Are you interested in Online sports betting but scared of losing money? Or maybe you’re just curious about how betting Online is different than betting at traditional sportsbooks? These ten tips can help you be sure that you’re placing the best bet that you can, and will also help you avoid the common mistakes of Vegas veterans who move sports betting sites. No mater what your experience, this list can help you be the most potent Online sports gambler possible.
The single most important thing that any person can do before starting to gamble is to understand their budget. People who understand and respect their budget will be able to gamble for fun, possibly make some money, and live a healthy normal life afterward. On the other hand, people who do not understand their budget run the very real risk of spending more money than they can afford while gambling, possibly putting themselves in serious financial jeopardy. Three basic rules to always live by are:
- Know exactly how much money you currently have access to.
- Know exactly how much of this money you can stand to lose gambling and set it aside, separate from the rest. In the world of sports gambling this reserved money is referred to as your “bankroll.”
- Never EVER, under any circumstances, bet with money that isn’t in your bankroll.
These may seem like fairly common sense measures, but much of the pain associated with gambling could be spared if people were willing to live by these rules.
Sports gambling, when done correctly, should be a mentally involved process. A great sports bettor will be constantly running over team stats, betting odds, and possible outcomes the entire way through the betting process. This is very hard to do while intoxicated. For some reason, it seems that alcohol may occasionally impede rational thought:
This is not to say that you can’t have a beer while you watch the game. It’s alcohol intoxication, not alcohol in and of itself, that will make you a lousy bettor. As long as you understand your limits please, drink up.
Gambling, of any kind, can be broken down to an essential foundation of the bettor vs. the house. That’s the bettor (you), versus the house (sports betting site). You versus them. Every time. When you make money, the house loses money and when the house makes money you lose money. That’s why the game works.
While it may seem intimidating at first, you can actually use this fact to your advantage. After all, once you’ve identified your opponent you can begin to search him/her for weakness. And exploit that weakness.
The house does have the advantages of almost limitless funds, dedicated sports researchers, and odds stacked in their favor. But you have the luxury of specificity. In order to maintain their reputation as being popular and legitimate, most sports betting sites will always offer bets on whatever sports are currently being played. This means that they have to spread their focus over a huge variety of statistics, names, and odds from across all fields. This is their great weakness.
If you are willing to focus your attention on only one sport at a time, you can gain an edge on the house. By hyper-focusing on only one sport you will be able to learn far more than the house expects you to be able to, and possibly more than the house itself. This puts you in a very nice position. By focusing, and by being a niche bettor, you give yourself the best chance you have to be a winner.
After you’ve decided which sport you’d like to bet on, it’s research time.You probably already know most of the stats of your favorite teams and that should help, but to be a truly effective sports bettor it’s important to have an understanding of as many teams as possible. This means keeping up with trades or injuries, digging around the Internet for data, and finding as many expert opinions as you can. Try to find, and remember, at least this data about as many teams as you can:
- Team ranking (if available)
- Season wins/losses/ties
- Key players
- Any injuries, suspensions, or other handicaps
- General reputation among experts (Keep in mind that this is the least concrete data you’ll need to gather. Know the “expert opinion” but don’t rely on it)
Once you have this basic data understood, it’s up to you how much further you’d like to go. Each sport will have specific statistics that are more important to the game than others and it’s up to you to try to find and make sense of this data. Always remember though, that the more you know about the sport the better you’ll be at betting on it.
In sports betting, a “line” refers to the current odds or point spread for a particular event. In other words, the line tells you exactly how hard it’s going to be for you to make money on any certain event. Obviously then, it’s crucial to find the best one available.
Lines are set by betting sites based on recent betting patterns and numerical data about the teams involved. That numerical data clearly will not change, regardless of which site you visit, but the recent betting patterns of each individual site can vary greatly. This creates real discrepancies between the odds offered by different sites, sometimes to the extent of a two or three point difference (which is a lot in sports betting).
To find the very best line it’s important to do some research. Most of the sports book sites that you can find on multiple review sites have at least some credibility. Look through some of them, try to get a feel for each site, and pick a few that you feel comfortable with. If you worry about computer security, here are a few tried and true sites that you can visit:
After you know which sites you’re going to be using, start comparing the odds. If they fluctuate from day to day, don’t be worried. That’s natural. That’s why we’ve included this step. Eventually, as you become more familiar with betting, you should have several sites that you frequent, and you’ll be able to always find the best line.
