People bet on sports for a variety of reasons. Some do it just for fun and to make a particular game more exciting. Some like to bet on their favorite teams, no matter what the point spread may be. Others, however, bet on sports for one simple reason: to make money. Although this last segment of the betting population is the smallest (at least the ones who are successful at it), there are many who make money consistently and even a few who make a nice living by regularly beating the house.
This is without a doubt the most important aspect of betting sports and possibly the most neglected. The first key to proper money management is to be sure not to bet more than you can afford to lose. If you are going to bet on sports, it is important to set aside a certain portion of your money for betting and to stick with that bankroll, win or lose. Winning money on sports is not a sprint. If you bet your whole bankroll on one game and lose, you will be more likely to try and chase your losses. If you spread your bankroll among several smaller bets, you are more likely to make a profit in the long run if you do the proper homework. Remember, there are no locks in this business and any team can lose on any given night. And on the subject of chasing: Don't do it! There is no worse way to mismanage your bankroll than to chase your bets after a losing day. If you didn't like the game before you lost your money, why would you like it after your losses? Chasing bets is a losing proposition almost every time. If you are on a winning streak, increase the amount of your bets. Wins and losses often come in streaks, and it can be profitable to ride out a hot streak.
The second most important aspect of betting on sports is shopping for the best number. There will be more discrepancy in the numbers on different sports at different sports books. The NFL, for example, will have very similar numbers at most of the betting shops you visit. On college sports and daily events like the NBA, you will be able to find different lines at different sports books. These books change their numbers according to the betting patterns of their customers, so it is not entirely uncommon to find two or three point differences in the lines. When you are betting your hard earned money, getting the best line is a top priority. And since the lines the bookmakers release are increasingly strong, the difference between a point or two is usually the difference between a win or a loss.
There is a reason the casinos in Las Vegas supply you with free drinks while you are gambling. Because alcohol clouds your judgment and usually helps you to make rash decisions you usually wouldn't otherwise make. To be a successful sports bettor you need to operate with a clear mind. If you have had too much to drink, it is in your best interest to stay away from the betting window.
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As a bettor, you have the advantage of streamlining your research, which is something the sports books are not at liberty to do. They must keep on top of EVERY sport and EVERY game. The best way to win money betting sports is to develop a niche and follow it closely. If you become an expert on a smaller conference like the WAC, you have a good chance to beat the house because sports book operators do not have the time or resources to follow this conference the way you can. There is a wealth of information on the Internet; it is just up to you to find it and research it daily.
Some sports books have better odds on parlays and teasers. When you are betting big bucks the difference in odds translate into a huge difference in your payout. All it takes is a little research of the sports books you usually bet at. Most books have their payout odds listed in way that is easy for the bettor to find them. It should be noted that we advise against playing parlays and teasers for the most part. (Especially anything over a 2-teamer)
There is probably no better bet in sports than playing an underdog at home. Teams play inspired ball at home. Slim underdogs regularly win outright. Big underdogs often find ways to cover the spread and they rarely give up toward the end of a game in front of the home crowd.
The sharp bettors tend to bet underdogs, and they tend to bet them early. Squares usually bet later in the day (or week, for football) and they tend to pick the favorites. If you like an underdog, it is best to get your bet in as late as possible, where there is heavy action from squares on favorites. If you are going to go with a favorite, it is best to place your bet early in the week when the Pros are laying heavy money on the points. Not all games work according to this formula, but it is usually a good rule of thumb.
There are many other important factors when it comes to beating the books. Many people don't have the time to study things like: statistics, line moves, game analysis, team trends, situational trends, Historical angles, valuable lines, inflated numbers on public teams, etc. If this is your situation, there is help available to you. There are many fine sports handicapping services available. Like a good stockbroker handicapping services can advise you where to invest your money in order to limit your losses and increase your winning percentage.
As with any industry there are the good and the bad. We must confess that our industry has gotten somewhat of a black eye. The handicapping business has been flooded with 1-900-rip-offs, "boiler room" sales offices and those recorded free pick phones that get your phone number so that one of their high pressure salesman can call back and hound you on a daily basis. These services are often skilled in marketing but know little when in comes to handicapping. This is not in your best interest.
Be careful of services offering different levels of picks. (Diamond, Gold, Silver) based on the idea the more you pay, the better the picks will be. The question will always remain. Why wouldn't you give everyone your best picks? Why give out the lower level of picks at all? At Doc's, we have only one set of picks for one fair price, no matter what size of player you are.
It's very important that whether you use our service, another service, or handicap on your own that you do your homework and always remember that this is a marathon and not a sprint. The same principle that apply to any business, also applies to sports betting and in our 30+ years of experience we can only guarantee the following four statements: There are no 'Locks,' there are no 'get-rich-quick' schemes, any game can lose in almost unimaginable ways, and unfortunately you will have your losing days.
The bottom line is to win more that you lose, and that's what has kept us in business since 1971. Be sure to check out our top navigation bar. We have many free tools available to you like our matchup reports and our daily updated NFL Tips, college football tips , NBA tips, college basketball tips, MLB tips , and NHL tips.
We hope these sports betting tips will help out but most importantly be patient, have some fun and enjoy the experience.