People who bet on sports can generally be divided into two categories. The first, popularly known as “squares,” are people who bet for fun and people who bet on their favorite teams regardless of the odds. The second category, popularly known as “sharps,” are the serious
bettors many of whom consistently make money. While we do not wish to advocate that you turn into a professional gambler, knowing something about how they operate can help to win more often and add to your enjoyment. Only a handful of sharps thrive while a majority of the squares lose consistently – much to the joy of the bookmakers. Some of the tips given below constitute the rules, while others should be treated as a guide.
Manage your betting capital. It may sound a little bit odd but in every form of gambling from speculating on the stock markets or the forex markets to sports betting, the basis to win consistently is set by determining how much you are prepared to lose, either in total owed or on each bet. How much you are prepared to lose in total will form your betting capital and under no circumstances should you throw good money after bad. If you lose your entire capital, give up betting altogether. Limiting the amount on each bet means that even if you have a losing streak, there is enough capital left to recoup your losses. This limit should generally be between 2% and 5% though we would tend to recommend 2%. This way, even if you have 10 straight losers, you still have 80% of your capital intact. At 5%, you will only have 50% left and you will have the very difficult task of generating a return of 100% on this to return to where you started.
Shop for the best possible odds. Different sports books offer different odds on different sports. Odds on football tend to be much the same because the games are only played weekly and there is plenty of time to analyze the statistics. On the other hand, odds on a daily sports such as college basketball tends to vary much more because there is less time to adjust. You should also remember that sports books adjust the odds to balance their own risk, regardless of what the bookmakers are doing. A difference of a couple of points can be the difference between winning and losing.
Bet on underdogs at home. Home advantage is not decisive but it does play a part in the performance of a team. Do not choose rank underdogs but look for underdogs at short odds. These teams playing at home can sometimes play out of their skin and may be one of the most sensible bets in all of sports betting. The main advantage of betting like this is that, even if you lose more than 50% of your bets, you still have a chance of coming out ahead.
Time your bets. Sharps generally choose underdogs and place their bets early. Squares generally bet late and choose favorites. An alternative if you like the underdog is to place your bet when squares are betting a flood of money on the favorites. If you like a favorite, bet early when the action is on the point spread and the odds are still reasonably good.
Two cardinal rules that should never be broken:
1. Never let your heart rule your head. Place your bet with cold calculation and not uncontrolled emotion.
2. Never never place your bets under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Because it suits them, the Las Vegas casinos offer free drinks to all gamblers.
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