Since its legalization, over 19% of Americans have bet on sports. That’s most likely due to the large market. There’s no sporting event that you can’t bet on.
Betting is so convenient and straightforward that everyone can do it. It provides an extra layer of excitement and competition for sports fans, and some bookmakers provide pretty sweet incentives.
The problem is that while it’s easy to make money by betting on sports, it’s also not hard to blow your entire life savings if you don’t do your research beforehand.
Check out these beginner sports betting tips for ways to gamble without falling into common traps.
1. Start Small
It takes a while to get used to online gambling. While some beginners can come up with a winning strategy right away, not everyone gets that lucky.
That’s why it’s a good idea to start small. Dip your toes into the world of betting by putting down a few dollars at first.
You can slowly invest more and more as you get begin to develop your strategy.
Similarly, it’s good to focus your betting on a single sport instead of trying to gamble on the MLB, NFL, NBA, and NCAA all at once.
2. Learn the Difference Between Underdogs and Favorites
Before you begin gambling on sports, you need to know the difference between the favorites and the underdogs.
The underdogs are the team that is projected to lose the game. They’re represented by a plus sign in sportsbooks.
The favorite team is the one everyone expects to win. They’re represented by a minus sign.
There are times when the odds are a perfect 50/50 toss-up. When that happens, the books will list it as a “pick ’em” or “pick.”
3. Study the Betting Types
You can use the point spread option, Moneylines, or overs and unders to gamble on favorites and underdogs. All these betting types come with their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages for beginners.
Point spreads are based on the margin of victory. This means that the team you bet on will need to beat the other team by a set number of points.
Point spreads are available for most sports, but they’re most commonly used for bigger ones such as football.
Many people suggest Moneyline betting to newcomers. It’s a bit easier to make a profit because all you have to do is guess who the winner of the game is going to be.
As far as payout goes, you’ll win 2x the amount you put down if you bet for the underdog. For example, let’s say that you’re planning to bet for a +200 underdog. If you put $100 down, you’ll walk away with $200 if they win.
On the flip side of this, you’ll have to put down double if you’re betting favorite. Going off our example above, you would pay $200 for the possibility of winning $100.
Overs and Unders
At the beginning of the game, bookkeepers will guess how many points they think both teams will make as a whole. Betters will place a wager on whether or not the actual total will go over or under the guessed amount.
At the end of the night, the bookkeepers will count up the points. In the event that the bookkeepers guess correctly, the bets will be refunded.
4. Account for Home Team Bias
In almost all instances, home teams beat visitors. It’s due to this reason that bookies weigh their result decisions in favor of the home team almost every time.
That’s called home team bias. While it might feel safe and tempting to bet on a home team, their luck is bound to run out at some point. This is especially true for underdog home teams.
At the same time, in order to delete bias, some bookies give visiting teams more credit than is deserved. If you meet their confidence, you could lose big.
5. Check More Than One Sports Book
When you’re shopping around for a car, you visit several car lots to find the right vehicle. Most people don’t buy the first car that they test drive. You should approach betting on sports the same way.
Sportsbooks vary when it comes to spreads, lines, and wagers. With the power of the internet, you have hundreds of them to choose from.
Visit https://www.bookmakersreview.com/sportsbooks/bookmaker/ to get the best bang for your buck.
6. Research Teams
There is a surprising amount of research that goes into betting. On top of learning the basics, you also need to research teams and positions.
Over time, you’ll come to learn the strengths and weaknesses of specific players. As you can imagine, that will put you at a huge advantage when it comes time to place bets.
7. Practice Money Management
When you place a bet on a team, go in with the mindset that you’re going to lose the money you put down. It’s not the best mindset to have when it comes to fun, but it will prevent you from gambling away your rent money.
It’s also important to note that you don’t have to bet on every single game to make a profit. The professionals only place wagers when they know there’s potential value in it. You should adopt the same practice.
8. Set Realistic Expectations
Many people go into sports betting with the dream that they’ll one day be able to drop their boring 9-5 job. You could get there someday, but it’s not going to happen overnight.
Even with years of practice, you may find it difficult to make a living wage. Those who do manage it don’t win every single time either.
There are instances when they lose big and suffer when it comes time to pay their bills. It’s not a stable profession.
9. Bet While Sober
Everyone loves to have a drink or two when they watch a game. One of the purposes of sports is for the spectators to chill out and have a good time.
Before you get too cozy, though, go ahead and place your bets. You should always wager while clear-headed. If you start trying to decipher sportsbooks when you’re three beers in, you could end up making a mistake that will cost you everything.
10. Don’t Show Favoritism
It’s understandable that you want to show support for your favorite sports team. If the odds are in their favor, go ahead and bet on them.
If everything in your gut (and the sportsbooks) are against them, don’t place a bet on them out of loyalty. You can’t afford to.
If you know that you won’t be able to take the rose-colored glasses off, don’t wager on games that involve your favorite team.
11. Stay Away From Risky Sports
It’s riskier to bet on certain sports than others because they’re easy to fix. Individual sports are notorious for it. In games of golf or tennis, all it takes is for one person to throw the match for you to lose hundreds.
It’s not impossible to fix team sports, but it’s more difficult because of the number of people that have to be involved.
12. Bet on What You Know
If you’re only watching baseball with the goal of betting on the games and making a quick buck, you shouldn’t be betting on baseball. When it comes to placing wagers, stick to what you know and like.
If you know the ins and outs of basketball, you’re likely to make better betting decisions than if you were going in clueless.
13. Keep a Record
Every time you place a bet, make a record of it. Doing so will allow you to track your earnings.
By looking at your spreadsheet, you’ll physically see which betting strategies are working and which ones aren’t.
14. Treat It Like a Business
It’s okay to have fun with sports betting, but if you always treat it like a hobby, you’re not going to get too far. At the end of the day, it’s your own personal business. You’re in it with the end goal of making money.
Open a separate bank account for the cash you win through betting. This way, it doesn’t get mixed up in your personal finances. Again, track your progress, and don’t forget to set a budget.
Win Big With These Sports Betting Tips for Beginners
Betting on sports is a great way to bring in some extra income. While it won’t allow you to quit your 9-5, you can earn a lot if you play your cards right.
As you can see, most sports betting tips involve research. If you take the time to study a sport and shop around for the right bookie, you’ll be good to go.
You should also make sure that you remain up to date with all the latest in basketball, football, and baseball. Visit the sports section of our blog every day to stay in the loop.