Some of the best bettors in the world can go on a streak of winning or more bets in a row, and at the same time, they could lose or more in a row. These streaks are unpredictable so who is to say that it won't happen right when they start the betting season. When things are going bad, do take a couple of days or a week whatever you need off occasionally. Trying to force plays is when most public players get sunk. They try to make it all back the next day over and over again. It deviates them from what they originally set out to do and it usually ends badly.
Like I stated earlier, you must remember the huge variances that exists in games. Even if you have a huge value on a game with a great number, it doesn't mean that you necessarily are going to win that bet. This method is especially important if you plan on betting consistently throughout the whole season. I know these bet sizes sound small but we must remember that sports betting based on your own plays should be for pure recreation or long term investment and you should not put yourself in a situation that can be detrimental.
Don't pay attention to what people say or what people are doing. The amount of money that you place on your bets is literally none of anyone else's business. Trust me when I say that it is much more enjoyable to not let a losing week phase your state of mind than bragging about how big your bets are. In order to keep this fun and less stressful, you must incorporate these disciplines. Your average bet size should be around units during your season.
Using this system based upon your numbers which are the estimated odds compared to the implied odds from the sportsbooks. The larger the discrepancy the larger the bet. Only use discretionary money in your savings, meaning if it all goes bye bye, then it will not affect your family, credit, happiness, and lifestyle.
In most sports, and especially American ones, there are certain key numbers that have more value to you and more risk to the sportsbooks unless properly accounted for. The reason for this is because final scores tend to end on certain numbers more than they do on others due to the way the game is played and scored.
Being that there are so few points scored in Hockey, and especially in soccer, the smaller numbers are much more valuable and expensive to buy on and off of. An example of buying on or off of a number is paying the sportsbook 25 cents on the dollar to move from a -5 to a Football key numbers are definitely the most significant due to how the game is scored and the amount of points scored per game.
Being that most scoring is increments of 3 and 7, those two key numbers are definitely the most common, for example, games ending with final scores of or The key numbers in order of significance in the NFL are 3, 7, 10, 6, 14 and 4.
Below is a sample taken from a sample from an article on Sports Insights of 2, NFL football games from to and here are the results which can be used as predictive probabilities that future NFL games end on these margins of victory or as we call them spreads. Being that key numbers are more prominent, and games end landing on these denominations more than not, the price to buy on or off of them is higher. To buy off of a 3 in NFL football it will cost you 25 cents on the dollar and to buy off of a 12 it will cost only 10 cents but that does not make it a good decision necessarily.
Also keep in mind that in college football, the percentages on key numbers are not quite as large as the NFL due to a larger variation in final scores. I comprised a chart of implied winning percentages based on the spread below for NFL football. These numbers are called implied odds because it is based on an implied spread from the sportsbooks.
Remember that we have to be correct on our bets on average over This means that bets with an expected value of over As you see from the chart below, moving from a 0 to a 1 is a much smaller change in winning percentage than going from a If your number is at on a game and the book's number is a , then it would not be a smart play to make since it only adds 1. However, if the line moves to a As long as there isn't many outliers injuries, trends or bad spots this could be a play.
The larger your deviation from When it comes to key numbers, you should always at least look to bet both sides and I can explain later in this article. I can probably write multiple books on sports betting methods and systems, but I will try and keep it short for the sake of this article.
When discussing this section it is important to define what a sports bettor is and what a handicapper is. A sports bettor is simply someone who bets on sports and a handicapper is someone who assigns advantage through numbers in order to even the odds of the outcome in a game. You do not have to be a handicapper to bet on sports and you do not have to bet on sports to be a handicapper, although being good at both certainly helps your chances of becoming profitable.
Handicappers have a framework or a methodology of coming up with a number for their estimated odds to assign against the spread on a game. In sports like football and basketball, the most common way that good handicappers come up with a line or a spread is using predictive power ratings. Power Ratings are a system to develop a handicap in a game by ranking all the teams in one league from worst to first with a number assigned to that team representing the denomination on how my points better or worse they are from their peers.
