Once the basics of sports gambling are understood, it’s time to incorporate additional strategies to help find success.  However, this doesn’t mean the basics can be ignored.  The fundamental tools that are used to create a beginning strategy serve as a foundation upon which other strategies are added.  By doing so, sports gamblers create for themselves a more well-rounded approach to placing bets, which can go a long way toward finding more wins. 

Follow Your Head, Not Your Heart

Successful sports gamblers know the importance of following their head, not their heart. It makes perfect sense, and any successful sports gambler would agree.  Emotional betting is fed by a win, or a series of wins, where the gambler’s favorite team was actually a solid pick over their opponent.  Gamblers notice this and get lulled into a false sense of security.  In many instances, they double down on their heart-led favorites and end up losing more than they bargained for.  Even with the best data analysis, gamblers still going to need some luck to win.  By avoid placing bets with your heart, you are sure to have a longer, more successful sports gambling career.

Don’t Spend Money On Points

Buying points is a strategy often employed by bettors that can’t find a desirable target for their gambling money, but feel that they must place a bet.  They might, for example, be convinced that the Lakers can keep it within six points of the Clippers, but the line is at +5.5.  Sportsbooks know this and have come up with a creative (and profitable) way to accommodate the bettors while possibly earning some extra money.

It is incredibly challenging to be extremely profitable as a professional sports bettor. To make money, a gambler must win over 52% of every bet they place.  This is because of the “juice,” the money kept by sportsbooks for every losing bet.

As sports gamblers look to increase the money they’re putting down on wagers, they will also have to increase they need to win in order to turn a profit.  Buying points is for desperate gamblers, which is another way of saying losing gamblers.  Always shop around and look at all sportsbooks to find a line that you’re comfortable with; if you don’t find one, find a different game where the value feels right and the line fits better.  Sportsbooks offer points for a reason – they’re profitable for the casino, not for the gambler.

Never Chase Your Losses

The first rule of sports gambling is that you have to be prepared to lose.  Gamblers lose bets throughout their entire sports gambling career, just like sports teams lose games throughout their careers.  That’s just the way it is, and it’s important to accept the fact.  Don’t go on tilt and chase your losses, expecting a miracle turnaround.  Sports betting is a marathon; if you can endure the steep learning curve, you may very well find success in the end.

Sports gamblers need time to develop their own betting styles and figure out the process they’ll use to better pick winners and losers.   Those who attempt to get it all back in one massive bet are often headed for disaster and potential bankroll bankruptcy.  You should stay steady and consistent with your bets and always keep a level head.  Most sportsbooks will allow you to set limits on how much you may bet at a time – use that feature and avoid the pitfall of chasing losses.

Do Your Research When Shopping a Sportsbook

Unfortunately, fraudulent online sportsbooks are a nuisance.  Sports gamblers need to do some research before signing up with an operator in order to avoid the scammers and be confident that the information, as well as the bankroll, is safe.  Just by conducting an in-depth review of the operator’s feedback page will give you enough information to make a decision.   

Any legitimate online sportsbook will have a live person you can speak to in order to resolve issues.  If you speak to someone, ask the hard questions and express your reservations clearly.  The representatives should be trained professionals and it’s their job to give you all pertinent information about the company and its policies and procedures.  

When doing the research on online sportsbooks, don’t forget to look for deposit bonuses.  These are ways the sportsbook essentially gives new customers “free money” as a means to attract new business.  Be sure to read all the terms and conditions carefully before accepting the deal – some  sportsbooks may require you to use the bonus within five days or to keep any bonus winnings on the site for a certain amount of time.  Many of the deposit bonuses also have betting requirements that need to be fulfilled before the money can be withdrawn.

Larger Games Will Have Tighter Lines

The more important a game is, the tighter the lines will be.  This can be extremely advantageous to sports gamblers and their bankrolls.  Sportsbooks don’t care who wins or loses a game; they’re goal is to have equal action on both sides of the betting (and to make a nice profit off the losers).  This isn’t to say  that you should avoid bigger games completely.  It means that you will consistently find more value in your picks when betting on games with a lower impact.

Be Mindful of Self-Exclusion

Self-exclusion is a way for problem gamblers, or those who feel that their gambling may be taking control, to implement a self-imposed ban to prevent them from gambling.   In many cases, only the bettors themselves are able to register themselves on self-exclusion lists (although, legislation in different areas is being introduced to allow family members to also register individuals).  The sportsbook is then responsible for not taking any wagers from that gambler until the “cooling-down period” is over.    The ban is only removed after the predetermined amount of time has passed, and not even the gambler can change it.  

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

Sports gambling can be an incredibly lucrative activity for savvy sports bettors.   Anthony Bloom and Billy Walters are two of the most well-known sports gambler who have made huge amounts of money off their craft.  While that might be a nice goal to have, sports gambling is meant to be entertaining and, if you reach a point that it’s not, it’s probably time to step away. 

Understanding Break-Even Percentages

Beginning bettors typically have difficulty when it comes to switching from football and basketball point spreads to baseball moneylines.  Break-even percentages are often ignored in current sports gambling talk when making playoff picks; too many explain the obvious about how the favorite is superior to the underdog and leave it at that.  However, the break-even point for a -125 favorite is 55.6%, while the break-even point for a -260 favorite is 72.2%. That’s a big difference.  

In order to determine the break-even point, you first divide the price by the sum of that price and then add 100.  For example, a -125 favorite will be 125 divided by 225, with a result of 55.6%.  That means, in rough terms, that you need the favorite to have around a 60% chance of winning.  This can be applied to all break-even percentages and, while not the only criteria to consider, can go a long way toward helping determine if a bet is worthwhile. 

Playing Middles

One of the misconceptions many new gamblers have is that professionals want to hit middles, when you bet both sides of the same game at favorable prices.  For example, if the favorite is at -5.5 and the underdog is at +7.5, some may bet the middle, hoping the game ends on either the 6 or the 7.  Sharps, or professional gamblers, will make those bets if they see value; however, they didn’t go for the 5.5 initially in hopes of setting up a middle and and they won’t bet the underdog at +7.5 if they made the game 8 or 9.  The chance at a middle is a byproduct of smart betting; it’s not the goal.