Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers not only scored a Super Bowl victory this year, but the underdogs also paid off for bettors around the country. Sports betting has exploded across the nation, with 21 states now offering legal wagering.
However, there is a big difference between being a successful bettor and being just another chump punting off dollars. When looking for some action, keep this in mind. Cashing winning tickets at the betting window is definitely possible if players are smart. And on that note, here are some solid ideas that savvy gamblers consider when plunking down their hard-earned dollars on sports gambling.
Walk in any sportsbook and look around. For some bettors, the drinks are flowing and the wagers are flying. However, successful handicappers aren’t action junkies. Rather than bet every matchup on the NFL slate for the week, serious bettors pick and choose. Take a look at the matchups and find an edge here or there. Don’t feel that you have to bet on too many games. In fact, this gives you a chance at some real profits on games you actually really feel good about, and this can be a ticket to success in the long run.
In addition to thinking carefully about the games you select, it is also important to manage your bankroll well. Determine what amount you can budget for the entire season so that you can budget for each week. Many serious bettors divide that bankroll into units—the minimum bet for the games they do wager on. Players may select three or four games a week, usually reserving one unit per game.
Do you see something particularly good? That may be worth a double or triple play. But it is important to be smart with your money to make the fun last throughout the year.
Sports betting isn’t like the lottery for serious prognosticators. When betting on sports, take some time to really analyze the matchups. Some players look for hot teams, streaks and records against the spread. Looking behind the big-name players can also offer some insight others may not consider.
In football, for example, line play can be extremely important on both sides of the ball. A standout offensive line versus a subpar defense offers a chance at success. Finding some key factors in each matchup can really pay off.
Finding some success and cashing some tickets? Stick to what is working for you. That crazy brother-in-law of yours may have played third-string tight end for his local community college, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he knows how to handicap. There are a million tout services offering so-called “expert picks,” but many of these “experts” offer
records of success that aren’t necessarily provable or real. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Not a big basketball fan? Then don’t wager on it. Sports bettors tend to have better results with games and leagues they’re more familiar with.
Another idea along the same vein might be to avoid betting on your favorite team. For many, it’s difficult to take the emotion of cheering for that hometown team out of their betting. And that goes both ways. Detroit Lions fans may think this year’s squad sucks (again), but that doesn’t mean they might not have an edge in a game against an even moreawful team. On the flip side, a Chiefs fan may think their team is going to cover every point spread. However, these kinds of biases can affect a player’s success, and this leads us to the next sports betting concept.
Everyone has a bias—especially sports fans. A Dallas fan may think, “This has to be the Cowboys’ year.” However, those types of thoughts aren’t wise to base wagers on. Instead, spend some real time looking at matchups and being objective. Being a “homer” isn’t a good path to cashing tickets and booking wins. Try to stay unbiased, and if it’s tough being objective, just don’t bet on that hometown team.
One of the main problems with some bettors is that they expect huge results. Going 9 for 10 in an NFL week just isn’t realistic. However, looking at four or five games and going 3-1 or 3-2 is a nice result. Mix in a 4-1 week, and that can really move the needle. If you can calculate that out and remain consistent over the length of the season, you’ll come out a nice winner. As the old saying goes, sports betting is “a marathon, not a sprint.” Even going 2-2 isn’t bad and means that you actually didn’t lose (not counting the vig).
On the other hand, don’t let a rough week affect your overall outlook. A 1-3 week isn’t the end of the world, especially if you’ve already had a good season in all other regards. Again, stick to what has been working for you. Too many bettors look to chase a loss by betting bigger or by selecting more games the next week. It seems that everyone knows a guy like this, and it is usually a recipe for disaster. When betting on sports and hoping for real success, be the tortoise and not the hare.