Work smarter, not harder: that’s what everyone always says right?
The same rule applies to sports betting— if you want to make money, make it the smart way, not the hard way. Besides, nobody wants to struggle hard for their money if it can be made with consistent ease.
The reality of the situation is that there is no guaranteed way to make money in the gambling world. Sportsbooks are set up in a way that makes it impossible for them to be taken advantage of, and they will always claim more money than they lose.
However, there are principles and methods that will make it much easier to stay ahead on your bets: here is everything that you need to know.
Rules of Sports Betting
Bet What You Know
Don’t invest in stocks that you are not familiar with, do not sign onto a job that you don’t know how to do, and only bet on sports that you are up-to-date in. While picking spreads may seem like blind luck with both sides claiming an equal likelihood of hitting, those who are more familiar with the event have a better chance at determining the outcome.
Not everyone can be a prognosticating wizard, but there are considerations that everyone should account for: matchups, styles, location, injuries, recent form, overall pedigree, coaching (if applicable), and precedent.
Be the Shark
Most of the best gamblers will only pick a couple of games a month to bet on: that does not mean that they have mastered the art of picking games, but it does mean that they know how to take advantage of betting odds. Look for games and odds that stick out like a sore thumb compared to what you would expect: chances are if you feel that strongly that the books have made a mistake, you are more likely to get profit than a loss.
The expectation to the rule above is when the team (or athlete) you support is in action; set aside your personal feelings and evaluate the situation as objectively as you can, and perhaps even disregard the game entirely. There is a reason that you should never mix work and pleasure, and the same applies here.
The Equal Return Method
The equal return method involves placing a few (somewhere around three) bets or parlays, each with different odds, that all have somewhere around the same return— this means that each selection will also require a different wager, so make sure that the event with the lowest odds is also the one that you believe is most likely to hit. You will also want to make sure that the returns of your bets equal your total investment on your betting slip.
The key to the equal return method is making sure that the second and third (assuming three total bets) bets are both likely to hit, in your estimation, even if the assigned odds make them seem like a longshot. If done correctly, you will only need to hit one of your three bets to break even on the day. Hitting two of your bets will double your overall investment, and three will triple it, and so on.
The Guaranteed Parlay
The math of probability is no more than simple doubling, and a head-to-head matchup means that, theoretically, each side has a 50/50 chance of winning; a two-leg parlay turns a 50% win probability into 25%, a three-leg parlay turns it into 12.5%, and the pattern continues forever.
In the sports world, however, events are not always 50/50 splits, and there are often heavy underdogs and clear favorites. Because of this, there will always be an easy opportunity to boost your odds on a moneyline bet by creating a “guaranteed parlay.”
The guaranteed parlay simply means finding your best moneyline pick of the day and, even if the odds are not great (think anywhere up to -250), combining it with a heavy favorite (the lower the odds the better, but only to the point that they are still “guaranteed” to win). Assuming a $100 deposit, combining a -180 favorite with a -550 favorite could turn a $55.56 return into $83.84— an increase of $28.28 or 50.9%— while still keeping the likelihood of the outcome roughly the same.
Live Betting With Math
This particular equation works especially well with basketball or sports with a high amount of scoring. Live betting with math simply means waiting for a certain amount of time to be played in a game, calculating how many points per minute are being scored, checking the live over/under total, and then calculating how many points per minute must be scored to hit this total.
For example, if the Houston Rockets and New York Knicks have scored 98 coming points with three minutes left in the second quarter, that means that they are scoring 4.67 points per minute, which would equate to 224 total points at the end of the game. However, the Rockets are young and inconsistent, and the Knicks are offensively bereft of talent and usually play great defense, meaning that this scoring pace would be unlikely to hold.
Oddsmakers would shift the over/under upwards to match the scoring pace, so live betting the under— say of 218.5— would be a solid investment. Using the same example, Houston and New York would have to score 120.5 points in 27 minutes, or 4.46 points per minute, a pace that would equal 214 for the game. Since the two teams tend to score fewer points and it would be hard for them to match this early pace for the next two-plus quarters, bettors could find themselves in an advantageous position compared to the oddsmakers.
Hopefully, these rules and strategies will be able to help you along the path to progress. Taking a loss is not the end of the world, and neither is multiple negative returns— but if your betting approach is not working, switch it up.
Stay smart, don’t let your emotions get the best of you, and may the odds be in your favor.