Sports Betting: A Complete Beginners Guide
Anybody can bet, but not everybody makes a profit from the games. Some people are sore losers from the word go. It seems as if gambling losing is their specialty. However, it is actually possible to make a profit from the average of your gambling. Novices in the world of betting can easily make mistakes. And if they are not careful, they can easily drown in gambling addiction. If you are starting out, learn all you can use so that you can avoid the common pitfalls that people make when betting.[toc]
Yes. Doing safe betting is possible. It can be fun for you if follow all the provided tips.
1. Begin By Asking Yourself Some Individual Questions
Is Sports Betting Your Thing?
Since you are already here, it means that you are juggling with the thought of whether to start betting or not. You have not yet decided to start gambling and is still searching for the right information to make your decision easier. There are probably two voices within you with one of them pushing you to jump right in and make a killing. You are toying with the idea that you could actually hit it big on the slots and laugh all the way to the bank. Maybe you are the chosen that will make a lucky break and hit the jackpot.
There is also that little-muffled voice telling you that gambling is too big of a risk. As a novice, there is an element of hesitation that you are giving audience. You are not a coward. You just need some soul-searching before you can take on gambling.
Some people get into gambling not to have fun, but to win the jackpot. Some have put away some cash for the rainy day. They throw all this money in thinking that sports betting is some sort of get rich quick scheme. If you are in this category, then you might want to turn away and do something else worthwhile with your cash. The start reality is that no one wins every time. You lose some; you win some. You would be better off if you used your cash in any other venture.
There are those people that have addictive personalities. It is not their fault, they are just that way. If you know that you will have trouble betting responsibly, then stop and rethink your decision to go into betting. If you have a family, know that your irresponsible gambling will affect the entire family. Sit and reflect. Don’t rush into it.
Online gamblers seem to forget one critical aspect. Gambling is not legal in some states and countries around the world. Just the fact that it available online does not mean that it is legal for you. After, determining this, you can then decide whether gambling is the right thing to do from an ethical standpoint. Of course, you also have to think about your religion. Your relative and friends might not approve of it, and so it’s nice to think about them.
The Reason for Betting on Sports
After you have had some soul searching on whether betting is something you should take up, you still have to think about the WHY. Are you thinking of making some serious cash in the process or are you in it for fun? The answer to the question will how you approach the betting.
You are in it for the money, the game itself will not matter. You can just sign up for a betting service, do some background check on the game and the participants and then place the bet. You check the scores and take whatever winnings you have made and go home. But really, this is not the most interesting way to go about it.
Some people are in gambling because it is fun and exciting. If that is the case, then your betting will be different from the first case. Your interest in the game will lead to making some deep research on every team participating. Some gamblers even bet more cash than is even suggested by bookmarker because they are so sure of their ability to pick the winning side based on their knowledge of the game. If you are in this category, you will definitely watch the game and will be holding your breath throughout the entire game.
Of course, there is some good and bad of every side. Those in it for just cash may make more money than those having fun. However, they will not enjoy their winnings. The fun gamblers stand a chance to have double joy when their team wins. Heck! You will want to be in the second category.
2. Fundamentals of the Sports Betting Process
Line Reading on the Sportsbooks
Every sports gambler needs to know how to read the lines. The first essential line is ascertained by the game you are using to do your betting. Football and basketball rely on the point spreads while hockey depends on money lines. The common name for these numbers is over/under. Some typical gamblers may refer to them as totals or simply O/U.
Typically, the money lines are written in the American system. However, you can also come across them in decimals. The American lines are a bit complicated especially if you are a beginner. The positive numbers usually indicate the losing team. However, the team with the negative values is the one that sportsbook expect to win.
To understand the numbers, think in terms of $100. Where sportsbook list team An at +120 on the money line means that you will have to bet $100 to make $120 more. However, if team B is listed as -130, then you will have to bet $130 to scoop $100 more. However, that does not mean you only bet a fixed amount. This gives you an idea about the ratios.
Essentially, the sports bookers do not benefit a lot from the sides they anticipate to lose. They do not offer more returns on such teams. The extra cash you put up on a favored team is the “juice.”
Decimal lines are pretty easy to understand, unlike the money lines. For example, if team A and team B have odds of 2.2 and 1.77 respectively, then this means that you get $1.20 in extra if you bet on the underdog’s team A. The underdog is always greater than 2.
