Increase Your Odds of Winning at Sports Betting
By Loot, Professional Sports Bettor, Lootmeister.com
Believe it or not, there are any number of things you can do to increase your odds of winning at sports betting. It actually takes a lot of work to do all the little things that can at least help cut into the ever-present house edge that exists in all forms of gambling. But the bottom-line is that when you develop the mindset of eliminating the edges possessed by the house, you will find yourself doing a lot better. It’s surprising, but success in sports betting doesn’t simply come down to the strength of your opinions, but whether you’re doing the little things.
Here is a list of some things you can immediately start doing that will boost your bankroll:
Understand Sports Betting: This seems almost too elementary. But you’d be surprised how many players have a rather loose understanding of how sports wagering works, whether it be the math, the different kinds of bets you can make, or what goes behind forming odds and point spreads. Needless to say, it helps to understand sports betting up-and-down. Look at yourself like a manager of a baseball team. You’re the one calling all the shots. A manager knows the game like the back of his hand and that’s how you need to be with sports betting.
Hunting Down Edges: Some advantages sports bettors can have are just for the taking. In today’s ultra-competitive world of sports betting, books have to go above and beyond to attract customers. Some of the things they offer cut down significantly on the house-edge. For example, some books will offer you a -105 betting line (5Dimes), as opposed to the customary -110 line. That right there cuts down on the juice by half and create a situation where your break-even point will go down from 52.38% to 51.19%. That’s just one example, but books are increasingly rolling out the red carpet for potential bettors. One key piece of advice is to forego free money in lieu of better odds when choosing a sportsbook bonus. The better odds choice always pays more in the end than a free bet or a few extra bucks in your account.
Line Movement: It’s not easy to master this element of sports betting. In fact, it will take a lot of experience before you can use line movement to your advantage. But the fact is that lines and point spreads do indeed move. If you’re able to consistently have odds that are a little better than what everyone else has, that pays off big over time. Conversely, just leaving it up to fate and betting mindlessly without considering line movement means you will leave a lot of winners on the table over the course of time.
Tweaking Your Handicapping: Everyone handicaps games a little differently. When not getting the results that you want, there is nothing wrong with making some adjustments to your model in an effort to enhance your bottom-line. Depending on the sport, there are simply elements of handicapping that carry more weight than other things. Perhaps you’re putting too much weight on things that matter less, while not attaching enough importance to the things that really matter. If what you’re doing is working, let it play out. If not, slowly start adding new wrinkles, while removing the parts of your handicapping that lead you astray. We recommend that you check out the left menus in every sports section as we offer 100's of articles that will increase your chances of beating the sportsbooks.
Using all the Weapons at Your Disposal: It’s quite normal for a sports bettor to fall into a rut. All bettors have a comfort level, not in how much they bet, but rather in the types of bets they make. But just because you like a certain bet-type doesn’t mean it’s the right move. Sometimes, a teaser succeeds where a parlay fails. Or buying points can be a good move. Or betting a team on the money line instead of against-the-spread. For those not familiar with all the types of wagers that you can make or how they all work, check out the left menu of our sports betting section, where you'll find a breakdown of every bet the bookies offer.
It also helps to develop a thorough understanding on which bets offer less or more of a house-edge. For example, a parlay made against-the-spread doesn’t come close to offering as good of value as a straight-bet made at -105 odds. So while it is key to use all the different weapons in your repertoire, make sure to utilize the bets that offer the smallest bookie-edge and forego the ones that are high on juice.
Seeing Through the Hype: No one is saying to always bet on inferior teams or underdogs. That’s not what this is about. At the same time, it’s hard to ignore the element of hype and how it impacts sports betting. The general public, by in large, is inclined to bet on what is considered to be “good.” They like favorites. They like the nationally-followed teams. The bookie, in turn, knows this, and acts accordingly. He knows he doesn’t need to go out of his way to entice people to bet on the big-time favorite that is on Sportscenter every 5 minutes. The bookie does, however, need to make the other side of the bet an attractive option and that equals good value on the underdog.
This won’t always be the case and there are subtle variations that exist within the dynamic described above. One thing you want to avoid is siding with the general betting public--a group of people notorious for losing. Be immune to hype and form your own independent opinions and outlooks. Then, when the situation is right, you can often times exploit the element of hype to your benefit--by finding exceptional value on the underdog.
Money Management: A lot of bettors destroy themselves by lacking this component of sports betting. Look at it this way--it doesn’t matter how good you are at picking sports if at the end of the day you’re just gonna blow it all anyway. A lot of otherwise talented sports bettors will do well, but it’s just a matter of time before they implode. They start elevating the amounts they bet and it’s just a matter of time before they hit a cold streak and blow it all.
Money management isn’t just a way to organize your betting, it’s a form of control. There are many different ways to approach it, but all sound money management systems hold one thing in common--if you are winning, your bottom-line should reflect that. Not to paint us sports bettors as a bunch of undisciplined maniacs, but money management is a form of self-governance that a lot of us really need.
Selectivity: The final point in this analysis is the most important. Being selective is the only way to win. Look at it this way--the bookie is forced to post odds on each and every game. Now if we engage him along those lines of battle, we’re sure to lose. What we want to do is isolate the spots where our advantage is clear and engage the bookie only along those lines. And even then, we might not win. Look--this is tough. There is a reason why 3% of all sports bettors show a long-term profit. And the reason it’s so tough is that bettors make it tough on themselves, by slugging it out with the bookie in games where they are betting for the wrong reasons.
Develop high standards for a possible bet. Take your opinions, and for the sake of a better way of putting it, throw ‘em in the river. Anybody can have an opinion and most of the time, it’s akin to throwing doo-doo against the wall to see if it will stick. Save your bets for the times where the bet seems to emanate from you. It feels organic. You don’t have to psych yourself up to justify it. You see a clear advantage and you fire a bet. If you stick to your best picks and cut out all the rift-raft, you’re going to be able to steer the odds more in your favor. Why? You are exercising the most valuable asset--the ability to engage the bookie along battle lines that you define.