With legal sports betting finally in place in many states, millions of new bettors are entering the market. Some of them are sports fans who’ve never placed a bet before, while others may have tried it in the past but were unsuccessful. Whatever your experience level, there are 12 things every sports bettor should know to make the most of their betting opportunities.
Bettors who are successful at sports gambling tend to follow a specific strategy that works for them. For example, some people have a natural knack for betting on hockey games, while others are better at basketball or football. Whether your strength is baseball or college hoops, it’s important to stick with what you’re good at and focus on it.
Regardless of your strategy, it’s crucial to understand how sportsbooks price their lines. This is especially important when placing bets on props and team totals, where there is often a big variation in the odds offered by different books. You can usually see this variation by looking at the line on your sportsbook’s homepage, which will display all available wagers for that game. Clicking on a particular bet will add it to your bet slip, which will then ask you for your wager amount and display the potential payout if you win the bet.
It’s also important to avoid betting on bad numbers. For instance, if your book has the Cowboys at -7 while other sportsbooks have them at -6.5, resist the urge to bet on them and shop around for a better number. This will save you money in the long run and make you a more profitable bettor.
You can also minimize your losses by knowing how much of your bankroll to risk on each game. This way, you can weather the inevitable cold streaks that are bound to occur from time to time. In fact, it’s estimated that less than 5% of long-running betting accounts are profitable, so be prepared to lose some money.
A good rule of thumb is to always risk no more than 1% to 5% of your bankroll per play. That way, you can still be a profitable sports bettor even if you have a few bad weeks.
Lastly, you should always set your budget and stay within it. This will help you keep your emotions in check and let statistics and math rather than gut instinct guide your bets. Getting emotional will lead to uncontrolled spending, which can have disastrous consequences in the sports betting world.