Various Kinds of Bets You Can Make
You will use money lines if betting on baseball or hockey. However, for football and baseball, money lines are the underdogs.
The O/U bets are not the most common. However, you may find them in the majority of sports. O/U primarily represents the number of points that the game will scoop. Which team wins or loses is of no consequence. All that matters is the score between them. So in a game where 224 is given as the total, it is safe for you to bet under if you don’t expect any team to reach 100 points. However, if you expect both teams to go over 115, or one of the teams to score and clear the difference, then it is safe to bet over.
If the total score is 224, then a situation called push will result. There is no winner, and all the cash returned. Sometimes the sportsbooks prevent this by having half-points at the end of the totals, for example, 224.5.
Points spread (puck lines, run lines), are common when betting on hockey or baseball. Typically, you will note that the point spread is the same for each team. And again, the positive number is the team expected to lose, and the positive value denotes the expected winners.
When betting, the favorites must win with more points than indicated by the spread. The underdogs must win the game or lose by points that are below the indicated. Since the odds are more for the underdogs to beat the spread, they are charged more, and so they collect more juice.
For example, you see the sportsbook list the following
A +13.5 (-120)
B -13.5 (-110)
Team B is favorited, but A are also expected to beat the spread. The sportsbook is collecting more juice from A. Note that there is a half-point. Team B must win by over 14 points while A must lose by 13 or less or even win the game.
Parleys are comparable to points spread but are used in several games. These kinds of bets are very risky meaning that if you lose one of the games, you are likely to lose all. Most bettors like the parleys because the odds sometimes appear greater. However, they are actually low if the odds of each team were considered.
Understanding the Sportsbooks
Sportsbooks set lines and betting limits according to the profit margin they want. You will find that the limits are pretty low when they first open. They rise gradually as more and more bettors place their bets. Their goal is to collect as much juice as possible. Sometimes to achieve this, they the bookmakers may adjust the lines on each side and lure more bettors to it.
Another common strategy sports book employ is shading. What sportsbook do is inflate the worth of the team expected to be popular. Sportsbook knows that many bettors likely go with the team they favor. Therefore, it becomes easy for them to shade their lines.
3. Ensuring You Make a Profit From Sports Betting
Do You Even Know How to Be Profitable?
The question might sound odd, but it is fitting. Many people think that betting on the team set as favorite but no matter what the bookmakers might tell you, the teams are usually comparable. The outcome is usually unpredictable.
In order to be profitable, there are a number of things that you need to track. First, keep an eye on how your picks are doing compared to the opening lines set by the sportsbook. The lines change over time but are more telling of what the sportsbook expected from each team. You need to continually beat the lines.
Some of the stat that you need to keep includes the Rate Of Investment (ROI). You calculate the ROI by taking the profits and divided them with the initial amount you put into a bet. The figure you get will tell you how much you are making on average. It is good to determine this value for every win but also the total since you began betting.
Determine also the number of times you have beaten the closing line compared to the number of times you have wagered. The number of times that a bettor beats the closing line is the best indication of their skill level. Of course, they are not beating this line because they are lucky.
There are useful apps and websites you can use to get useful stats. Make sure to choose those with R-squared and Z score. R-squared determines your consistency and Z score is about your future success. Successful bettors know their numbers pretty well.
If you desire on being profitable, then you must do your research pretty well. If you find this to be too much work, then consider the services of a professional.
Hiring Professional Help
Hiring a professional is actually a good idea if you find that tracking the numbers is a big hustle for you. In most cases, services you get will have win percentages. These rates need not be too high to be profitable. When looking for handicapping endeavors, look for the services that will first give you a free trial. This is necessary so that you can track your picks during the whole duration. Analyze some of the stats and determine whether the decision you make is the best.
While you will be working with a low sample size during the duration, it will be good to have these numbers. Even so, look at the price of the service you are getting. It should not be higher than the amount that you have in your bankroll. No matter how good a service might be, you will not get immediate payouts. The much you get over the short term can feel like losing.
When particular service offers you more than 60% wins, you should think twice about them. They are probably using a small sample and will not be truthful in conveying their actual success rates. They are a scam. Always remember that legitimate sports bettors make a small profit in the long run, but it is worth the effort.
