How to Profit from Sports Betting
Creating a steady profit from online sports betting can be challenging. Even if your goal is to have fun, winning is always preferable to losing. Read on to discover our best strategies for tipping the odds in your favor.
Getting to Grips with Betting Value
Professional gamblers will only place a bet when they know the genuine betting value, and so should you. Betting when there is no value is only useful if you’re trying to see how fast you can burn through your gambling budget. Research is the key to finding those value bets, which will help keep you in profit.
Recognizing Value Bets
A value bet can be summed up as only placing a bet when you have calculated the probability of an outcome to be higher than what the odds would indicate. If the chance is less, then you don’t have a value bet and should wait for the next opportunity.
For example, the Seattle Seahawks are facing off against the Philadelphia Eagles in a regular season game. The Seahawks have attracted a price at odds of +140 to win. When you do your calculations, you will see that the bookies have settled on a 35.7% chance for Seattle to win.
However, your research shows that the Seahawks have a 45% chance to win. In this case, you have a value bet because you calculate a higher chance of winning than odds do. If you had come up with a 30% chance for the Seahawks to win, then it wouldn’t be a value bet.
Understand How Sports Books Calculate Their Odds
There are complex algorithms determining the likelihood of each outcome with the odds you see online. Plus, the sports books attempt to gauge what the betting public are likely to put most of their money on. The savvy bettor willing to bide their time can exploit these inbuilt biases and swing the odds in their favor.
Betting Bias Example
Most casual punters don’t like to take too many risks and will put their money on the favorite. Their research is minimal – often only going back to the last two or three matches – and so they have a poor understanding of each teams’ real chance.
Their lack of research rarely gives them an accurate appraisal of how a match will play out. Putting money on the favorite usually comes down to the average bettor’s desire for a ‘sure thing.’ The inherent bias in favorites betting leads to them often being overpriced, while the underdogs represent excellent value.
Casual bettors also prefer to bet on high scoring games. Betting on the Over in points totals market is usually preferred to the Under, which is only revealing what the betting public would like to see happen, rather than what is most likely.
It’s a trend that leads to a bias in the points totals markets in both pro and college football. The Under bet represents the best value if you’re willing to take the chance that scoring will be lower than predicted. When punters take advantage of bias, it’s called “betting against the public,” and rooting out these bets is an essential skill to becoming a successful bettor.
How to Find Opportunities for Value Betting
You may understand the nature of value betting, but it’s not much good if you don’t recognize a value bet when you see one. Identifying biases in the online sports betting markets is an excellent starting point. The skill takes practice and patience to learn, but once mastered, it can create many excellent value propositions.
One of the best ways to become proficient at spotting value bets is to specialize in a sport or market such as NCAA football betting lines, or NBA point totals. Focusing your expertise in one area will help you attune yourself to the potential of each competing team.
As you build on your experience, you may decide to up the ante and develop complex algorithms of your own, which will help you spot value.
This is a highly developed skill requiring in-depth knowledge of betting and probability theory. You will also need a considerable measure of technical expertise in collecting data and analyzing it through programming. Those that take the time to reach this level will find many opportunities for value betting.
Stick to Your Budget
Setting your budget and sticking to it comes down to the old adage “don’t bet more than you can lose.” When you approach betting as a long game, you set a budget that you feel comfortable in losing – even if you’re only going for the small stakes.
A good starting point is to set your betting bank at 200 units. Units can be whatever cash value you like. For example, a bank of 200 units, where each unit is worth $10, will equate to a real cash value of $2,000.
It may seem overly conservative, but it’s a tested strategy that has kept many a bettor from going bust and losing their shirt. Even the world’s most successful bettors started with small stakes and increased their bankroll by patiently waiting for value betting opportunities. It may not be sexy, but it’s a lot more attractive than looking at a zero balance.
Practice Patience and Maintain Discipline
It’s hard to be patient when you’re itching for some action, and patiently waiting for those value betting propositions can be torture. However, without patience and discipline, the urge to chase losses can be overwhelming and ruin your chance to stay in profit.
Events will occasionally turn against you, and losing streaks will happen, but it’s essential to maintain discipline and know when to walk away.
Improving Your Level of Discipline
One of the best ways to improve your betting discipline is to keep accurate records of all your betting. Record every detail, including the odds, the result, the market, which sportsbook you used, and why you made a bet.
Detailed records will highlight when poor discipline let you down and how much it cost your bankroll. If accurate records don’t improve your level of discipline, then there probably isn’t much chance that you will enjoy long-term profits.
Discipline means sticking to the basics – only bet when you see the value, and only wager what you can afford to lose. Nothing can guarantee success, but these traits will significantly increase your odds for long-term profits.