with each team involved in a particular match. It refers to either how much you have to bet to win $100 or how much you’ll win if you bet $100. For instance, if a moneyline is Toronto Maple Leafs -200 and Vancouver Canucks +155, it means you have to bet $200 on the Leafs to win $100, or you have to bet $100 on the Canucks to win $155. The team associated with the minus number (the Leafs) is the favored team, while the team associated with the plus number (the Canucks) is the underdog. Many gamblers bet on the moneyline in hockey and baseball because the scores are lower and point spread betting doesn’t make as much sense in these games. However, you can bet on the moneyline for almost every sport.

Step 2: Learn About Point Spreads

Learn about point spreads. Point spread betting is more popular in games where there’s a larger gap between the final scores. In a point spread bet, you don’t just bet on whether a team will win, but also whether that team will win by a specific amount. For instance, if a point spread is Detroit Lions +4, New England Patriots -4, you would bet on whether you thought the Lions would win and if they’d win by more than four points. Again, the team associated with the minus is the favorite, and the team associated with the plus is the underdog.

Step 3: Understand Parlays

Understand parlays. Parlay betting involves making multiple types of bets on the same game. For example, if you combined a moneyline bet and a point spread bet on the same game, this would be a parlay bet. These bets often offer large payouts but require a great deal of accuracy.

Part 3: Learning Betting Strategy

Step 1: Shop for the Best Lines

Shop for the best lines. This is where having accounts with multiple sportsbooks will come in handy because some will offer better moneylines on the same games, meaning you have to risk less for the chance to win the same amount of money. The best time to line shop is about an hour before a game. To get the best value, consider opening accounts with at least three books.

Step 2: Make Bets Based on the Odds

Make bets based on the odds. Betting with your head instead of your heart is about making smart bets based on odds rather than emotions. Sometimes it’s a good idea to bet on the numbers rather than who you think will win because this can represent a better value if the odds are in your favor. For instance, if you’re betting on a baseball game and think the Yankees are going to win, you might still be better off placing your bet on the Jays if the odds are right.

Step 3: Don’t Be Afraid to Bet on the Underdog

Don’t be afraid to bet on the underdog. This doesn’t mean betting on a long shot, but rather betting on the underdog when the odds are right. Sometimes, the favored team is chosen based on popularity rather than skill, so it doesn’t necessarily mean the favorite will win.

Step 4: Take Advantage of Matched Betting

Take advantage of matched betting. Matched betting involves taking advantage of the bonuses and incentives offered by books to place bets for and against the exact same event. For instance, in a basketball game between the Raptors and the Knicks, you would place a bet for the Raptors and then match that same bet against the Raptors. Matched betting is about taking advantage of free bets and betting for both possible outcomes on the same game, so this type of betting is as near to risk-free as you can get in gambling.

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