Sports betting is an easy thing to do, but not an easy thing to win at over the long haul. With approximately a 5% house edge on straight bets due to the "vig" or commission, you have to be able to win over 52% of your bets to make a profit.
So, other than hoping for a lucky bounce or injury to an opposing player, is there anything you can do to help increase the chances of a successful betting career? There sure is. But, it's not a magic betting system or secret paid website that will help you. The below tips can help you get that little edge you need to be a successful sports bettor.
If you do nothing else on this list, this one is a must. You have to do some research and homework on your sports picks or you will have a very difficult time hitting that needed 52%+ win rate. Make yourself an expert on one thing.
Sports books have to have a line for every game in every conference in every league. Although they have knowledge across the board, they can't possibly take the time to get into the small details a disciplined better can.
Do you like college basketball and maybe even more specifically Pac-12 college basketball? If you do, then make that your niche. Dig into that specific league with league specific websites and information as your starting point. Learn about the players in that league. Learn the strengths and weaknesses of not only the teams, but the players.
Intricate knowledge far and above what a sports book has the time to know if your best weapon in the battle against the odds. Spend your time becoming an expert at your chosen niche and take advantage of that knowledge every time you choose to place a bet.
Your best tool after deciding what game you want to bet is to go shopping. Different sports books will have different odds based on the level of bets placed at their location. The line adjusts at sports books based on bets being placed on one side or the other. This can be as simple as a lot of people who love a certain team betting on them. Games that include Notre Dame's football team are a good example of lines often times being a little off due to a high volume of bets on one team.
Lines on games like this can vary by a couple of points at different sports books depending on the volume of bets one might be getting over another. Shop, shop, shop! It is wise to have accounts or access to multiple sports books to be able to compare the lines. The one or two points difference between two sports books could be the difference between you winning or losing your bet.
As with any type of gambling, you should only be betting with an amount you can afford to lose. Mixing your personal money and your betting money is not a good idea. Set a budget or allowance for sports betting that does not affect your personal life if you lose. Making bets when you have to pay the rent or other bills if you win is not only a terrible idea for financial reasons, but it will also tend to get you to bet games you should not be betting on due to lack of knowledge or research.
Also, if you lose a bet that puts you on the edge in your personal finances, chasing the loss with additional bets is even a worse thing to do than making the original bet you couldn't really afford. Never chase your losses or bet with emotion. If you didn't plan on making a bet prior to losing another bet, don't bet it after losing. That's a unneeded additional loss just waiting to happen.
This should be a common sense tip, but go to any sports book in Las Vegas and you will learn that it's not. And there's really not a lot more to say about it. Las Vegas casinos serve free alcohol to players for a reason. It loosens them up and helps curb inhibitions. Stay away from alcohol when researching and betting sporting events.
If all else fails, there is one fallback bet you can make that has a little higher chance of winning than others. Statistical data from NFL games over the last 30 years shows that home underdogs cover the line 50.7% of the time with no research needed. That leaves you less than a 2% spread to overcome with the right research and picks. If you factor in ties with the line, it's less than .5% that has to be overcome.
Spend time researching and focusing on home underdogs. Learn why the home underdog is being listed that way. Look for key injuries to the favorite to see if it can affect the score by a few points if a player that may play doesn't or doesn't play much of the game. Look for last minute weather conditions that could affect the favorites passing game and point production.
If you want to be a consistent sports betting winner, consider sports betting as your business or an investment. You wouldn't just show up to a business you own without any knowledge of the business and you surely wouldn't invest in a company you've never heard of and don't know any information about. Research and hard work is the difference between winning and losing in the sports betting game. Winning can be done with the right effort.