Sports betting is a billion-dollar industry, and with the anti-gambling stigma that lingered for decades slowly fading in American popular culture, millions of new sports bettors are entering the game. As a result, it is more important than ever to understand the basics of sports betting. To help, we have compiled this list of 12 things every sports betor should know.
Bet with your brain, not your heart
The number one rule of successful sports betting is to bet with your head, not your heart. This means avoiding bets on teams simply because you are a fan and instead analyzing the numbers and unique circumstances of each game. Emotions will only lead you astray and will cause you to make bad bets that can cost you your hard-earned money.
Respect the market: Don’t bet against the spread. The sportsbooks set the odds for a given event, and if you bet against the spread, the bookies will collect more juice. This extra money is called the vig, and it is why they are in business. However, if you bet correctly on the majority of your bets, you will still come out ahead.
Bet sober: This is a simple rule that many people don’t follow, but it is essential for making smart bets. It is a good idea to avoid alcohol and other drugs before placing your bets because they will affect your judgment and cause you to make bad decisions. Also, be sure to bet with a reasonable amount of money that you can afford to lose.
Know the math: Betting on sports isn’t as easy as most people think. After accounting for the vig, it takes an average of 52.4% to break even, which isn’t very high. Even the most successful “experts” only win less than 60% of their bets, and they often endure long streaks of losses.
Analyze a team’s history: There are countless statistics that can be analyzed for each sport, and it is crucial to study them. This includes home/away records, rushing yards per game, quarterback passing efficiency, batting average, and more. By studying these stats, you can determine how well a team is likely to perform in upcoming games and bet accordingly.
Do not chase a bet: If you place a bet and it wins, don’t go out and increase your bet size in an attempt to multiply your winnings. This is a sure way to ruin your bankroll and possibly cause you to go broke. Instead, be patient and wait for a better opportunity.
In order to be a professional sports bettor, you must have dedication and the ability to follow a plan of attack. If you are not able to do this, sports betting may not be the right hobby for you. Remember, gambling is a vice that comes with the risk of addiction and can ruin your life. It is not worth it. If you have the discipline, though, then sports betting can be an exciting and rewarding pastime.