Why Quality Over Quantity Is the Best Sports Betting Strategy

By in Sports & Betting on
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Do you like to bet on as many sporting contests as possible or find one or two games every week where you think you have an advantage? If you’re a recreational bettor, it doesn’t matter how many games you bet on every week. But if you want to have a real chance to make a long term profit as a sports bettor, you need to find games where you can get value.

The best way to bet on games with value is to focus on finding a few games and to make sure you do the best job possible handicapping these games.

The Quantity Sports Betting Method

The quantity sports betting method focuses on betting on lots of games. When you bet many games, you spread your bankroll around and hope to win 53% of your spread bets or more to show a profit.

You run into a few problems when you try to use the quantity sports betting method. The first problem is that you don’t have enough time to do a good job handicapping each game. When you don’t handicap games well your long term results tend to be average.

The average sports bettor is a long term loser. On average, sports bettors win 50% of their spread bets. The problem with this is when you win 50% of the time; you still lose because of the vig. If your average bet is 110 to win 100 and you win 50% of the time, you lose $5 on average every time you make a bet.

You can see why this is true by using some simple math, if you bet $110 to win $100 on 100 games and win 50 of them, here are the numbers:

  • Total cost of 100 bets = $11,000
  • Total return on 50 wins = $10,500
  • Total loss on 100 bets = $500
  • $500 total loss divided by 100 bets = $5 loss per game on average

The second problem you run into is the lack of games to bet on during some times of the year. Only so many professional and college games are available each day and week. And it’s challenging to get good handicapping information for small and medium sized conference college games.

You also run into an issue of being forced to be a generalist. It’s hard to beat online sportsbooks even if you specialize in one sport. Only a few bettors can turn a long term profit as a generalist, betting on many different sports.

The Quality Sports Betting Method

The quality sports betting method focuses on finding a few games offering the most value. When you focus on quality instead of quantity you can invest more time in each game and make larger bets on the games you think offer the most value.

The main challenge is finding a way to quickly eliminate games that don’t offer value so you can identify the ones that do. Eventually you’re going to learn how to do this quickly by just looking at the lines and using the knowledge you’ve built about the sport and teams you’re looking at. But when you’re learning how to handicap games this is challenging.

Here are some tips to help you find games that might offer value while ignoring games that don’t:

  1. Specialize as much as possible when you’re learning how to handicap games. When you specialize in one sort, or even one division or conference, you can become an expert quicker. Keep specializing until you learn how to turn a consistent profit.
  2. Ignore games with large point spreads. When a heavy favorite in any sports has a big line, it’s almost impossible to find value. The underdog can play up to the competition, making the game closer than it should be, or the favorite can build a big lead and relax and let the underdog cover in the final minutes. And sometimes the favorite dominates so much early that the underdog gives up and gets crushed. Remember that coaches and teams don’t care about the spread, and games with big lines are hard to handicap.
  3. Games with close spreads, including even spreads, often offer long term value to smart handicappers. I always look closely at these games to see if one team offers good value.
  4. I always look at underdogs first. Every sport is unpredictable, so on any given day an underdog can surprise the world. When you find an underdog that offers value you can win the bet when the dog wins the game or when they play well enough to cover the spread.
  5. If you like to bet the moneyline, the value isn’t in heavy favorites. It’s easy to think that a huge favorite is never going to lose, but the cost is simply too high to bet these games. Handicappers that make money betting the moneyline focus on closer games and find a long term value on one side or the other.

Limited Resources

The main problem with using quantity over quality when you handicap sporting events is you have limited resources. It takes quite a bit of time and effort to handicap games if you hope to win more money than you lose.

Your most important resource is time. Everyone has the same amount of time every day and every week, yet no one seems to ever have enough time to do everything they want to do. How long it takes you to handicap a game well enough to have a good chance to make a profit depends on many factors.

If you’re not a winning sports bettor now, the odds are good that you’re not spending enough time sports handicapping games. The truth is that most sports bettors don’t send any time handicapping games. And many of the gamblers who do spend some time handicapping games only spend a few minutes on each game.

How do you expect to beat the sportsbooks when you spend five minutes or less handicapping a game? The books invest a great deal of time and money into setting profitable lines. Unless you’re willing to invest the same level of time and money into handicapping games, the odds of you beating the sportsbooks are slim.

Every resource you need to handicap sporting events other than time is readily available. You can find just about any statistic you can think of in a couple minutes online. Of course, how you use the statistics is the difference between winning and losing, but everyone has access to the same information.

As you gain experience handicapping games, you learn how to find the information you need faster. But winning sports bettors spend time evaluating every game they consider betting on. They spend as much time as they need to determine if the game offers any potential value, and determining which side of the line the value is on.

When they find that a game that doesn’t offer value, they quickly move on to the next game. They don’t waste any more time than the need to on a game that doesn’t offer value. They know that they might need extra time to evaluate games that offer value.

If you want to be a winning sports bettor you have to protect your time. You also need to learn how to use your limited time in the most valuable way. Time is your most valuable resource, so start using it wisely if you want to be a winning sports bettor.

Here’s how this ties into the quantity or quality sports betting equation.

You want to look at as many sporting events as possible to try to find profitable betting opportunities. But you want to spend most of your time on the few games and lines that offer good value. You need to figure out a system that quickly eliminates games that don’t offer value, and then spend as much time as you need on the games that offer value.

Your long term betting results are going to be better is you send an hour or two on 10 games each than five minutes on 100 games each. This is the best use of your most valuable resource.


If you want to get average sports betting results you can bet on as many games as you want. The problem is that average sports betting results equal long term losses. Learn how to find a small number of games every week where you can get value on one side of the line or the other, and handicap these games to the best of your ability. This is the only way to make money in the long run as a sports bettor.

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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