For example, if the Patriots are playing the Dallas Cowboys, you can predict the difference in points that the game will finish at. Say the Patriots are a 6. If this game is being played on a neutral field like in London, your line on the game would be the Patriots favored by 5. If the sportsbook line is the Patriots favored by 7 and there are no injuries, trends, bad matchups or bad spots to account for, you might bet the Cowboys here based on the fact that you are coming off of a key number and went past the 6.
According to my chart above, you would have at least 4. In football and in basketball there are also points assigned for home-field advantage. Each home field has its own number based on past performances but usually, it is about 3 points and rarely over 3. This means that if the Bears are playing the Packers in Chicago, and both teams are rated equal, then the Bears would be favored by 3 points and if the game was in Green Bay, the Packers would be favored by 3 points.
The Handicappers that set lines for the sportsbooks factor this in just as you should when coming up with your number. There are many different methods and ways that people use to create power ratings and nobody ever wants to give up the recipe to their secret sauce. In general, power ratings are created by a handicapper who assigns numbers to certain aspects of a team.
In order to create your own power ratings, you will have to have a vast knowledge of each team while updating your numbers on a daily basis. Creating and constantly keeping up on your own power ratings takes up a whole lot of your free time. For College football, this could take up 3 or 4 hours of every Sunday morning during the season.
If you haven't tried to do this before, or you are pressed for time, I highly recommend using somebody else's power ratings that are reputable. At least this way you can get your number without having to take a ton of time to put in the work and instead focus more on individual match-ups and situation spots. If you want to eventually start making power ratings yourself, you can use these public power rating numbers and compare them to your own.
You can find these updated during the season early every week on their respective websites. It is important to ask yourself if you trust yourself more than companies that do this for a living. Even the best handicappers compare their power ratings in case they missed something. After you get your power rated number, you next have to look at things like injuries, individual match-ups, situational spots, and trends.
When it comes to injuries, it definitely matters who it is at what positions in order to deduct the appropriate amount of points for each sport. In football, it might take three starting offensive lineman to be listed as out in order to affect your power rating by 1 point, yet when it comes to quarterbacks, you may have to adjust your power rating by up to even 11 points depending on who it is. For example, Deshawn Watson over the last two years was worth 8 to 10 points to the line and that was made obvious when he didn't play.
When factoring in injuries, we also must remember to give back points depending on how good the backup player is to that position. Laveon Bell could have been a larger difference when he sat out for the Steelers last season if it wasn't for the good play of James Connor.
Looking at individual match-ups is also very important to a handicap. You might have two teams power rated very closely together, but one of those teams might be great on offense and pass-defense but so bad against the run that they will rarely possess the ball and get clocked most of the game without being able to stop the other team that can rush the ball. Looking at these match-ups may not only take you off of a play, but it also can swing you so much that you start to like the other side of the play betting on the other team.
Remember that sportsbooks, just like you, also may have factored in the match-up adjustment to these lines so make sure to always question your number and compare your results with your sharper peers. Situational spots are also very important to the handicap. The schedule is definitely something that cappers will adjust for. In Basketball, sometimes you will catch a team that played less than 2 days before and could be tired while the other team is rested.
In football, the Thursday night and Monday night games either give teams a shortened week or extra rest. In some sports, the rest may be so long that teams could come in rusty and it is always good to fade them in the first half. Travel is also very important. Cappers generally adjust anywhere from 0 to 3 points on the power rating depending on the team and the schedule spot. Lastly, there is the look ahead and the letdown spots to factor in.
The good handicapper would look to bet the dog in this spot. Finally, we need to look at trends. Maybe a quarterback has a history in playing bad in cold weather. Maybe there is a stadium that favors unders. Maybe there is a coach that always gets the best of a good team. Trends are hard to assign an actual number to but something you should at least pay close attention to. It is always best to ask yourself why when noticing a trend so that you can learn from it in the future.
