Sports Wagering Advice

How to Bet on Sports

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A crash course in sports betting is not enough to turn you into a betting guru overnight, but it is a good idea to start your career as an online bettor with some basic information on how to bet on sports. Learning sports betting practices requires time, research, and experience, none of which you’ll get by reading a single article on sports betting basics. However, starting your sports wagering education by reading a few tips and learning the basics of the hobby is a good way to avoid feeling like a total novice.

Learn the Sports Betting Language

The first thing you’ll need is a detailed list of sports betting terms. Learning the jargon used by sportsbooks like Bovada and bettors is akin to learning how to crawl before you learn to walk.

Understanding the terminology behind placing sports bets is as important as any other feature of learning how to wager on sporting events.

Understand How to Handicap Games

Gathering as much information as you can about a game you want to wager on is a major part of smart betting strategy, though it is not the only thing that will turn you into a good sports bettor. Handicapping games means looking into the players on each team, the statistics of both teams, and the prior performance of each team this season. You’ll also get a leg up on other bettors if you understand things like the impact of home field advantage, downtime, injuries, and emotional factors.

Because handicapping takes time to learn, betting on sports is better compared to a marathon than a 100-yard dash. The truth is, it is very difficult to win consistently enough to earn a profit; one reason for this is the juice sportsbooks require on every bet placed, and another reason is the large amount of parity in today’s professional and collegiate leagues. The more you know about a sport, and the better you manage your bankroll using patience and discipline, the better your chances of placing successful sports bets. Learning to handicap games means watching the news for changes in team personnel due to injuries, suspensions, and shifts in the coaching lineup as well as weather, the way a line moves throughout a given week, and any factor that can affect the outcome of a contest.

Learn How to Shop for Lines

More important than properly handicapping games is the ability to shop for the best possible line. Opening accounts at multiple sportsbooks allows you to find the cheapest wager; if you only have one sportsbook account, you’ll only have one set of lines to pick from. Many sports betting strategists will tell you that finding the cheapest line is far more important that handicapping a game in detail.

Dos and Don’t of Sports Betting

B77w air france international. DON’T put too much value in team trends and angles handed out by touts. In sports, what happened last week often has little to do with what happened this week, and the advice of sports betting touts, whether free or by subscription, is rarely better than the information you can gather yourself with a little research.

DO be willing to wager on a so-called bad team. Sports gamblers should be looking for the bets that give them the best value, and sometimes that comes by betting against a point spread that involves one really good team and one really bad one. Huge point spreads are often high-value bets, especially if an unbeaten team is playing a struggling squad and the spread is unrealistic. If you go against conventional wisdom and bet on a bad team to beat a point spread that’s set too wide, you’ve often found the best value bet on the board.

DON’T be afraid to pass up on a wager. Sports bettors who have success in the long-term know how to pass up on a wager that may seem like a smart pick at first blush. Most of the games listed on a sportsbook’s card have no value for the bettor, and to succeed in sports gambling you need to learn how to say “No.”

DO avoid betting with your heart. Sometimes that means avoiding placing wagers on teams you have loved since you were a kid. In the world of placing wagers on sporting events, a bettor’s heart often gets him in trouble, clouding his judgment and convincing him to follow his bias towards a particular team. Since you’re supposed to be looking for high-value wagers, avoiding bets on teams you like probably means you’re doing the right thing.

DON’T fall behind on your sports knowledge. Do whatever you have to do to keep a team’s current starting lineup, including injury reports, in the back of your mind. A gamble that looks like a high-value bet could turn out to be a bust due to the broken arm of a Heisman Trophy-candidate starting QB. Watch sports news, read sports betting forums, and follow as many teams as you can in the sport you like to wager on.

DO shy away from nationally-televised games. The best sports bettors in the world look for value rather than hype. Bookmakers know when a game is getting national attention and they almost always clean up by taking advantage of bettors who lay money on the clear favorite. Generally speaking, nationally-televised games have inflated lines for the favorite and the over line, so if you do choose to bet a high-profile game, you will probably be better off wagering on the underdogs and under lines.

DON’T ignore advice from other bettors at online gambling forums. These totally-free message boards and social media sites where bettors gather to talk about upcoming games and wagers can be your best friend, especially if you meet people from other parts of the world that have some insight into a contest that can help you find high value. Free information on regional games is some of the best info you can find online, so join as many forums and sports betting discussions as you can keep up with.

DO take ESPN and other sports news with a Titanic-sized grain of salt. Channels like ESPN that report on sports news 24-7 are designed to be entertaining, not informative for people laying bets on sports. All you have to do to understand why the wisdom handed out at ESPN is look at the records of their sports reporters, which rarely (if ever) breech the 50% mark in terms of successful picks.

Betting on sports is a rewarding hobby, and a small percentage of lucky (and hard-working) individuals are able to turn it into a profession. However, like almost any area of interest, it takes discipline and plenty of trial-and-error to succeed.

There’s also no definitive path to success. Some bettors employ statistical analysis over a wide range of sports, while others concentrate on one league such as the NFL or NBA. Then there are gamblers who employ a specific betting system, and these can range in complexity from simplistic to mind-numbing.

Whether you’re a rookie bettor or seasoned pro, the sport betting tips offered in this article should help improve your overall success. (The easiest way to improve your odds is to only play at sports betting sites with the best odds.) Just remember that there’s no strategy that works perfectly for everyone, so don’t be afraid to experiment and learn from your mistakes.

Building a Bankroll

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Once you’ve decided to wager on sports, don’t withdraw a fistful of money from your bank account and jump right in. The best strategy is to set aside a little disposable income at a time until you have enough to open accounts at several sportsbooks. A bankroll of $1,000 or $2,000 would be ideal to start with, and you can always increase it as your experience and success grows.

Managing a Bankroll

Now that you have a bankroll, you don’t want to lose it all on a single wager. I suggest risking from 1% to 5% on any given bet. For a $1,000 bankroll, that would mean wagers ranging from $10 to $50. Those might not sound like exciting amounts, but they’ll ensure that your funds don’t get wiped out by a couple of unlucky outcomes.

Bet with Purpose

The goal of sports betting is to generate a profit. If you’re simply wagering on games to make them more interesting, then I’m afraid you’re setting yourself up for failure. Always have a clear purpose in mind when you place a wager, and be sure to treat the oddsmakers with the respect they deserve.

If you don’t know the players and teams, it’s hard to enjoy consistent success. No matter what sport you bet on, you should watch as many of the games as possible and analyze the statistics. The more you know, the better your odds of success.

Avoid Tout Services

Tout services offer to provide you with winning picks for a price. Don’t fall into this trap, as their supposed success rates can often be exaggerated. If it was that easy to make money on sporting events, everyone would be doing it.

Don’t Go on Tilt

When a bettor goes on tilt, they angrily follow up a losing wager with an even larger bet. This is bound to lead to disaster, so avoid the temptation at all costs. When you lose a wager—even a stone cold lock—just accept your misfortune and move on.

Shop for Lines


Don’t settle for the first set of odds you come across. Look at multiple sportsbooks and find betting lines that give you an advantage. This takes extra time and dedication, but it’s bound to save you money.

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Keep a Clear Head

Plenty of people like to drink alcohol or smoke weed, but you should never mix these activities with sports gambling. This leads to errors in judgment, which in turn leads to lost money. It’s also advisable to get a full night’s rest before hitting the sportsbooks.


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While no single sport betting strategy is going to work 100% of the time, the items on this list should serve you well under most circumstances. Luck still plays a factor when wagering on any athletic competition, but careful research and superior money management can help you weather the tough times and come out ahead in the end.