How to Make Money in Sports Betting
The legalization of sports betting in 2018 set off a boom that saw $13 billion bet legally across the United States in 2019. While making money betting on sports is not easy (few do it) and there are always more losers than winners, people who take the time to learn the game can be successful. Here are some tips to help:
Learn the odds
While sports betting may seem complicated, it can be broken down into a few basic principles. The first is knowing the difference between moneyline and spread bets. The former is a straightforward bet on who will win the game; the latter is more complex, requiring knowledge of point spreads and implied probabilities. The other common element of sports betting is understanding the terms used in odds-making, such as the favorite and underdog. The favorite has a higher probability of winning or happening, and offers lower risk, but a smaller return. The underdog has a lower probability but offers greater risk, and thus a larger return.
Be sure to know the rules of your jurisdiction before placing a bet. Some places have restrictions on the types of bets they accept, and others require identification to place a wager. And no matter what, always bet with money you can afford to lose. This is especially important for those new to sports betting, as more than one bet can quickly wipe out a bankroll.
Make a budget and stick to it. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of sports betting and start spending more than you can afford to lose. But there are many ways to manage your bankroll, from setting a betting limit and keeping track of losses and wins with a spreadsheet to simply not betting when you’re drunk or emotionally charged.
Learn how to calculate the odds of a particular game. This is called implied probability and it’s essential to any bettor. You can use predictive models to determine a team’s true probability of winning, then compare that number to the odds being offered at a sportsbook to see if they are fair.
Also consider a futures bet, which is a wager on an event that will occur in the future. This can be as simple as predicting which team will win the World Series, or more specific such as a country to win soccer’s World Cup or a player to be named NBA or MLB Offensive Rookie of the Year. While futures bets often offer greater odds and potential payouts, they’re also a lot more difficult to predict. This is because the outcome of a futures bet will not be known until after the season has ended, and there are a lot of things that can influence how a team performs during a year. This can lead to huge swings in the final odds of a given futures bet. Those with more experience will recognize these swings and adjust their betting accordingly.