The last way that I am going to discuss some handicapping techniques is the use of algorithms to come up with a final score. An algorithm pronounced AL-go-rith-um is a procedure or formula for solving a problem, based on conducting a sequence of specified actions. An everyday example of an algorithm is a cooking recipe. The ingredients are the data and the mixing with the baking is the mathematics. An algorithm is really nothing more than a function with changing variables.
Being that the match-ups and the stats differ from week to week, you will always get different variables and predictive values for the final score. Some of the stats used in the NFL are Yards per game on offense and defense, yards per point, penalty yards and more.
For basketball, some of the stats are team efficiencies on offense and defense and pace of play. I certainly like to use algorithms for totals predictions due to the use of pure numbers and statistics. I use algorithms for football and basketball, but I do rely a lot more on individual power ratings especially for betting ATS against the spread. Remember when I said that those casinos didn't build themselves? It takes lots of people losing a lot of money to do this and as smart players, it is our job to beat these books.
With legalized sports betting spreading across America, sports bettors have never had more options to take advantage of. To see if sports betting is legal where you live, check out our state-by-state tracker. Some of the biggest states that have legalized mobile wagering include Colorado , New Jersey , Pennsylvania , Indiana and West Virginia.
The sportsbooks highlighted below are all trustworthy legal shops that take bets online. Click to return to table of contents. In the end, you have the final say on how much to risk on a game, but a good rule is risk only what you can afford to lose. Sports betting is a marathon, not a sprint. There will be good days and bad days. As a result, we recommend a flat-betting approach. They are unique to the team, sport and league, and universal across most sportsbooks. Much like stocks on Wall Street, the sports betting market is fluid.
Lines can vary based on the sportsbook, because different books have different clienteles. As a result, one book may post the Cavs -8 while another has Having access to more than one sportsbook allows you to shop for the best line. Getting an extra half-point might not seem like a huge deal, but it adds up over the long haul and increases your chances of winning. Our live odds pages will automatically surface the best line for every game.
These are all a good thing to know, and it can allow you to maximize your winnings. Check it out for free here. Sports Betting. Best Books. Action Network Staff. Download App. Read now. Action's Preferred Sportsbook. Bet Now.
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However, the more likely a team is to win, the more expensive the bet is. Betting favorites on the moneyline can be expensive! This is essentially how the casinos make their money. A parlay is a bet where you group together a bunch of bets, but must win all of them in order to cash the ticket. These bets can be fun, and depending how many bets you put in, can offer a huge payoff with very little cash to risk. Below is a table that shows general odds on parlays if you are betting regular spreads.
Remember though, while four teams may hit for you in your five team parlay, that one loss makes the entire bet a loser. So choose carefully! The odds on bets are not necessarily the same from sportsbook to sportsbook. The Chiefs in the example above may be a 9. But if you bet them at the other book at -9, then you would have pushed, and gotten your money back. Always look at multiple sites and get the best line possible! If a team beats a series of lower quality teams while playing at home it may not be the right time to jump on the bandwagon when their next game is on the road against a top opponent, for example.
Keep track of the schedule and factors that can help keep a streak alive. There are opportunities in sports betting where a punter can make a bet that is opposite to his original bet. At a Las Vegas sportsbook, a St. At the time the Cardinals were five games out of a playoff spot with 15 games to play. A big hill to climb to even just make the playoffs.
The gambler was now looking at a potentially massive payday. But what if the Cardinals lost the World Series. He would get exactly zero. This is the perfect opportunity to hedge. By betting opposite to the original wager, he can lock in a profit. With parlays one loss is all it takes to lose the entire parlay. This process, also known as middling, is when a punter makes an early point spread bet only to see the line move later. By exploiting the line change you can place an opposite bet to your first wager and sometimes win them both.