Many online betting sites will offer special rates occasionally. Parlays (bets in which two conditions must be satisfied before a dividend is paid), teasers (a more complicated kind of parlay), and risky bets will often boast odds that seem too good to be true. This is mostly because they are.
We’ve already discussed the dynamic of “you versus the house” so, keeping that in mind, ask yourself why the house would be offering you such good odds. Is it probably because you’re going to make more money, or is it probably because they’re going to make more money?
That’s right. Most of the “great deals” that you’ll find on sports betting sites are statistically less likely to make you money than a normal, straight bet. This is not to say that these deals can’t pay off very well. They can. And they do now and then. As a regular bettor, however, you will lose much more money playing these bets than you would if you stuck with straight bets.
Everybody knows that the home team wins. People are inspired to play their best in their own stadiums. At home, most teams have an energy and drive that they just don’t have out on the road. This can be really good news for sports bettors.
If you like an underdog, don’t hesitate to place the bet when they play at home. In fact, the underdog at home is one of the best bets that you can place in the sports world. If ever any team is going to pull the big upset, it’s a fired up underdog at home.
Most of the bets placed on the underdog will come from, at least moderately, skilled sports bettors, since they feel more comfortable ditching the “sure bet”. And since skilled sports bettors usually know exactly what they want from the beginning of the day/week, those bets will usually be the first ones placed.
On the other hand, the inexperienced or unskilled bettors are much more likely to pick the favorite. They also tend to wait until the last minute to place their bets since, generally, they don’t like to spend very much time on the gambling process.
What this means to you: If you want to play an underdog, bide your time. Wait for the favorite to get played up late by everyone else so you can maximize your odds. If you want to play the favorite, go for it early. Try to place your bet while the pros are all putting their money on the underdog.
As mentioned earlier, a parlay is a bet in which two conditions, rather than just one, must be met before the bettor wins. There are two major types of parlay: the point spread parlay and the money line parlay.
A point spread parlay can simply be thought of as one bet made on two different teams. Rather than simply betting that one team will win, I bet on two separate teams to win, and both must win before I am paid by the book. For example: instead of placing a bet on the Lakers to beat the Nuggets, I would place a bet on the Lakers to beat the Nuggets and the Magic to beat the Cavaliers. If either of the teams I picked lost, I would lose the bet.
A money line parlay operates slightly differently. I still make my pick of two different teams, and they still both have to win before I’m paid, but instead of simply making one straight bet with straight odds, I essentially make two bets that end as one. My initial amount, say ten dollars, is placed on one game, whose winner I have already picked. If my pick is right then I win a certain amount, say twenty dollars, based on the odds offered for the first team. That money is then all placed on the second game I chose. If I win this game as well, then I take the initial winnings, compounded by the odds offered for the second team, say fifty dollars.
For example: I pick the Chargers to beat the Saints and the Packers to beat the Vikings. I place ten dollars initially and the Chargers win. Since the Chargers were clearly going to win I only got odds of 2:1 so I end up with twenty dollars. This money is then immediately, without coming back to me, placed on the Vikings game. Since the Packers are playing at home against Favre, they rally and also win. This time my odds were better, say 4:1, because the Packers weren’t supposed to win. In the end I make seventy dollars.
Sounds pretty good right?
Parlays do not pay off very often. The only reason that you’re being offered such great odds for that parlay is because the book knows that it’s almost definitely not happening. A good book knows that the occasional parlay will pay off big for some lucky guy, but only after hundreds of other parlays fail for hundreds of other people. You are probably one of the hundreds. Just always remember:
Parlays have been the downfall of better gamblers than you!
Nothing poses more of a threat to calm, analytical, and productive gambling than rage.
An angry gambler is easily manipulated, doesn’t pay enough attention, and makes decisions without thinking. An angry gambler feels like they have something to prove. An angry gambler loses money.
It’s obviously important then, to be able to recognize when you’re feeling frustrated or angry.
Unfortunately, while caught in the rush of betting this can actually be harder than you’d imagine. If you’re worried about not noticing, just watch yourself for these physiological warning signs:
- Elevated heart rate
- Flushed face
- Clenched knuckles or teeth
- Anxious twitching
- Furrowed brow
Many people will just assume that these sensations are a part of gambling, but they shouldn’t be. If you notice any of them in yourself just take a few deep breaths, do something to relax your mind, and be sure not to place any bets.