Since the landmark 2018 Murphy v. NCAA decision allowing states to legalize sports betting, 23 states legalized it. Industry experts predict the rest will follow soon enough.
Given this proliferation of legal gambling, more people than ever are now placing wagers. Why are Americans so in love with betting on sports? It’s fun!
It’s also a fantastic way to make quick cash, but don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s easy. Are you looking to make money with your sports bets? Read on for the five tips every beginning bettor needs to know.
1. Learn the Basics
Just because you have bricks and mortar doesn’t mean you’re a bricklayer. You also wouldn’t dump all of your money into the stock market without knowing anything about trading. Why then would you lay money on games without knowing what you’re betting?
The first time you explore a sportsbook can be confusing as there are so many numbers and symbols. A sportsbook only looks confusing to the initiated. There are three basic bets a player can make in any sport, and every other bet is based on these three.
To learn more about basic bets, visit this website.
Moneyline is a straight bet to win. For example, you believe the Milwaukee Bucks will win tonight’s game versus the Phoenix Suns. You see Milwaulkee posted at -178 and Phoenix at +150.
A ‘-‘ indicates a favorite, while a ‘+’ denotes an underdog. These odds also work by multiples of $100. To score $100 on Milwaukee, you must lay $178.
If you were to bet $100 on Phoenix, however, you could win $150.
Spread bets are bets that a team will win by more than a certain amount or lose by less than that amount (or win the game). In the upcoming NBA game, you see Milwaukee -4.5. Betting Milwaukee on the spread means they must win by more than 4.5 points for you to win your bet.
On the other side, Phoenix is +4.5, meaning they cannot lose the game by more than 4.5 points. If you take Phoenix, you also win if they win the game.
Sportsbooks offer standard odds on spread bets of -110, though those odds will change depending on the action coming in.
Totals are over/under bets on the combined score of the game. For the Phoenix vs. Milwaukee game, the book has the combined score posted at 220.5 points.
If you bet the over, the teams must combine for more than 220.5 points. For the under to win, the teams must score less than a combined 220.5 points.
2. Bet Carefully
Just because there’s a game playing doesn’t mean you should bet on it. Laying action on games you haven’t researched is a guaranteed way to lose money. Betting fewer games will always yield more profitable results.
Set a Budget
Chasing is the worst thing you can do when betting on your favorite sports. Nobody likes to lose money, but if you make wild bets to try and win it back, you’ll end up further in the hole.
Set a budget when you’re betting. Budgeting could mean you allow yourself $500 to play the NBA Finals or $100 on a regular NFL Sunday. You have to quit when you lose that money.
Narrow Your Focus
There are four major American sports leagues, the NCAA, and individual sports like golf. Open a sportsbook app, and you’re likely to find bets on any other sport. Books take bets on British darts, table tennis, and field hockey.
To an inexperienced gambler, these betting options all look like opportunities to make money. In reality, they are all opportunities to lose money.
Winning sports betting requires hours of research and investigation. Spreading yourself too thin will likely result in lost money. Start by betting on football or betting on basketball before you expand your game.
3. Fade the Public
Recent data shows the global sports betting market is worth more than $85 billion. How does the industry make its money? Through losing sports gamblers!
If the public were skilled bettors, the industry would not be as profitable. That’s why fading the public is a good way for novice gamblers to strategize their bets.
The public loves favorites and popular franchises. When you see a game where the overwhelming majority of bets come in on one side, play the other side. Betting against the public isn’t a tried and true method, but it is a helpful tool for any beginning gambler.
4. Bet Underdogs
The public loves favorites, but because the odds on favorites pay out much less, betting them isn’t profitable. There may be a scenario or game where betting the favored team makes sense, but consider these NFL statistics for the 2020 season. Halfway through the 2020 campaign, underdogs beat the spread by 57%.
Betting underdogs doesn’t mean you should make wild, Moneyline bets. Your strategy should, however, include more bets on dogs than favorites.
5. Shop for Lines
Any experienced gambler has a story about a bad beat. Maybe it was a missed extra point or a missed empty net. These gamblers will tell you that often, half a point on the spread is the difference between winning and losing.
Betting lines aren’t uniform, though they are similar. They shift based on how much money comes in on either side of the bet. Finding a number that reflects your handicapping eye is a matter of digging through different sportsbooks.
If you live in a state with legalized online gambling, shopping for the best lines is as easy as downloading an app on your phone.
Place Winning Sports Bets
Sports gambling is a growing business, and industry experts see unlimited potential in the years to come. Though many Americans are now in on the action, placing winning sports bets isn’t so easy. Foolish gambling can turn a fun activity into a costly one.
Follow these tips, and you’ll build your bankroll in no time.
Are you interested in more gambling tips? Make sure to check out the rest of our page.