While betting on sports is a great way to enjoy the action and excitement of a game, it also can be an excellent money-maker if done correctly. However, there are some common mistakes that bettors should avoid to maximize their chances of winning. Here are a few tips to help you win more often and protect your profits:
Bet with your head, not your heart
It is easy to get caught up in the emotions of a game and place a bet because it makes you feel good, but this is a sure-fire recipe for disaster. A successful bettor must be able to look past his or her own emotions and make decisions based on the numbers and unique circumstances of a matchup.
Understand the vig and other fees
While many people think that sports betting is a free enterprise, it is not. Oddsmakers must cover their costs by adding an additional amount to each bet, which is known as the vig or vigorish. This will appear as a number to the right of the spread, total or money line price.
Don’t be fooled by user reviews: Everyone has their own biases and opinions, so what one person thinks is a bad bookmaker may not be true for another. It is important to investigate each site and find the one that best fits your needs. Moreover, be sure to check the types of bets offered, as some sites specialize in certain sports and events.
Research your team and opponents
When placing a bet, it is important to do as much research as possible. This includes studying team and player stats, reading the latest news affecting the teams, checking weather conditions and analyzing any other factors that could affect the outcome of the game. In addition, be sure to keep a close eye on any scandals that might affect the integrity of the game, such as point shaving (players skipping shots), spot-fixing (an individual player fixing a play) or overall match-fixing (the result of the entire event is fixed).
Consider betting on “futures”: While moneylines and totals focus on specific matches, futures wagers have a longer term horizon, with payouts typically coming weeks or even months in advance. This type of bet allows you to predict things like the champion of a particular division or conference, which can be incredibly difficult to determine during a season.
Avoid chasing your losses: It is impossible to win all of your bets, but if you are constantly losing money it is not worth it to continue to risk more and more money in an attempt to recoup those lost funds. This is a sure-fire way to burn through your bankroll and leave you with nothing to show for it.
It is recommended to bet 1% to 5% of your bankroll on each game. This will give you the opportunity to experience both wins and losses and help you to learn how to manage your money. It is also important to set a budget and stick to it. This will prevent you from spending more than you can afford to lose, which is the number one mistake most bettors make.