How Does One Become A Good Sports Bettor?

In an industry that revolves around numbers, stats, odds, lines, trends,
days of the week and everything in between, gambling requires a handicapper
to have just enough luck to take over when the skill part of the equation
lets them down. Sports betting is such a complex creature that we are all
striving to understand in order to turn a profit. And despite it being
around for an extended period of time, not many have mastered the art of
gambling.

If you look at sports betting in its absolute purest form, it’s rather
quite simple. You are trying to determine which team will win and which
team will lose. It’s literally a 50-50 proposition (except in sports that
offer up tie options). Unfortunately, with the way the sports betting
industry is set up, and with the endless amount of betting options
available, it can become overwhelming to new bettors who just free-wheel
and bet on everything and anything without any legitimate reason.

If you asked any handicapper with even the slightest bit of experience,
they will tell you that the key to becoming a

successful handicapper

is believing in the work you put in long before the bet you put in. Whether
that be creating power rankings for each sport, creating your own lines and
comparing them to the Las Vegas odds, or finding certain trends and
situations that you can track and follow in order to determine whether it’s
a good or bad spot for team X. Sports betting is just like any other hobby
out there. The more you work at honing your craft and understanding what
works and what doesn’t, the better you will become at it and in turn the
more you will enjoy it.

Now, before we get into the hundreds of possible ways you can get better at
sports betting, I must restate the fact that not many have yet mastered the
art of gambling. Each handicapper has their own unique process, and there
are no right or wrong methods. Also, it’s important to note that every
handicapper strives to be consistent. If you hit the 53 percent mark over
the course of the NFL season, you will have turned a profit. Sure, there
are always going to be hot and cold periods, but you must not deviate from
the research you accumulate on a daily basis throughout the season.

You must also have great discipline when it comes to your

bankroll

. I wrote recently about how having a plan for your bankroll is crucial to
sports betting and that is essentially step one in becoming a good sports
bettor.


Sports Betting Strategies to Deploy

Specializing in One Sport

It’s one thing to be a good handicapper, but it’s another thing to be a
great one. From my experience in the industry, I’ve come to find that the
great handicappers often devote most of their focus on one or two sports
and do the bulk of their winning there. To take it a step further, some
handicappers will become experts on the smaller conferences within the
college basketball landscape and just hit winner after winner. The reason
being is that the college basketball landscape is huge. With hundreds of
teams and with a sport that plays on a nightly basis during the season,
there is not enough time to handicap every single team/game. Instead,
narrowing the focus down to one conference with 10-12 teams will allow you
to use up most of your time studying those specific teams and getting to
know what makes each team tick.

Winning a bet in the Sun Belt may not be as glamourous as winning a bet
between two Top-10 teams, but you’re still going to get paid. Specializing
in one sport should help you turn a profit over the long run, but it
doesn’t mean you have to stop betting other sports/conferences completely.



Fading the Public

“Vegas wasn’t built on winners”. It’s a saying as old as time, and it could
not be more accurate if it tried. Las Vegas was built on the backs of
losing tickets courtesy tourists with no sports betting skills and the rest
of the sports betting public who enjoy betting with their heart instead of
with their head.

During the NFL season, one of the best betting strategies to employ is
called “fading the public”. This is a method that involves betting on games
where one team is going to be heavily bet on by the betting public and then
bet on the opposite team. For example, let’s say the Dallas Cowboys are
taking on the Detroit Lions. The Cowboys are supposedly “America’s Team”
and are going to be heavily bet on. The sportsbooks know this well in
advance and tend to inflate the point spread all the while knowing that the
Cowboys will still be bet.

Instead of following the herd of sheep to the slaughter house, you should
steer clear of the Cowboys and take the Lions and bank on the inflated line
to come through for you.

This strategy does not guarantee you a win, but it is always better to be
on the houses’ side because the house generally “always wins” over the long
term.

Create Power Rankings or Personal Lines

This strategy requires a handicapper to devote a lot of energy and time to
researching a bunch of key factors before putting together their own power
rankings or point spread lines. Power rankings is a sports rating system
that analyzes the results of sport events to provide a rating for each
team. Every handicapper is likely to have a different set of power rankings
for each sport since one handicapper might favor something like strength of
schedule over recent results. However you determine your power rankings,
these rankings will constantly remind you how you really feel about a team
when it comes time to pull the trigger and place a bet.

To take it one step further, handicappers also utilize a formula to help
create their own personal lines in advance of the sportsbooks releasing
their lines. Handicappers feel like this is the best way to determine if
they have a similar vision to that of the sportsbook. If they do, then
their research and data is paying off and they are one step ahead of the
game. If not, they will need to re-evaluate why there is a discrepancy
between the two and tweak their research method so that it doesn’t happen
again. Creating your own lines serves as a starting point in the
never-ending journey to find a line that has value in order to turn a
profit.

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