Keep reading for an example to make it really clear. Read our full guide to betting the middle for more information. This is because those leagues use a playoff format when it comes to home and away games. The higher seeded team plays at home for the first two games, as well as the 5th and 7th, if necessary. The zig zag theory works on two main concepts. First, home teams have a real advantage. Second, when a team is coming off a loss they generally play harder and have a statistically better chance of winning.
The zig zag theory works best when a team is at home AND coming off a loss. There are several betting systems out there that proclaim to have a secret recipe for foolproof winning. Of course, if they really worked then everyone would be rich and casinos and sportsbooks would be bankrupt. Compared to the Martingale system which only requires your last bet to win, this system needs your overall winning percentage to out-number your losses. If you lose a bet, add the number of units you bet to the end of the sequence.
When you win, cross out the first and last numbers in the sequence. Continue until all numbers in the sequence have been crossed out. The truth is, none of these systems can guarantee a win, even if they promise to do just that. One of the most important things both savvy punters and oddsmakers utilize is data and trend analysis software. These days there are several online options that offer these services for free or for a low fee.
It takes a bit of work to learn to use them at first but once you learn how to use these tools they can be an absolute game-changer for your results. Not only can you figure out how the most common trends are calculated and used, but you can also explore your own trend ideas and potentially find edges that have eluded the sportsbooks and other bettors.
You never know what you might find. Perhaps NHL road underdogs, after long homestands, who start their back up goalie in the first game of a back-to-back are much more likely to cover the puckline. It may seem random, but with data analysis tools you can find real trends that can help guide your bets. For example, over the past 13 seasons the underdog has covered the spread It measures how teams perform against the point spread, not just against their opponents. That is an incredible stat to ponder.
It makes it seem that no matter what strategy you employ, your point spread bet is a coin toss. That extra three percent represents a massive difference for your bottom line so look for those opportunities. One advanced strategy punters use at the start of a new NFL season is the Pythagorean wins strategy, which is a name you might remember from math class in school.
It takes into account the amount of points scored by a team and compares it to the number of points scored against them. Amazingly, from to the Super Bowl was won 11 out of 16 times by the team that had the highest Pythagorean wins stat, not just the most outright victories. Instead of doing the math yourself, you can find the stats for all teams posted at the beginning of the season.
You can also find free calculators online that will do the math for you. This is just one example of a more advanced strategy used to wager on the NFL. In basketball, one advanced strategy we really like is going against the grain and betting against the public. This works especially well with point totals and teams that put up big numbers at home. The common bettor will remember how a team performs at home, how quick their pace of play is, how many points they give up to the opposition, and then simply bet the same way the next time that team plays at home.
This means you can often get a great price betting the underdog or the under on totals in these spots. This works especially well when both teams have had busy workloads or are on the tail end of a back-to-back. Check if your state has legal NBA betting on our guide. Statistics have shown that when a total is higher 8.
This is also a viable option when the underdog has lost their previous game and the public is swayed by a small sample size and the odds have increased. For more on baseball betting strategy, check out our full guide on how to bet on the MLB. Check if your state has legal MLB betting.
There are lots of reasons hockey is a great sport for more advanced betting strategies. There are also lots of edges for gamblers willing to put in the work. One common example is that the betting public for hockey tends to put too much weight on home ice advantage. This creates excellent value for those willing to bet on the road underdog. For more hockey betting tips and strategies, read our full guide on how to bet on the NHL.
The Kelly Criterion is a formula used to calculate how much to bet when the odds are in your favor. Obviously, in sports betting, it is going to be difficult to know the precise probability of success or failure of an event. However, with research and solid deduction we can make some reasonable guesses and then apply the Kelly Criterion to see how much of our bankroll to bet. Say, for example, that you think the chances of Rafael Nadal beating Roger Federer on Clay are , and the decimal odds available at your sportsbook are 1.
Some are great quality while others might steer you far wide of your target. The information you gather along the way is really what matters most. As we stated above, it is best to be a master of one field than an average Joe across the board.
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