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Best Strategies for Sports Betting

Whether you’re a beginner bettor or longtime sharp, sports punters should always go into things with at least something of a strategy, a way to ensure that you’re not throwing money away willy-nilly on markets that you know nothing about or don’t fit your predetermined strategy. To help sharps who have lost their way as well as beginners to have betting success, we’ve put together a few tried and true strategies for sports betting.

Monogamy In Sports Betting Can Be Fruitful

If you’re just getting started on your betting journey, all of the odds, markets, and lines on your sportsbooks can get very overwhelming very quickly. To help combat that, a good strategy to use is to practice a little bit of sports betting monogamy. Instead of trying to focus on every game of every sport on the sports betting site, find yourself a league and/or team and start getting familiar.

This reduces the anxiety you feel when surfing your sports betting site and can also help lead you to betting success. Focus your attention on that one league/team: DVR games, watch highlights, read analysis, look up stats, keep track of personnel moves. Getting acquainted with one league or team is much less time-consuming than learning all of them, which means you’ll be seeing the fruits of your labor a lot sooner too.

Bet 1-2% Of Your Bankroll (Also, Set Up A Bankroll)

No matter what kind of bettor you are, you should set yourself up with a bankroll for each season or year. This essentially means that you’re setting aside X number of dollars that will serve as your bank during the season/year: you can’t add to your bankroll, so you have to budget yourself throughout the season. The trick is to keep yourself alive by betting only 1-2% of your bankroll on each bet. This is referred to as a ‘unit’.

For example, if your bank is $1,000 for the MLB season, each unit should be 1-2% of that, which is $10-$20 per bet. This is a great way to minimize risk and keep yourself from overdrawing or betting beyond your means. Having the self-control to respect the limits of your bankroll is key here as well.

How’s The Weather?

You might think that this is an obvious one, but you’d be surprised at how often the weather gets overlooked by bettors. Now granted, this strategy only applies to games that can be played in the rain, such as NFL games, NCAA football, and soccer among others. Knowing what the weather will be like at games in these sports can give you an advantage or help you scope out some nice value.

In soccer, you’re probably looking at a more sloppy game if it’s raining, as it’s tougher to string together several good touches to create a scoring move when everything’s wet, so bets on the under for total goals or on teams that thrive in slow, possession games would be wise.

For American football not only is a rainy day game a great time for an under bet, but it also gives those that know the tendencies of both teams in that game an advantage.

Teams that rely on the passing game (which is more prevalent now than ever) will struggle with rain affecting the slipperiness of gloves and balls and field. Meanwhile, those that have strong defenses and run the ball are basically unencumbered by the weather and therefore are the value play in these situations.

Fade The Public

The Vegas odds influence most of what’s going on in the sports betting world, and the people that make those lines take many things into account. Knowing what some of the biggest factors are can help you predict which side the public will be betting on and therefore which side of the bet the sportsbook will be shading.

You will see softer lines using this strategy that could lead you to some great value plays. Here are some of the best ways to determine which side the public will be backing on any given betting market:

  • Is a very successful team that’s known as a winner playing? Teams such as the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and San Antonio Spurs fit this bill. Teams in your sport that are synonymous with winning will draw more action, allowing you to get an edge on the opposite bet.
  • Teams with rabid fanbases such as the Green Bay Packers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Knicks will also see a lot of action on them, which means there is often value to be found when betting on their opponent.
  • Check ESPN, Sportscenter, or wherever you consume your sports news for teams that are getting disproportionate amounts of media attention, sportsbooks will often shade lines for these teams too.
  • Marquee players also draw a ton of action so betting against guys like LeBron James, Alex Ovechkin, Aaron Rodgers, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Tom Brady and the like is another path to success.

Know Your Stuff

The most obvious strategy for sports betting success is to simply get into the sport that you’re betting on and stay abreast of any major developments that affect the athlete, team, or league you plan to wager on. This means staying up to date on player and team developments such as injuries, depth chart changes, personnel moves, matchup trends, strengths and weaknesses of each team and more.

Being aware of what players and teams do or don’t like and what they’re good and bad at is crucial to making a good bet, because sports are all about matchups as well as how the playing styles of each side work against each other. 

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