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I used to try to learn more about every possible way to become a winning sports gambler. But I eventually realized that I only needed to master a small number of strategies to make a profit. The key is mastering the right things.
In this article, I’m going to show you the top six strategies that you need to master to be a winning sports gambler. These are the same strategies that most smart sports gamblers are using every day at online betting sites to find the best games to bet on.
Split Stats Are More Important Than Overall Stats
Most sports gamblers use statistics when they evaluate games and players. And smart sports gamblers always use them to handicap games. But they use stats in a different way than most other bettors. When you look at stats to help you evaluate a game, which stats do you use? The odds are that smart sports gamblers are using these same stats, but they’re using them differently.
Instead of looking at the overall stats for players and teams, smart gamblers use split stats. It doesn’t matter what a player’s or team’s overall stats are because they don’t matter. What matters is their stats at home if they’re playing at home or their stats on the road if they’re playing on the road.
It doesn’t matter how a left-handed batter performs against left-handed pitchers if he’s facing a right handed pitcher. The more specific you can get on the stats you’re using, the better. Forget about overall stats and just look at the data that relates to exactly what you’re trying to evaluate. As you get better at using split stats, you’re going to be able to quickly find advantages when you evaluate games and players. And you’re going to be better at it than most other sports gamblers.
Coin Flipping With an Advantage
Every bet you make on a sporting event is basically a coin flip. On games with point spreads, you basically have a 50% chance of winning. But you can’t make money winning 50% of the time.
In fact, if you win 50% of the time, you’re consistently losing half of your money. The good news is that you don’t have to move the advantage of the coin flip your way by much to get an edge. And if you can get an edge, even if it’s a small edge, you can make a profit gambling on sports.
How do you move the advantage your way? Find ways to evaluate games that show you an accurate prediction of their outcomes. You’re never going to do this perfectly, but you can learn how to do it well enough to get an edge.
But there’s another side to each wager that’s just as important as evaluating teams and players. The other side is the line or lines offered by sportsbooks. The best way to make a profit is by finding lines that aren’t correct. All sportsbooks make money on gamblers who win at the same rate as a coin flip. Your job is to move the needle just a little bit so you’re flipping coins with an advantage.
How to Evaluate Road Teams
Home teams win far more often than road teams. But you have to learn how to evaluate road teams well in order to make a profit. It’s hard to just bet on home teams, or just bet on favorites, and make a profit. Road teams are more often than not an underdog, which means you’re either getting points that can help you win or getting a good price on a moneyline to bet on them.
The key is figuring out which road teams have the best chance to win or cover the spread. If you’re getting 4 points, how likely is the team going to be able to win or lose by 3 or less?
The important thing you have to learn is that there’s no importance in home or road—or anything else beyond how it relates to the line or price you can get. A team that gets 6 points could be a good wager or a terrible wager. You have no way of knowing which until you learn how to handicap the teams involved. And this is all you should care about.
How to Evaluate Underdogs
Most of the wagers I make today are on something called underdogs. This doesn’t mean that this is the only way to make a profit or that it’s the best way for every sports gambler. What it means is that I’ve learned how to identify underdogs that can show a profit.
I’m going to share a few things about why I decided to specialize in underdogs as a sports gambler. And it doesn’t have anything to do with underdogs being better wagers overall. It’s all about learning how to spot value. The reason why I like evaluating and finding underdogs that offer value is because I win when they win and when they lose but still cover the spread. But many games that I evaluate don’t offer any value on the underdog.
In fact, I still find games where there’s clear value on the favorite, and I bet on that side of the game. I don’t care where the value is, as long as I can make a profit on it. I always use split stats when I evaluate games, and some teams are much better road teams than others. You can learn how to do the same things that I do with enough practice.
Do Home Underdogs Still Offer Value?
At one time, there was a belief that you could pick as many underdogs playing at home as you could find, bet on them, and make a long-term profit. While this might have been true years ago, those days are long gone.
You can still find some home underdogs that have value with the right lines, but it’s more challenging than it used to be. But you also need to know that if an underdog is going to play better than their line, the odds are it’s going to be in a home game.
As you learned in the last section, I look at the underdogs first in every game. And if the underdog is playing at home, it adds a little to their side of my evaluation. But I also know that the sportsbooks know most of the same things I know when they set their line. So, I can’t put too much value in the team playing at home. After all, there are good reasons why the home team is not favored. It’s up to you to learn just how much playing at home is worth. In some games, it means a lot. And in others, it doesn’t mean as much.
Information Overload Issues
When you start evaluating sporting events the odds are that you’re going to follow a pattern. At first, you’re going to make wagers without doing enough work evaluating the games. Then, you’re going to determine that you need to use more information, and you’re going to try to use every last bit of information that you can find.
Neither of these two strategies are going to result in profits. You do need to use a lot of information to be a good handicapper. But you also can’t get buried in information overload. It usually takes a long time and a lot of trial and error. But you have to learn how to find all of the information you need to make a smart evaluation, while learning how to ignore everything that isn’t important.
The best way I’ve found to work through this process is to add a single extra piece of information and see how it helps you over time. Then, add another piece to see how it works. Keep adding new information slowly and discard the things that aren’t helping. This takes a long time, but it’s by far the best way to become a winning sports gambler.
Smart sports gamblers know that they don’t have to have 100 different strategies to win. They only need a small handful of great strategies to turn a consistent profit. Don’t make the mistake of only looking at overall statistics. The gold is usually in split stats in every sport.
Smart sports bettors understand that in coin-flip situations, they only need a small advantage to win big. So, they spend most of their time looking for a small edge. You have to learn how to effectively handicap underdogs and road teams if you want to make money as a sports gambler. Both of these things are challenging, but smart sports gamblers know how to do it.