There’s a lot of information on the internet claiming to offer “foolproof” methods to instant sports betting success. Unfortunately, there is no such thing. Becoming a successful sports punter requires hard work, determination, knowledge, and experience.
Part of gaining these necessary skills is to learn which strategies to apply and when to implement them. In this article, we’ve compiled 10 quick betting tips and strategies that will move you towards being a stronger, more successful punter over time.
Like anything worth doing, achieving a better sports betting winning percentage takes both time and perseverance. Sports betting is not tantamount to gambling, so we advocate betting with skill, measure, and precision. Don’t leave everything up to luck!
1. Understand the concept of value
Critical. If you don’t have this, walk away. Sure you might be certain that a 1.25 favourite is going to win, but are the odds being offered giving any value?
Plenty of times we’ve heard casual gamblers say “There’s no way this team is going to lose this game.” Well they might be legitimate favourites, but is the probability of them winning better than the odds being offered? Betting with this frame of mind is a little like saying an over-priced wide-screen TV was good value just because you really wanted it. It doesn’t work.
Value is a simple concept, but most of the betting public don’t understand this. And perhaps thankfully so, because its this naive or ‘square’ money that can skew the market, leaving great opportunities for the minority of gamblers who do know how to recognize value.
Being able to spot value means that you are able to spot odds that are too high, consistently and systematically – and capitalize on those opportunities.
Spotting value is in essence about judging probabilities more correctly than the market does. Of course, it is difficult to do that for every game and every sport, but that isn’t necessary. Your big advantage over the bookmaker lies in the ability to skip matches with unfavourable odds – just like you don’t have to purchase all stocks available. The bookmaker pretty much has to offer odds for almost all games, at the very least in the most popular leagues.
Spotting value is the hardest thing to do in this business, and you will need a lot of practice to pull it off consistently. Only once you have developed your ability to consistently identify value, you will have a systematic edge.
2. Manage Your Bankroll and Create a Unit Size
It’s integral that, as a sports punter, you decide how much money you’re going to dedicate towards betting on sports. Of course, this hinges on your individual financial situation. It’s never wise to bet money that you can’t afford to lose.
Now that you’ve established a pre-ordained bankroll, decide on unit size. We recommend that beginner punter’s stake 1-5% of their bankroll on every bet they make.
This is undoubtedly the crucial first step in becoming a more successful sport better. Every single “sharp” scrutinizes both their bankroll and unit size regularly. For more information, we’ve written a whole guide on sports betting money management.
3. Develop Realistic Expectations
A successful “sharp” wins 54% of the time. A historically great “sharp” wins at around a 60% clip. These are the best sports punter’s in the entire world.
Wanting to achieve these numbers at the jump or even over an extended period of time is a tall order. We can’t stress this point enough.
Even if you win your first 10 bets (which is not unheard of), the law of averages suggests that unfortunately, you’ll come crashing back to the earth at some point. Knowing this and setting realistic expectations can help prevent you from doing anything rash.
Don’t deviate from the strategy and methods that made you win 10 in a row in the first place.
4. Keep a Record of Your Bets and Review Them Periodically
This strategy might seem unsexy, but it’s nevertheless incredibly important.
It isn’t fun to revisit losses, but if you do, you might prevent yourself from making the same types of mistakes twice. Sometimes, you’ll lose bets even if you’ve done everything right. Other times, you knew you were reaching, but made a bet anyway. Correcting misguided reasoning will benefit your bets in the long run.
An occasional retrospective on your successes and failures will doubtless provide a long-term boost to your bankroll.
5. Bet with Your Head, Not Your Heart
The majority of sports punters began betting because they were sports fans. As such, they probably had allegiance to one or more teams. If this applies to you, we’d recommend from abstaining on betting on any event related to your favorite team (or teams).
Loyalty can cloud our judgment, and we recommend being rational and measured in your sports betting. Bias can affect us in both conscious and unconscious ways. For this reason, we recommend skipping lines that you have a personal interest or an emotional investment in.
6. Avoid “Sunk Cost Fallacy”
For this tip, we’re going to borrow a standard term from behavioural economics. The “sunk cost fallacy” means that the more time or money one invests in something, that harder it becomes to abandon. This encompasses everything from business investment to a bad relationship.
Decisions are coloured and tainted by accumulated emotional attachments related to the investment. People engaging in the “sunk cost fallacy” will throw more money at a project or venture that’s doomed, just because they’ve invested so much time in it already. They simply don’t know when to cut their losses.
This applies to sports betting just as much as it pertains to investments. If you’re having a bad day, cut your losses. And whatever you do, don’t keep upping the size of your bankroll to cover a nasty losing streak.
7. Bet on One Sport
As Warren Buffet says, invest in what you know. The same applies to sports betting.
If you’re new to sports betting, it’s worth it to stick to the one sport you know the most about. You’ll already be ahead in the methods you need to get an edge in over the bookmakers, just based on your pre-existing knowledge of how the game is played.
You’ll already know how to evaluate players and teams, and where to gather information about the sport. This is integral to finding the smartest wagers.
8. Line Shop
Line-shopping is all about taking advantage of pricing discrepancies between the same event at different sports books. Finding the best odds possible is guaranteed to have a significant positive effect on your sports betting ROI.
Line shopping is the closest thing to a foolproof, sure-thing strategy in sports betting. It’s guaranteed to net you bigger profits and long-term success in sports betting. The sooner you start doing it, the better.
We’ve written a full guide on all things line shopping, and why it’s essential.
9. Hedge Your Bets When It’s Appropriate
At its core, hedging is a risk management technique that can be applied to sports betting. It’s a way to either reduce your bankroll exposure or lock in a profit on bets.
Hedging is complicated and beyond the scope of this quick strategy guide, but every hedge you make will be done by betting on a result that’s different from your original wager.
Read our detailed guide on how to hedge your bets efficiently.
10. Do Your Research and Talk to Other Bettors
In the age of the internet, getting involved in the sports betting community has never been easier. Join sports betting forums, peruse sports-book related subreddits, and talk to anyone you know in real life who may be keen on sports betting.
Not only will you become more accustomed to sports betting lingo, but you can also exchange sports betting strategies with your friends.