Strategies for Successful Sports Betting - 5 Tips To Be Make Money in Betting Sports
In this article, I will share some valuable advice for bettors, based on my own experience. These strategies are not overly complicated and can significantly enhance your profitability in the long run.
Utilize Multiple Sportsbooks to Find the Best Numbers
Similar to shopping around for the best prices, it is essential for bettors to utilize multiple sportsbooks to find the most favorable odds. When betting on the spread and total, you will often find variations of half a point to a full point between different books. While this may seem insignificant, it can make a significant difference, especially when dealing with key numbers and considering your long-term profitability as a winning bettor. The frequency with which you win or lose a bet by just 0.5 points is astonishing. Additionally, the juice (vig) charged by sportsbooks may also vary. One book might offer a -110 Moneyline on a spread, while another has -115. Though the difference may be small, it accumulates over time.
When it comes to props and team totals, there can be even larger variations, which can be leveraged in various ways. You can take advantage of middling opportunities or simply bet on the best number available on either side. Having access to multiple books is crucial for the success of a sports bettor.
Focus on Beating Smaller Markets
This point is perhaps the most crucial one in this article. Beating the closing line for NFL spreads and totals in the long run, to make meaningful profits, is nearly impossible. It is one of the most efficient markets in all of sports. If your strategy revolves around betting on spreads or totals on a Sunday, you are already putting yourself at a significant disadvantage and are likely to be a losing bettor. So, what should you bet on instead?
Personally, I find player props to be an exploitable market. Transitioning from fantasy football to the player prop market was not difficult, and the lines are much less efficient compared to spreads or totals. It is one of the rare markets where I believe that projections from smart individuals in the fantasy community are as good as, if not better than, those from sportsbooks. Interestingly, bookmakers are aware that some individuals spend more time creating accurate projections on a weekly basis. This understanding is why they often impose lower limits on player prop bets and do not worry too much about it. Regardless of their actions, player props only make up a small portion of their overall handle (total bets they take).
Some argue that lower limits are a reason to avoid smaller markets. However, circling back to tip number one in this section, having access to multiple books is crucial. For example, let's say the average sportsbook limits you to $200 per bet on a single player prop. It might not seem worth your time to do extensive research for only $200 in potential winnings. However, if you have access to numerous sportsbooks and mobile platforms, you can easily place bets of $200 or more at ten or more books. Additionally, unless you are consistently beating the book, you won't face limitations for a while. Player props are usually released late on Fridays or Saturday mornings, and they often present value at their opening numbers and even as closing numbers.
I used the player prop market as an example, but my fellow 4for4 writer, Ryan Noonan, does a great job of breaking down team totals each week. While it may not be as small of a market, there are always a few team totals that consistently provide value.
I also know of a syndicate group that excels at betting small-school NCAA first-half totals. I don't fully understand their process or how they consistently win, but their success rate would be impossible in larger sports, and they consistently beat the market over time.
Establish a Bankroll and Stick to It
If you want to take sports betting seriously, treat it as an investment. Set aside a dedicated bankroll and establish a "unit size." This approach ensures consistency in your betting. I recommend wagering anywhere from 1-2% of your bankroll per play. By betting this amount consistently, you allow the variance to play out without risking bankruptcy. Even strong bettors who win more than 55% of their plays would go broke if they bet 10% of their bankroll.
It may sound obvious, but just because there is a game on TV doesn't mean you have to bet on it. Sportsbooks observe significant differences in the amount of money wagered during "island" games compared to noon games, where multiple contests are taking place simultaneously. Recreational bettors tend to bet on everything and often want to experience the adrenaline rush. However, professional bettors and those aiming to maximize long-term profits only bet when they identify value.
Track Your Bets & Closing Line Value
Start your own Excel sheet or use one of the available apps to track your bets. This practice not only helps you stay honest but also facilitates self-evaluation. Afteran extended period of betting, you can review your data and analyze which types of bets were most profitable for you (e.g., player props, spreads, totals, etc.).
Tracking "closing line value" is another valuable metric to monitor. It involves comparing the odds you bet at with the closing odds. For example, if you bet on the Chiefs at -9 when the line opened against the Texans, and it closes at -10.5, you have gained 1.5 points of "closing line value." While this doesn't guarantee a win, it helps you understand when you have beaten the market and by how much.
One of the recommended ways to track your bets and closing line value is through the use of Betsperts. By entering your bets into the platform, it will track your units, win rate, return on investment, and closing line value effortlessly.
By implementing these strategies in your sports betting endeavors, you can improve your chances of long-term profitability. Utilize multiple sportsbooks to find the best numbers, focus on smaller markets where there is room for exploitation, establish a bankroll and stick to it, stay disciplined by betting selectively, and track your bets and closing line value to evaluate your performance. Remember, successful sports betting requires patience, discipline, and a strategic approach.