Online sports betting is a fun pastime for many, but if you want to make it more profitable and worth your while, then working out and sticking to a betting system is in your best interests.
Here we have nine simple betting tips to help you do just that.
What Is a Betting System?
First of all, what do we actually mean by “betting system”? A betting system, or betting strategy is a structured approach to betting with the sole intention of making a profit. You don’t to be a mathematical whizz-kid to have a winning strategy: it can be a simple set of self-imposed rules that a punter sticks to in order to gain the edge over the bookmakers.
If you follow these nine betting tips you will have a firm grounding for a killer betting system that will see you win more, more often.
1. Let’s Go Line Shopping
If you are buying anything from TV sets to cars, most people will spend a little time checking out their options in order to get the best value for their money. Betting on sports should be no different.
Line shopping is basically about finding the best line, or in other words, the best odds offered for your bet. For example, say you want to place a moneyline bet on the Lakers to win the NBA. Check out that same bet across a number of online bookmakers and compare the odds.
In this way, you can chose the line which will offer you the best return for your wager. It’s a simple but smart way to maximize your wins.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Bet Against the Public
Some believe that there is safety in numbers, but then again no one likes to be a sheep. But when money is concerned, many bettors prefer to stick with the public opinion – all these people can’t be wrong, right?
The casual bettor will opt for the favorite, and let’s face it, the majority of bettors lose. After all, this is why bookmakers are in the business at the end of the day. Of course, there will be times when that the safe bet will work out for you.
But sometimes – more often, in fact – it pays to stick your neck out and bet the other way. This is what will turn your game from square to sharp in no time.
3. Only Bet on Sports You’re Familiar With
This is kind of a no-brainer. If you are betting on a game, sport or player that you have no prior knowledge or understanding of, and without even a hint of interest in then you probably aren’t going to be making many wins.
It’s just common sense to bet on the sports that you recognize, and have an actual interest in beyond what profit you can make from them. Passion for the game is necessary, but just don’t let that cloud your judgment – which brings us to our next tip.
4. Don’t Succumb to Emotions
There are times in life when you should definitely follow your heart, but betting on sports is not one of them. In fact, this is one of the most common betting mistakes.
Gambling in any form is always better left to the head and brains department. Your favorite team might be in the mix, you “know” they are better than the other team, you are “sure” they can beat them, you “know” they can win. But… do you?
Think about it, how many times have been shouting at the screen as your beloved team lost out on those all important points? You have to distance yourself enough to make sure that your bet is out of good sense and not out of blind loyalty.
Bookmakers make a killing in lost bets from enthusiastic fans. But with a little restraint, you can beat the bookies at their own game.
Instead of going “on tilt”, analyze the game, focus on statistics and do some research into what other experts are saying. In doing so, you’ll make better and more informed betting decisions, based on facts and numbers, instead of gut feelings.
5. Check the Weather Conditions and Other External Factors
Small variables like the weather should be taken into consideration when placing a bet on any outdoor sporting event. Again, this is common sense, but often overlooked as being too small a factor to make a real difference. But perhaps that’s what the bookmakers want you to believe.
Take NFL games, for example. Conditions of wind and rain will inevitably affect the playing field, players’ visibility, and the quarterback’s throwing performance. Not so small a factor when you have a wager riding on the winning team.
It is also worth researching a team’s track record in different weather conditions to give you the edge when picking your bet. Other factors outside of the actual game play should also be take into consideration, such as substitutions, injuries, and even media attention- has there been a scandal, has there been a lot of pressure on a particular player to perform?
The list goes on. It might be impossible to weigh up every minute detail, but being aware of what can affect an outcome can help you make your pick.
6. Build a Bankroll
There is that old saying that “you need money to make money,” and this is fairly true when it comes to betting. You have to have something to start with, and the best way is to start small.
Put aside some disposable cash when you can until you are able to open accounts with a few of the top betting sites. Once you have your bankroll set up, don’t be tempted to bet big amounts. You want to build your bankroll, not bet it all in one go.
It’s best to start off with smaller bets of perhaps 1% to 5% of your bankroll. This way, you can build steadily and minimize losses.
For example, if your bankroll is $1,000, bet $10-$50 bets on each game. Another important thing you have to learn is: if you lose, let it go. Don’t succumb to the need to chase your loses with bigger bets. That harks back again to keeping your emotions in check, but it also keeps your bankroll in check.
7. Choose Your Bookmaker Carefully
There are so many online bookmakers out there, and finding the right one for you can be just as important as the bets you make. There are literally thousands of betting websites, all vying for your attention and your money, enticing you with promises of jackpot wins, and attractive bonuses.
This ties in with our gambling tips numbers 1 and 6: you want to shop around for the bookmakers offering the best lines and sign up with several of them to build your bankrolls. By picking the right bookmaker, with the right betting lines, you can increase your payout by 3-4%.
Your strategy is coming together nicely. To help you choose, check out our guide to the best sports betting sites.
8. Never Go All-In
No matter how confident you feel, no matter how much research you may have done, nothing is certain in the world of betting. That uncertainty is where much of the enjoyment comes from – the adrenaline rush and buzz of anticipation with the hope of winning.
On the flip side of this uncertainty is, of course, losing. If you bet all and you lose all, that’s it – you are out of the game entirely and have to start from scratch.
It is much more sensible to play the long game and that is what having a strategy is all about: Longevity and consistency.
9. Have a Purpose, Don’t Bet for the Sake of Betting
A good habit to get into before making a bet is to ask yourself this one question: Why am I making this bet? If your answer is something along the lines of “I just know I’m onto a winner,” then step away from the computer or smartphone.
As previously mentioned, you need to be betting with your head and not your heart. Here is one of the best betting tips we’ve come across: Think of your hobby as a business. You are here to make money.
Would a savvy business owner risk their entire business on a whim, a gut feeling, or just for the sake of it? No. So, in the same light, don’t bet just for the sake of it.
Common Sense Actually Makes Betting More Fun
So there you have it, nine awesome and easy-to-follow betting tips to get you on your way to a winning strategy. The majority of these are sheer common sense, but are all too easy to lose sight of when we are caught up in the moment.
A little discipline and a little elbow grease in the research department and the wins will soon make you see that being sensible can make betting a whole lot more fun.
If you’d like a more detailed look at strategies, check out our article discussing which is the most profitable betting system.