If you decide to use professional help, reconsider your decision of watching every game. It is also good to refrain watching them for a while as emotions are likely to cloud your judgment. Stick to the numbers and not what you are feeling when watching the games. Once you are satisfied with the figures, you can start watching the games.
Sports Betting Varies According to the Sport
The study by Pick Monitor where they analyzed several home teams shows the amount on average that each bettor would have made in every game. This is at the time that the least amount of juice was being charged.
In every sport, college bets seemed to offer good numbers. In every $100, basketball made a profit of $5.19. The numbers fell to $4.16 on NBA games. However, the sample sizes for college sports were large. NCAAF had an average of $6.52 while NFL had $4.24.
NHL and MLB were not as profitable. With a sample size of 2269, MLB had returns of just $2.99. This amount is considerably lower in comparison to the college games. NHL with a sample of 739 was the lowest with an average of $2.50.
The numbers seem unusually low given the risk is taken of $100. The figures were taken with the assumption that the bet would be on the home team. Not that the bettor will win every game. Therefore, you can expect good returns. These figures provide you with a better idea which games will give a reasonable ROI. So pick wisely.
4. Deciding Your Betting Place
Choosing the Right Sportsbook
There are various factors that you need to consider before choosing the right sportsbook. There are many things that you need to think that it’s best you familiarize with several bookers. Your primary goal should always be profit maximization.
When you sign up, you are most likely to get a bonus. However, these bonuses can take the shape of a few free plays allowing you to make returns right away. Do your research well so that you will make the best of it.
The most significant bonus that you can get is the reduction on the juice. You will need to look hard enough. While this factor may not be too obvious, a sportsbook with favorable juices allows you to make better returns in comparison to others.
Finally, do your research before you make the final decision as to which sportsbook you want to go with. Check what people are saying about particular sportsbook and make the right decision. Especially check how long the people are saying it takes to withdraw funds. But all in all, let your instincts serve you well.
Comparing Lines at Each Book
As a novice, you might not know how important it is to compare various lines before you can eventually place a bet. Yes, the differences may be negligible, but in the long run, they will turn out beneficial. Consider for a moment the money lines where the difference is about -5 of what each sportsbook is offering. Your calculation will indicate a small profit on the amount invested. However, if you are using a handicapping service to place several bets, then the difference will be significant. Go with the sportsbook offering less juice, and it will be profitable for you in the long run.
5. Proper Management of Your Bankroll
The Simple Rule in Bankroll Management
Bankroll varies between bettors, and so it is not appropriate to give a certain amount of the best to bet. However, never put more than 10% on one single bet. Even so, these are the rare bets with about 90% success rate. In the majority of cases, you will need to bet a much lower percentage like a 3%. With 3%, you can bet every day and still have some bankroll left at the end of the month. However, engage in flat betting if at all you want to avoid the proper methods utilized in bankroll management.
The Kelly Formula
As you gain some betting experience, you will come across such terms as the Kelly Formula. The Kelly Criterion as it is also known is a widely accepted method where bankroll management is concerned.
Where the implied win rate is about 56.5%, and the money line is -130, the Kelly Formula will indicate that you should not bet at all. If you, however, use 57%, the suggested amount will be 1.1% of the bankroll. As you can see, even half a percentage matters significantly when it comes to betting.
You are wondering why the figures are so different. Well, the Kelly Formula utilizes a sophisticated formula to determine your potential payout. It takes into account the win rates.
Expected Value and What It Means
If you played around with the Kelly Formula above, then you may have gotten a value of up to 0%. That does not mean you should not bet at all. One decimal point makes all the difference. The expected value is simply the average amount that you stand you gain if you were to repeat a bet severally.
The expected value goes side by side with expected growth – a harder statistical value to comprehend. However, what the values from the calculator indicate is that you will be taking a risk by betting more than the given percentage.
Above All, Don’t Get Too Cocky
If there is one thing that you should take more seriously is bankroll management. Not taking it seriously can cause significant losses to your bankroll. Half a percentage point is enough to send you tumbling.
Don’t let it worry you if you are not the calculator person. Just stick with the flat rates between 1% and 3%. However, don’t expect big wins. They will only be significant in the long run. A handicapping service will be good for you if you are not confident about your ability. You will get steady profits, nothing much.
Try not to get greedy. A novice should not have much money to throw around. Bet responsibly, and you will not become among the many that have lost everything to betting.