Beating the sportsbooks isn’t an easy proposition, and it’s one that most sports bettors will never attain. Bookmakers have a built-in house edge on all of their markets (of course, some more than others), and profiting isn’t easy.
The standard vigorish on a straight wager on a side or total is -110. For bettors to break even with a 10% juice, they need to win 52.38% of their bets. While this number may seem easily attainable to some, the bookmakers rake in profits every year because of this simple edge. That isn’t to say they can’t be beat, however.
There are a number of ways to decrease the house’s edge when it comes to betting sports. In some cases, bettors can eliminate the house edge and throw the odds back in their favor. In this article, we’ll examine the best ways to beat the bookie’s vig and to win at sports betting.
This is far and away the most important aspect of winning at sports betting. Getting the best price on your wagers will go a long way to making you a profitable sports bettor. Even the best handicappers in the world can’t overcome getting weak prices on their wagers.
Think about it, would you purchase a new television at a higher price if you could simply drive down the road to another store and get it for a cheaper price? The answer is no. The same reasoning should apply to sports betting. You’re searching for the best price when it comes to other products and services, why not sports betting? Using the best odds available for each one of your wagers is simply the best way to profit long term from sports betting.
The fact is, most bettors are much too lazy to even line shop for the best price. If they have money in Sportsbook A, but Sportsbook B has a better price, the vast majority of bettors would still bet the wager at Sportsbook A. This is a massive mistake.
The difference that comes from getting the best price might not be apparent when it comes to each individual wager, but over the long term, it adds up to thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars lost, depending on how much you bet. In fact, astute line shopping can make the difference between a losing year betting sports and a profitable one.
Betting Within Your Bankroll
This is another area where a profitable sports bettor has a plan and specific bankroll requirements, but a losing bettor rarely considers it. Even if you’re an excellent line shopper and are meticulous about getting the best price, if you’re wagering too much on your bets, you may put yourself out of action. Whether you’re a profitable bettor or a losing one, you still face the risk of ruin, also known as running out of money.
Bankroll strategies will vary among different schools of thought, but few handicappers will wager more than 1 or 2% of their bankroll on a single bet. Some prefer to flat bet while others vary their wagers depending on how much they like each market. Some players may choose to use an exact science, via the Kelly Criterion, to figure out how much to bet down to the cents.
Whatever strategy or bankroll management system you decide to use will depend on the amount you’re comfortable risking versus your profit potential. Sports betting without bankroll management is a dangerous proposition. Money is your tool of the trade when it comes to betting sports, and you need to protect it.
If you hit a losing streak, it’s perfectly fine to lower your bets until you make it back. The worst possible outcome is being out of action completely.
Taking advantages of bonuses and promotions is colloquially known as “bonus whoring,” which means signing up for sportsbooks or other gambling sites to clear their deposit and reload bonuses offers.
This is something that millions do every day across the online gambling world, and it’s an excellent strategy for bettors who are looking to add money to their bankrolls. This especially benefits newer players who are just starting out their career in sports betting. They will be able to make new accounts with loads of different online sportsbooks and add some much needed money to their roll.
Players can easily make thousands of dollars clearing various deposit bonuses and freeplays, so it’s certainly worth your while to go after bonuses. However, be sure to read the fine print when it comes to bonus rollovers and requirements. These differ depending on the bookmaker and have specific requirements on how the bonus must be cleared and when it can be withdrawn.
Tail a Respected Handicapper
I don’t advocate paying for picks for a number of reasons. Most prominently is because pay-per-pick services, otherwise known as touts, can’t be trusted to be honest. Instead, bettors have other options if they want to get into the minds of a profitable handicapper.
There are dozens of sports betting forums online and even more sports-betting-related sites that give their picks away for free. Members will post their records along with their picks (of course, no guaranteed that these are accurate either, but, hey, they’re free), which also allows for a discussion on the odds and matchup.
Be Selective, Don’t Chase Your Losses
This falls a bit under bankroll management but bears its own section because of how often bettors fall into this trap. It’s important to remember that sports betting is all about the long run. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Being selective about your plays and only betting on games when you feel you have spotted an inefficiency or advantage in the line is a sound strategy. Chasing your losses, betting more games, or increasing your bet size to make up for losing bets is something that is going to get you killed.
Remember, winning 55% of your wagers is all you need to do to make a modest profit at sports betting. If you wagered $100 over 1,000 bets and won 55% percent of these bets, you would profit $5,500, with the 10% vig included.
Trust your preparation and methods, and winnings will come your way.