5 Favorite Sports Betting Strategies for Beginners

By in Sports & Betting on
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Turning a profit when sports betting is stressful, but you will meet many sports bettors that consistently win. You can find even more that claim to win, but that’s another post altogether.

Before you can begin to make a profit in sports betting, you need to be aware of a few basic strategies.

I want to share with you my five favorite sports betting strategies for beginners. You won’t find any secret formulas here.

But if you follow them, it will help you win money as a sports bettor.

1 – Bankroll Management

Bankroll management is sports betting 101. Your bankroll is money you have expressly set aside for gambling. In our case, more specifically, it’s money set aside for sports betting.

To be clear, this is cash that you can ultimately afford to lose. As with any form of gambling, you should never be betting money you need for other necessary expenses like food or rent.

Building a bankroll is easy, but it’s a process. Set a specific dollar amount that you add to the bankroll every week or month, and it will grow over time.

The general sports betting rule for bankroll management is to only put between 1% to 5% of your total money into play. For example, if you have $1,000 in your bankroll for the month, you would make bets of $10 to $50.

It is of paramount importance that you never start chasing your losses. All too often, gamblers will find themselves down money and think they have to increase their standard bet size to get back in the black.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. All this accomplishes is getting you in the mindset of swinging for the fences. You’ll end up losing your entire bankroll quickly.

Think of your bankroll as a plant. You need to grow and care for your bankroll. It will develop faster than you think, but you must remain patient.

2 – Avoid Going on Tilt (This Includes No Betting Drunk)

This one may seem like a no brainer, but you’d be shocked at the number of people that place large bets while under the influence.

Maybe the Las Vegas casinos are offering alcoholic drinks for free as a kind gesture for all the money they are making?

Not likely. Look, you’re an adult and can make your own decisions, but making bets under the influence should be avoided at all costs. If you don’t care about losing money hand over fist, then, by all means, go for it.

For those of you that want to become a profitable sports bettor, save the booze for after you’ve placed all of your bets for the night.

Going on tilt is a phrase most commonly associated with poker. Primarily, it refers to allowing your emotions to take control. This will typically lead to poor decision making.

Whenever you are angry about something, maybe a couple of devastating upsets in rapid succession, you need to press pause. Cool off and make sure you’re thinking clearly before placing any more bets.

3 – Stick to One Team

Walk into any sportsbook in the world on a mundane Tuesday afternoon, and you’ll see hundreds of lines from a plethora of sports. Having so many choices can quickly draw you into the mistake of making several bets involving different teams.

Spreading your money around is excellent, as long as you’re a casual sports bettor with a considerable bankroll. It won’t promote learning everything you should to make smart bets.

Beginner and even intermediate sports bettors need to focus on one team in one sport. You will become much more adept at researching each game because you’ll already have an intimate knowledge of your organization.

One great way to gain an advantage is by recording the games of the team you select then paying close attention to the team’s tendencies. Only a few fundamental trends can give you a tremendous advantage over most sports bettors.

If you think you’ve found your niche, select a new team in a different sport when the season ends. Just be sure to stick with them through the season.

Knowing one team extremely well means you’ll have more time to research the opposition. Plus, you’ll have an inside look that most bettors have ignored all season long. You may not see this translate into a win every time, but it’ll definitely give you an edge.

Having the discipline to stick with one team over the entire length of a season can be difficult. Most sports bettors ignore the profit potential because they get bored. The temptation to seek greener pastures is sure to be felt.

Your long-term success will far surpass the temporary boredom if you can wait it out and capitalize on the work you’re putting in.

4 – Do Your Research

Doing your homework is as essential to your sports betting success as bankroll management. You should never place any bet before doing your research.

Betting based on your gut feeling will work sometimes, but it will not work well enough to save you from going broke. Many gamblers fall prey to this slippery slope.

They place a few bets on a hunch and win. Suddenly, they think by just going with their gut, they’ve found the golden goose. They follow this fallacious reasoning all the way to $0.00 sitting in their bankroll.

If you want to profit from sports betting, you’ll have to do the associated homework for every pick you make. This is a lot of work, but the payoff can be huge.

Find all of the trends you can get your hands on, pore over box scores and stats, then analyze game footage and anything else you can possibly find to make sure you’re getting value in your picks.

Once, you are confident that you’ve found an edge then, and only then, do you have the green light to place your bet.

5 – Shop Lines

For the beginner sports bettor to become a winning sports bettor is a metamorphosis. Along with this change, you need to make sure you’re finding the best odds.

This requires having accounts at multiple online sportsbooks and shopping around to see which sportsbook offers the best lines for your bet.

Frequently, sportsbooks will vary their lines by a half-point. At the same time, a half point doesn’t sound like much. But when you extrapolate it over a larger sample size, that half-point becomes pretty significant.

You may also be able to find a better price by shopping around a bit. If you can find the same bet for -105 instead of the standard -110, you’ll be in a far more advantageous place in the long run.

Remember that any advantage regardless of how small it may seem can be the difference in losing money or making a profit.

In just a single season of your favorite sport, you can save yourself a ton of cash by shopping at different sportsbooks. A dollar saved is as good as a dollar won when it comes to sports betting.

I assure you that every professional sports bettor on the planet is shopping lines for every bet they place. It’s part of a broader winning strategy for them.

Bonus – Don’t Buy Points

Buying points is a sucker bet. I see desperate sports bettors make this mistake all the time.

They buy NFL favorites down from say -3 to -2. The sportsbooks are finely oiled machines, and the extra vig they charge for doing this is 100% profit for them.

The same goes for buying underdogs. I wholeheartedly oppose this tactic 100% of the time. There may be a slim percentage of the time that it works, but it doesn’t make sense for the off chance you win.


I’ve covered my five favorite sports betting strategies for beginners, but there’s an entire world of possible strategies out there.

Most of what will determine what strategy you use will depend on your own preferences. Time constraints can put a severe damper on the launch of your sports betting endeavors.

If you have an open schedule and already established a sizable bankroll, then the sky’s the limit. You’ll likely quickly absorb these strategies and begin developing your system.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...

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