Making money betting on sports can be tough, but there are a lot of sports bettors who consistently win, and there are even a lot of professional bettors who make a good living off of sports betting. On this page you will find sports betting strategy and tips to help you become one of the winning bettors.
Below I talk about the basic sports betting strategies for beginner bettors, but if you are more experienced you can check out the advanced sports betting strategy articles towards the bottom of this page.
The Basics To Sports Betting Strategy
In order to help yourself make money or a profit from sports betting there are a couple of basic strategies or tips you will want to understand and follow. None of these sports betting strategies are secrets by any means, but following them will help you win money betting on sports.
The bettors who don’t follow any of these strategies are often referred to as “squares” and those are the type of bettors that the sportsbooks will make their profits from.
#1 Money Management/Bankroll Management
When you are betting on sports you should always set aside a certain amount of money, which we refer to as your “bankroll”, in which you can afford to lose. Like with any type of gambling, you never want to bet betting on sports with money you cannot afford to lose.
Set aside a certain amount of money that you can use for your bankroll for the week, the month, or the season. A general sports betting strategy for money management is to only make bets with 1%-5% of your bankroll.
For example, if your bankroll for the NFL season was $1,000 you would be making $10-$50 bets on each NFL game you wanted to bet on. It is also very important that you do not chase your loses with bigger bets.
It is common for some sports bettors to be down money and feel in order to win it back they need to increase the size of their bets. This is putting yourself in the wrong mindset and will often lead to you losing even more money. Work with the size of your bankroll, and look to slowly increase it over the length of the season.
Here’s a video going over Bankroll Management strategies for sports betting:
#2 Bet Sober and Don’t Go on Tilt
Although betting while sober seems like common sense, you’d be surprised how many people bet on sports under the influence. Is it a coincidence that the Las Vegas casinos offer free alcoholic drinks while you are gambling? I don’t think so.
I don’t want to sound like your mother here, but betting while under the influence will impair your judgement and should definitely be avoided if you want to become a winning sports bettor.
The second part of this tip is “Don’t Go on Tilt”.
Going on tilt or “tilting” is a commonly referred to term with poker players and basically means letting your emotions take over, which often leads to bad decisions.
If you are angry or upset at something, such as a couple bad beats with your sports bets, you shouldn’t be placing any more bets. Take a break, go for a walk, get your mind clear before you start making anymore sports betting picks.
#3 Do Your Homework
This is maybe the most important sports betting strategy. You will always want to do your research before placing your bets. Although going with your hunch when betting your favorite sport may work some of the time, in the long run it will not lead to you winning money betting on sports.
In order to profit from sports betting you will need to research, study, and do your homework for each pick you make. Look at stats, find trends, create sports betting systems, analyze past games – basically do everything you could possibly do to ensure you have value in your pick before you place your wager.
#4 Line Shopping
A very big step to becoming a winning sports bettor is to make sure you are shopping for the best lines. What this means is that you will have to have an account at a couple of different online sportsbooks and when you are ready to make a bet on a certain team or outcome you check the different sportsbooks and find which book is offering the best line for you (this ties in with our advanced how to find max value article).
For example, if you are looking to bet on the New England Patriots on a 7 point spread, you would want to check a couple different sportsbooks to see if any of them are offering the Patriots at 6.5 points, or at the very least find the best price you can get them at 7 points at.
Over the course of a sport betting season you can win yourself a lot of money from shopping the lines that would otherwise would not be one. Line shopping is definitely one of the best sports betting strategies used by winning sports bettors. To see a list of sportsbooks we recommend signing up for visit our Online Betting Sites section.
I’ve created a line shopping video and posted it on YouTube (seen below):
#5 Avoid Buying Points
Avoid falling into “square” tendencies such as buying favorites down or underdogs up. For example, some bettors always feel the need to buy an NFL favorite of -3.5 down to -2.5. The sportsbooks are smart enough to charge more juice to do this, mathematically making it a bad strategy.
The same goes with buying an NFL underdog from +2.5 to +3.5 for example. In 99% of cases I would advise against it. Check out the video I made below about buying points on NFL underdogs.
Other Sports Betting Strategies and Myths
Above are the four main basic strategies you will want to follow in order to become a winning sports bettor, but there are a couple of other tips you can use to help you win money.
For one, you can try following a sports handicapper who is using a proven sports betting system. Be careful of scammers out there though. If they don’t show their past records long term plus proof I would pass, and in most cases I wouldn’t be paying for picks at all.
An old sports betting strategy is to bet on home underdogs. The theory is that teams are usually more inspired to play at home, and they will often not fold if they are down like they may when on the road.
Betting home dogs in the past could have made you money, but this isn’t true as much anymore. You can read the current betting market article to learn why.
The last tip I have for you is to try and place your bets at the right time. With lines shifting from the time they are posted to the time the game starts, you will want to get your bet in at the time when you are getting the best price.
Predicting line movements is extremely hard but it is worth looking into. Check out the video below that I made titled “When To Place Your Bets”.
Advanced Sports Betting Strategy Articles
Here are some additional resources that will help you on your journey to becoming a sports betting expert.