Sports betting is taking off right across the country and our friends at sports analytics site, Dimers.com, are here to help. Below they list eight key things you need to avoid if you’re going to get maximum value (and enjoyment) from betting on your favorite sports.
1. Don’t Bet Teams - Always Bet The Odds
So many bettors think that the only way to win at sports betting is to picks lots of winners. Wrong! Although it helps…
To do well from betting you have to search for and secure ‘value’ or what is known as an ‘edge’. You’re looking for odds that are better than the true probability of that team or player winning. If you like a team with a 50% chance of winning you should not, under any circumstances be taking -110 (you want a 52.4% chance at those odds, remember?) at the Money Line. A 50-50 shot warrants something closer to +100, but good luck getting it!
2. Don’t Bet With Your Heart
This is the number one mistake most bettors make when betting on sports. We’re all guilty of it at some point in our betting lives and it can be a difficult habit to break. But… emotions have no place in gambling! It’s business baby, and there’s no room for sentiment. Got it?
Ok, that’s a bit drastic, but we’ve all had days where we feel invincible and go on an epic heater, only to hand it all back by the end of the night. No? Ok, maybe that’s just us. How about this one? You started chasing your losses after a day full of bad beats and ended up making things worse (guilty, again!). Or you changed your whole strategy for that day because of some early losses and the resulting blow to the old ego.
Anyway, you get the gist.
Remember, every bet is a unique, separate and unrelated event – in no way linked to bets past. Whether you’ve started the day 0-5 or 5-0 should never affect your next wager or alter the way you originally planned to attack the days’ action.
We can all, no doubt, recall our fair share of bad beats, but the law of averages means that over a period of time it usually evens out and, at various stages, we’ll get a miracle backdoor cover or 12 to make up for all those near misses.
3. Don’t take a spoon to a knife-fight
Preparation, people. “Failure to prepare means you’re preparing to fail”. When it comes to betting, a truer word has never been spoken. Overall, wagering markets are generally quite accurate and present few opportunities. Online sportsbooks post early lines that are often manipulated by clever players, players who prepare well in advance and pounce as soon as they’re open to the public.
These ‘clever players’ are pros and/or wagering groups or syndicates who have the capacity to evaluate large quantities of information, with just the right mix of personal insight, relating to the sports or event in question. There are two main factors that will prompt a sportsbook to adjust their lines; Volume (of money) and Sharps (professional bettors), and, when those two align, it’s not uncommon to see a fairly major shift from the original number.
There’s now more information available to bettors than ever before. Dimers.com has some of the best predictive analytics tools available and, better yet, they’re free! Their models take literally hundreds of data points and crunch them through an algorithm, before then simulating the matchup over 10,000 times to produce predicted outcomes and best bets, pretty cool huh? If you want to do minimal work and still be able to bet with some level of confidence, then it’s worth trying them out.
4. You Don’t Bother to Shop For The Best Line
Remember what we said about preparing, people? This is another, super important, example. Not looking around for the best lines is just plain dumb! It would be like paying $500 for a TV, despite knowing you can get the same one right next door for $400 – you just wouldn’t do it!
Nothing, and we mean nothing, in sports betting is so important, yet so simple at the same time.
If you’re taking +6 from your ‘guy’, or the online sportsbook you’ve always used, when others have +6.5 available, may not cost you the first time, but as you evolve as a sport bettor it’s sure as heck gonna cost you in the long run. While it doesn’t sound like much, why would you not take and extra half-point here and there? Oh, that’s right, because you like paying $500 for a TV that your buddy bought for $400.
Every sensible sports bettor has more than one online sports betting account – for this very reason. And don’t get me started on better odds!! Why on earth would you take -130 on your team with one book, when others have them at odds of -115? Or, the other way round, like taking +120 when you can get +150 with other operators. Short answer? You wouldn’t (or at least shouldn’t!).
Dimers.com recommends having at least two different sportsbook accounts as they’re super quick and easy to set up. Although, if you’re chasing deposit bonuses (guilty Your Honor) you’re better off splitting your initial bankroll across multiple books, rather than having it all with one – think of all those bonus bets you’re missing out on!
5. Don’t Ignore Bankroll Management
Sports betting is about probabilities and math, right? With, what we know as ‘odds’, just another way of displaying a probability. When you see odds of -110, all that means is an implied probability of 52.4% that what you’re betting on will actually occur. Similarly, odds of +400 represents an implied probability of 20% – or a significantly lower likelihood, hence the higher odds. Confused yet?
So, the basic laws of mathematics apply – in a nutshell, you will win some and you will lose some. While betting is meant to be fun (and anything BUT an exact science) take a look at the math and you may be surprised. Should you be throwing 10% of your bankroll down on a +500 shot? Probably not – you’ll be out of cash in no time. Most casual bettors outlay too high of a percentage of their bankroll on each bet. These bettors, while probably having loads of fun, would struggle to manage their money effectively.
6. Don’t Fall For ‘Trap’ Lines
The old trap line, eh? We’ve been sucked into a few of them over the journey! When a line looks too good to be true, that is a sure sign your analysis on that game needs to start, and not end, there! Take it from us…*cough*.
Las Vegas wasn’t built as a charity, handing over cash to all comers out of the goodness of their collective heart now, was it!? They were, and still are, extremely clever at luring you into things that you may be missing key information on. It’s a lot harder for them these days, with the internet and all, but they still have their ways – and the same applies to online sportsbooks, and even your guy at the bar.
7. Don’t Ignore Your Mistakes
Once their bet has results, good or bad, most gamblers move on to their next wager quite quickly. This, despite spending hours handicapping the game, means they don’t spend any time reflecting on where things went right or wrong – basically taking no learning from their work. Questions you should try and ask yourself after a game or event has concluded: Would you make the same wager again? Did luck play a significant part in the result? Did you throw down more or less than you should have?
If you don’t learn from your mistakes you’ll just repeat them over and over again, costing you wins and, more importantly, your hard earned cash.