Even if you consider yourself a member of the first two categories (what those in the industry refer to as "squares"), you can learn how to change your ways and transform yourself into a "sharp" or savvy bettor. If you are interested in making money betting sports, the first thing you should do is take a couple hours to check out Insider Sports Report's Sports Betting 101 page Here. Insider Sports Report has compiled many articles aimed at average bettors who are looking for help in beating the house. Our writers regularly interview top brass from sports betting industry in Las Vegas and overseas. These sports book operators are willing to give sports betting tips in order to increase interest in the industry in general. Unfortunately, most bettors do not heed the advice that is available to them. This is why the sports books are in business. For every sharp bettor there are a handful of bettors who lose on a regular basis. Here are some basic rules that can help you increase your winning percentage. Some of these sports betting tips are set in stone while others should be used as more of a guideline.
-Sports Betting Tip #1 - Money Management-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.
-Sports Betting Tip #2 - Shopping for Numbers
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.
-Sports Betting Tip #3 - Never Gamble While under the Influence
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.
-Sports Betting Tip #4 - Do your Homework
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.
-Sports Betting Tip #5 - Check the Odds
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)
-Sports Betting Tip #6 - Play Home Dogs
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.
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 Insider Sports Report, 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 principles that apply to any business, also applies to sports betting and in our 20+ 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 for more than 20 years. Be sure to check out entire website. We have many free tools available to you like our Matchups, Trends, Stats, etc. Sign up for our free picks newsletter below, or check out our member Football Picks, Basketball Picks and Baseball Picks which are all available for a reasonable cost. We hope these sports betting tips will help out but most importantly be patient, have some fun and enjoy the experience. Best of Luck - Insider Sports
This Steve Levitt study is more about gambling markets than the sports themselves, but it comes to a surprising conclusion – that it's possible to make money betting on football using a very simple strategy.
Conventional wisdom is that a bookie will deliberately set the point spread for a football game so that an equal amount of money is bet on each of the two teams. That way, and since bettors have to bet $110 to win $100, the bookie is guaranteed a fixed profit regardless of who wins. If bettors put $110,000 on each side, the bookie takes in $220,000 but pays out only $210,000 to the winners. He therefore assures himself a profit of $10,000 (which is a little less than 5% of the total amount bet).
That's the theory; is it true in practice? It's hard to check, because bookies are reluctant to give out this information. But Levitt was able to find some public data from an online betting tournament. He found that, contrary to expectation, there are unequal amounts bet on the two sides of the spread. Instead of about 50/50, a typical distribution is 60% on one side and 40% on the other. That's significantly different from what you would expect by chance.
What does this mean? It means that the consensus is wrong -- bookies do *not* successfully choose the point spread to equalize betting on both sides.
Is it because they're not smart enough to predict what the spread should be? No, that can't be the case, because the deviations aren't random. Levitt found that the effect is skewed towards favorites. That is, in the typical 60/40 split, the "60" is usually bet on the favorite. And, in fact, when the favorite is the visiting team, more money is bet on the road favorite than the home underdog about 90% of the time!
Clearly, there's something else going on. Otherwise, bookies would just bump the spread down a couple of points to move more action to the home underdog, thus evening out the betting. The fact that they don't do that suggests that they have a reason for not wanting to.
That reason: home underdogs don't make the bookie as much money. They beat the spread much more often than 50% of the time. That is, bettors are so biased towards road favorites that they're willing to bet on them even when their odds are below 50/50. Bookies are therefore happy to see extra bets on them, because, even though they'll lose money if the favorite comes through, in the long run they'll still make more profit.
(As an extreme example, think of it this way: suppose a thousand dumb people are willing to bet you $110 to $100 that the Raiders will win the Super Bowl next year. And suppose another thousand rational people are willing to bet you $110 to $100 that the Raiders won't win. In that case, if you take all the bets, you're guaranteed a profit of $10,000. But wouldn't you be tempted to move the odds a little bit to encourage more people to bet on the Raiders, and fewer to bet against them? Sure, if the Raiders win, you'll lose money, but the chances of that happening are very low, and so your expected profit will be significantly more than $10,000.)
This hypothesis needs data to support it, of course – and Levitt comes up with that data. It does indeed turn out that both requirements for the hypothesis are met – (a) favorites cover the spread less than 50% of the time, and (b) more than 50% of customers bet on the favorite anyway. A summary of the findings:
Home favorites attract 56.1% of the bets, which are won 49.1% of the time;
Home underdogs attract 31.8% of the bets, which are won 57.7% of the time;
Road favorites attract 68.2% of the bets, which are won 47.8% of the time; and
Road underdogs attract 43.9% of the bets, which are won 50.4% of the time.
If you do the arithmetic, as Levitt did, you find that the above results show that bettors, being unduly biased towards favorites, win only 49.45% of their bets, instead of 50%. The missing 0.55% goes to the bookie. That increases his profit from 5% to 6.1%, which is a 23% increase. In exchange, the bookie takes the risk that, over a given time period, favorites will hit a lucky streak, and he'll make less money (or even post a loss). Levitt argues that the risk is small compared to the 23% increase in earnings.
And so Levitt's conclusions are:
-- bettors consistently overestimate favorites;
-- bettors like to bet on favorites anyway;
-- bookies recognize this, and are willing to allow more bets on favorites to increase their expected profits (despite the extra risk).
Moreover, Levitt looked at all NFL spreads from 1980-2001. He found that home underdogs beat the spread 53.3% of the time – higher than the 52.4% success rate a bettor needs to overcome the "110-to-win-100" vigorish and break even. And so, the simple strategy of betting the home underdog can turn a profit. Not only that, but the bookie actually knows it, but is willing to put up with it to make more money from the favorite bettors.
(Levitt finds that in both NCAA and NBA basketball, home underdogs also cover in about 53% of cases.)
Bookies could go even further – skew the line even more towards the favorite – to try to make even more money (again, at higher risk). But at some point, the advantage to the underdog bettors becomes so great that they wind up betting much more than they would otherwise, and the bookie loses his advantage. Levitt thinks that line occurs when betting *all* underdogs, not just home underdogs, becomes a winning strategy. At that point, the wisdom of the "you can make money betting on underdogs" rule would become so well-known that the bookies would no longer be able to depend on customer ignorance.
The study was published almost three years ago. Has the market adjusted to the new information? Maybe, but Levitt thinks that home underdogs are still profitable.
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