How to bet smart on sports

Sports betting can be one of the best ways to have fun while making money, but only if you know the tips and tricks of the trade. Unlike many other forms of betting the house only has a small advantage, making it one of the easiest gambling methods to make a profit from. To maximise your chances of success, check out the sports betting tips outlined below.

1. Smart sports betting

If you want to win like a pro, you need to think like one. An easy mistake many of us make with sports betting is by using our heart instead of our head. Instead of betting on a team purely because you support them, try to think outside the box. If the odds aren’t good, don’t do it. Betting on the team most likely to win doesn’t make you a traitor, it makes you smart. Try to stay objective when making your bets, you might be a Man City fan betting on United, but when they make you money then you’ll enjoy the last laugh.

2. Don’t be afraid to lose

Accept that sometimes the team you back will lose. This sounds obvious, but it can be hard to take a defeat. What you need to remember is that even the professionals don’t get it right all the time. If you manage to succeed on 50% or more of your bets then you’re well on your way to raking in the cash. So when you lose let it go quickly, and focus on the next opportunity. Wallowing in a loss is one of the quickest ways for gamblers spiral into a series of bad bets. Instead use it as a learning experience to make you sharper for the future.

3. Know your sport

Don’t bet on sports you don’t understand. The closer you follow a sport and the more you know about the players, managers and ground, the better your odds will be. If you do feel the need to bet on a sport you don’t know much about, take the lead from someone who does. Follow a pro with a verifiable record, or ask your mates who know the sport inside out.

4. Optimise online sport betting

Don’t be afraid to shop around online for the best line. Limiting yourself to one betting site could be costing you dearly. Register yourself with 3-4 websites and before you place a bet check the rates for each of them. It won’t take more than a minute, and you’ll be amazed at how much more you could make by just utilising this simple tip.

5. Avoid the pundits picks

A rookie mistake when online sports betting is to go with the opinion of so called ‘experts’ in the field. These pundits often go with the favourites, which may win, but that’s not where the best profit can be made. Instead go for the underdog, look for the teams and players with best odds that are currently out of favour. Although this method doesn’t always work, when it does you can make much more than by betting on the favourites.

6. Diversify your risk

In the stock market investors spread their cash across a wide variety of investments to ensure a return. This means a mixture of low risk and low profit investments, coupled with medium and high-risk investments with higher profit margins. The aim of this approach is to ensure when an investment doesn’t go to plan, as inevitably some will always fail, that this loss is quickly absorbed by the winning investments. The pro’s approach sports betting in very much the same way. By mixing low, medium and high risk bets you maximise your chances of making a profit.

7. Don’t bet too big

It goes without saying to never bet more than you can afford, but even if you can afford a large bet, it might not be the best option. Generally punters find themselves over-betting when on a winning streak, during times like this you’re the most vulnerable to making mistakes and losing a large amount of money. Remember, the fact you won the last 5 bets in a row doesn’t give you a higher chance of winning this one. Luck isn’t real. Try to be objective and sensible. Detach yourself as much as possible from the situation and think what you’d advise a friend or family member. There’s nothing worse than investing your winning streak on a large bet and losing it all. Keep your head.

8. Don’t underestimate the odds makers

Savvy sports betters know the house always wins. They know that the professionals who make the odds are smarter at this than they are, if they weren’t they’d be out of business. This respect for the odds makers ensures savvy betters don’t bet too often or too much. Employ a heavy dose of scepticism whenever you find odds that seem too good to be true, do your research and only bite once you’re certain the apple isn’t rotten.

9. Learn to recognise value

Always assess whether the given odds offer you any value. If the probability of a team winning isn’t higher than the odds then walk away. Even a ‘dead cert’ can go wrong, so if the odds are poor value then learn to sit this one out. Many rookie betters have no concept of value and as such saturate the market on poor value bets, while leaving more attractive propositions for the pros.

10. Understand basic maths

This the one time your GCSE maths might actually come in useful. Unless you understand what odds equate to in terms of probability, you can’t accurately assess the value of a bet. Sports betting is a numbers game and failure to grasp the basics could leave you out of pocket.