Top Tips for Beginners to Sports Betting
Many sports bettors waste an awful lot of time trying to find some kind of magic system or perfect strategy that will guarantee they make money. The unfortunate reality is that there's no such system or strategy. It's impossible to guarantee success at sports betting, even if you're a mathematical genius with extensive sports knowledge. There are simply too many factors involved.
That isn't to say you can't make money from sports betting though. It takes a lot of effort and discipline, but with the right approach it can be done. It's just important to recognize the fact that there are never any guarantees, no matter how skilled you are, and all you can do is try to give yourself the best chance of success.
On this page we have listed our top tips for doing exactly that. These are largely for the benefit of beginners, although even experienced bettors may find some of these tips useful. There's nothing particularly advanced here; we are simply offering some simple advice for getting the basics right.
Be Prepared to Lose
The most successful bettors in the world make losing wagers, and it's almost certain that you will too. Even if you only ever bet on big favorites, the chances of getting all your predictions right are pretty much zero. Sports are just too unpredictable, and upsets frequently happen.
We aren't saying this to put you off of the idea of betting, but rather to make sure you have the correct mindset. However strange it may seem, it's quite possible for a losing wager to still be considered a good bet. If it was well thought out, then you have no reason to worry, because there will always be occasions when things don't go according to plan. You have to learn to accept that.
While you obviously want to try and make as many correct predictions as you can, the key is to make bets for the right reasons. The bottom line is that if you apply solid reasoning to all the wagers you place, the likelihood is that you'll win more often than not.
Do Your Research
Information is power in sports betting. The more you know, the more likely you are to make sensible assessments of what is likely to happen. You don't necessarily have to spend hours and hours analyzing every single statistic you can find, but doing some research will undoubtedly benefit you.
At the very least you should stay up to date with the relevant news and recent form. You might assume that a soccer team is virtually guaranteed to win an upcoming match against a lesser side, but you might not think the same if you found out that their star striker was unlikely to play through injury and the opposing team was in a great run of form.
Any effort that you put into research will almost certainly pay off in the long run, so it's well worth spending some time on it.
Limit What You Bet On
It's perfectly possible to be an expert on many different sports, but the reality is that most people are not. You'll almost always make more money from betting on sports that you really know as opposed to those that you don't, so it's a good idea to limit the number of sports you bet on.
If you're a huge basketball fan, for example, and you know the game inside out, then it makes sense to focus on basketball betting. That's not to say you should never bet on any other sports, because you may find other attractive opportunities. There's definitely an advantage to specializing in a small number of sports though.
Betting online offers a number of other advantages over other forms of betting. It's convenient for one thing, and it's very easy to do. You'll find that the odds you get online are typically very competitive, and if you have accounts at a few different sites you can shop around and find the best prices. Gambling sites also give away a lot of extra value in the form of bonuses, promotions, and rewards. These can make a notable difference to how much money you make over time.
If you do bet online, then make sure you use one of the top sites. Most sports betting sites provide a decent service and are safe to use, but you'll get a superior experience if you use one of the very best.
Experiment & Keep Records
There are no hard and fast rules for what will make you money when betting on sports, so you should never be afraid to try out new approaches and betting strategies. By experimenting you can find out what works for you and what doesn't. Just remember that no strategy or system is going to guarantee you a win on each and every wager you place; you need to think long term.
You should also keep records of your betting when trying out different strategies. This will enable you to analyze your results, which in turn will help you decide how to maximize your chances of making a profit.
Be Patient & Disciplined
Patience is a very important skill in sports betting, particularly as a beginner. There's no point in getting frustrated if you don't have instant success because very few, if any, bettors make money from the moment they start betting. It will take time to learn everything there is to learn and develop the skills you need.
Discipline is equally important. If you don't have the necessary self-control to bet within a set budget and make rational decisions, then you'll almost certainly end up losing money. Good discipline will help you to gamble responsibly and place the right kind of wagers at the right time.
We can't guarantee that any of these tips will make you a successful sports bettor, but they will definitely help. If you follow our advice, then you'll be giving yourself a great chance of making a profit from betting. You should also try and avoid the mistakes that many beginners make, which we have covered in the next article.
Author: Brad Johnson
Updated: March 2015
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