Millions of people place wagers on sporting events every year, and most of them lose more money than they win. But you can learn how to be one of the few sports gamblers that make money. You just have to make a few promises to yourself and keep them.
This article includes six promises that anyone who gambles on sports can make and keep to improve their results. Each promise is simple, and all you have to do is follow through once you make the promise.
The only other factor you need to take into account is experience, which you’re going to get as you follow through on these six promises.
1 – Don’t Bet on Your Favorite Teams
This is the worst sin that sports gamblers could possibly make. They bet on their favorite teams because they want them to win and believe in them. The problem is that you’re too close to your favorite team and can’t make good judgments about how they’re going to perform.
In other words, you’re likely to give your favorite team the benefit of the doubt and place bets on them even if those bets don’t necessarily offer good value.
This is a simple promise, but you need to take it seriously. Make a promise right now that you’re not going to place another wager on one of your favorite teams! And I assure you that keeping this promise is going to save you a lot of money in the long run.
If you feel like you absolutely have to bet on your favorite teams, set aside a small bankroll just for this purpose. And you can probably expect to lose that bankroll over time. Just make sure that you keep these bets separate from the rest of your sports betting bankroll.
2 – Use Statistics the Smart Way
The fact is that if you want to win in the long run when gambling on sports, then you’re going to need to use statistics.
The problem is that there are so many statistics that it can be easy to get overloaded with information. And this can lead to mistakes because you’re trying to factor in too many statistics. But how do you figure out which pieces of information are actually valuable and which ones you should skip using?
This is something that you mostly have to learn from experience and trial and error. But I can give you a few steps to help you get started on the right path.
The first thing to do is to start using split stats instead of overall stats in everything. This means that you should look at the stats for home and away, righty vs. lefty, day and night, etc. The overall stats aren’t important because they include both sides of the split.
In every situation, there’s only one side of the splits that matter. If you ignore split stats and use overall stats for players and teams, then you’re likely costing yourself money.
The other thing you should do is start with a small number of stats so things are simple. Slowly add additional stats to your evaluations over time so that you can see which ones matter and which ones aren’t helping you win.
3 – Start Small and Build on Your Success
When you’re learning how to win as a sports gambler, you need to start small and build on your successes. It can take a long time to learn how to win consistently. And if you go too fast or risk too much too soon, it can be costly.
This goes for both how much you’re betting and how many games you’re betting on. You should start with small bets. Begin by only betting on one or two games every day.
When you bet small amounts, it’s not costing you much to learn. In fact, you could even just start betting on paper without using real money, then track your results. This way, you’re only investing time while you learn and not wasting your bankroll.
The reason why you only want to start by betting on one or two games per day is so that you have enough time to handicap each game. At first, you might need to spend hours on each game you bet on in order to have a realistic chance to win.
You’re not going to be able to pick winning bets consistently only spending 10 or 15 minutes on a game. This is why most sports gamblers lose. They spend about five minutes or less evaluating a game, which does more harm than good.
4 – Never Bet Over Your Bankroll
You need to have a bankroll that you only use for sports gambling. This helps you track your success, and it helps you determine how much you should risk when you do bet. If you don’t use a sports gambling bankroll, form one right now.
The size of your bankroll isn’t important. If you only have $100 right now that’s fine. You can start by placing $1 wagers online. It’s just important to have a bankroll.
This is going to sound conservative, but this is what you need to do if you truly want to learn how to win betting on sports.
Bet 1% of your bankroll on every game that you bet on. Keep doing this until you learn how to win consistently. Only when you learn how to win can you bet more than this. And even when you learn how to win, you should never risk more than 3% of your bankroll on any game.
Use your wins to build your bankroll. This lets you bet higher amounts as you improve your skills while also protecting your bankroll.
5 – Always Look for Better Lines
Handicapping sporting events is the key to winning, but there’s something else that’s just as important. No matter how good you get at handicapping, you still have to find a line that offers value.
For example, if you predict the home team in an NFL game is going to win by 7 and you’re correct, the only way to make money on this is if you can find a line that isn’t 7.
The good news is that with so many sportsbooks, you have plenty of places to shop for the best lines. Most online sportsbooks have lines that are close, but you can almost always find a line that’s a little better than the average line.
I can’t stress the importance of this enough. You have to shop for lines on every wager you place. The difference of a half point or a point can be the difference between winning and losing or losing and pushing.
Over the course of your gambling career, this can be worth thousands of dollars or more. If you get really good at finding the best lines, you can go from an average sports gambler to a wildly successful sports gambler. This is that important.
6 – Never Place a Bet Without Handicapping First
You should know this by now, but you have to promise to never place a wager on a game that you haven’t handicapped. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have or how good you are as a sports bettor. If you don’t take the time to handicap a game, you shouldn’t be betting on it.
As you gain experience and improve your handicapping skills, you’re going to learn how to handicap games faster. But you’re going to have to continue this for as long as you bet on sports.
When I started handicapping, it took at least an hour to have any chance of making a good decision. Over the years, I’ve learned how to bet faster, but I still spend at least 15 to 30 minutes on each game, even longer if I was planning to bet more. And this is only because I’ve already done the work and built systems and databases that I can use to make things faster.
You can’t afford to take shortcuts when you’re learning how to handicap sporting events. Every time you do, it costs you money. If you’re not willing to invest the time into handicapping, you should stop gambling on sports.
When you take the six promises listed in this article one by one, they’re easy to put into action. As you make all six promises and follow through on them, you’re going to improve your results betting on sports.
The first promise is a simple one, but it’s also very important. You need to stop placing wagers on your favorite teams. You also need to learn which statistics are good to use and which ones you need to ignore.
When you start small, build on your smaller wins, and never bet more than your bankroll, then you have the best chance at long-term success. Finally, always shop for lines and never place a bet unless you handicapped the game.