1. Open a specific bank account.
To really make money on sports betting, you have to be dedicated, so it’s a good idea to have a special account that’s only for placing bets.
- When you open this account, be sure you invest enough money to cover your bankroll for an entire season or year, not just a single game.
- To ensure you have enough money, multiply your base bet by at least 100, and that’s the minimum amount you should keep in this account at all times.
- If you’re new to sports betting and don’t know your base bet, put in whatever money you have set aside for this venture and determine your base bet on the size of your bankroll (each bet should represent one to two percent).
2. Create accounts with a few sportsbooks.
In order to place bets, you have to have an account with at least one sportsbook, though it’s ideal to have at least three, because then you can compare offerings and place smarter bets. Some sportsbooks also offer signup bonuses, so be sure to shop around. Most sportsbooks are available online these days, and some of the more popular sites include:
3. Learn to make smart bets.
There are a number of rules that apply to this, and while some are about the numbers, others are about which teams you should and shouldn’t bet on.
- For instance, while each bet should represent about one to two percent of your bankroll, you can reduce this to 0.5 percent if you aren’t confident about a bet. Similarly, you can increase the bet if you’re very confident, but never place a bet that exceeds four percent of your bankroll.
- There are also some experts who say never to place a bet if you aren’t confident, because it’s better to walk away and find a better bet that you feel good about.
- Many experts recommend not betting on your home team in any sport, because your bias can cloud your judgement, and this can lead to great losses.
4. Create a betting schedule.
Don’t just bet on every game: every week, look at the upcoming games and pick the ones you want to bet on based on your confidence in the potential bet.
- Don’t be afraid to walk away from a bet right before the game. Odds change, lines change, and point spreads change, and if you’re no longer confident about a bet, either don’t make it or reduce the bet.
5. Don’t chase bad bets.
This refers to the practice of trying to recoup losses from a previous bet with more betting. It’s dangerous to do this because many people will set aside good judgement and place more bad bets in an attempt to win back what was lost, and this results in further losses.
- The opposite is also true: don’t chase a good bet (one where you won) with more bets in an attempt to win more or double your money. Have a betting schedule or routine and stick to it.
6. Bet sober.
This refers to betting with a clear mind and focus. Many people will read this and think it is common sense but you would be surprised how many people break this rule. Emotions can get the best of all of us, and bad decisions can be made from those emotions.
- “Going on Tilt” was a term developed when sports bettors let their emotions cloud their best resulting in losing their bankroll.
Understanding Sports Betting
1. Understand moneylines.
The moneyline is a plus or minus number associated with each team involved in a particular match, and it refers to either how much you have to bet to win $100 or how much you’ll win if you bet $100.
- For instance, if a moneyline is Toronto Maple Leafs -200 and Vancouver Canucks +155, it means you have to bet $200 on the Leafs in order to win $100, or you have to bet $100 on the Canucks to win $155.
- The team associated with the minus number (the Leafs) is the favored team, while the team associated with the plus number (the Canucks) is the underdog.
- Many gamblers bet on the moneyline in hockey and baseball, because the scores are lower and point spread betting doesn’t make as much sense in these games. However, you can bet on the moneyline for almost every sport.
2. Learn about point spreads. Point spread betting is more popular in games where there’s a larger gap between the final scores. In a point spread bet, you don’t just bet on whether a team will win, but also whether that team will win by a specific amount.
- For instance, if a point spread is Detroit Lions +4, New England Patriots -4, you would bet on whether you thought the Lions would win and if they’d win by more than four points.
- Again, the team associated with the minus is the favorite and the team associated with the plus is the underdog.
3. Understand parlays.
Parlay betting involves making multiple types of bets on the same game. For example, if you combined a moneyline bet and a point spread bet on the same game, this would be a parlay bet.
- These bets often offer large payouts, but they require a great deal of accuracy.