Whether you’re an avid sports gambler or just starting to dip your toes into the waters, there are a few things you need to know before betting on any sporting event. Making money from sports betting requires a combination of knowledge, discipline, and research. It’s also important to understand the different types of wagers, and be able to walk away from bad bets.
With legal sports gambling now in place in a number of states, millions of sports fans are poised to give it a try. But before you start putting your dollars down, here are 12 things to keep in mind.
1. The odds are against you.
Betting on sports is a dangerous game, and there’s no such thing as a guaranteed win. Regardless of how much you bet or how big your bankroll, the odds are against you, so be prepared to lose more than you win. Even the best bettors lose more than they win, and it’s important to be realistic about this before you begin placing your bets.
2. Don’t be afraid of props.
Props are a unique form of betting that often have nothing to do with the actual outcome of the game or event. They’re based on things like player performance or even ancillary events that don’t show up in the boxscore, such as the color of the Gatorade that douses a team’s coach (over/under 1.5 total TD passes). It’s important to remember that not all sportsbooks offer the same odds for props. Having access to multiple books allows you to shop around and get the best prices.
3. Don’t chase your wins.
Getting too excited after a winning bet is a common mistake that many new sports bettors make. This type of behavior can quickly lead to a blown bankroll, and is known as “going on tilt.” The key to making money from sports betting is being patient and sticking with your strategy. It’s also important to stay organized and track your profits/losses in a spreadsheet, which will help you avoid making costly mistakes.
4. Don’t rely on rumors.
There’s no substitute for thorough research when it comes to sports betting. A little bit of time spent on things like weather forecasts and injury reports can go a long way in improving your chances of making the right pick. Moreover, don’t rely on rumors or the advice of people who think they can make money from sports betting by using a service that pays them.
5. Don’t forget the vig.
The vig, or juice, is the amount of money that a bookmaker takes on each bet. It’s not a percentage of your bet, but it’s there nonetheless and can significantly reduce your potential winnings. In order to break even, you need to hit 52.4% of your bets, and even the most successful “experts” only hit that mark about 60% of the time. That means that, on average, you need to be right about 65% of your bets to make a profit.