Choosing Which Sports to Bet On
Our moms taught us not to make assumptions, but even so, we're going to assume that you're probably here...and assume that you're probably here because you are brand new to sports betting and trying to figure out the best sports for you to bet on. If we're wrong, please don't call our moms. But if we're right, you're in luck, because we are going to walk you through everything that you need to know to choose which sports you should be betting on.
By the time you get to the end of this guide, you'll have a firm grasp on which sports you should be betting on. Depending on your sports betting goals, this could be a big decision, or at least one that is going to have a lasting effect on your future sports betting endeavors. We highly recommend that you take a few minutes to read this guide from top to bottom to make sure that you don't miss any vital information.
The First Decision - Profit vs. Entertainment
Before we can talk about what sports you should be betting, you need to have an honest heart-to-heart with yourself. You are going to have to decide what your end goal with sports betting is. The answer to that question will have a profound effect on which sports you should choose to bet on.
When it comes to sports betting, there are two main reasons that people do it. The first reason is for entertainment. People love to have a sweat on a game to make things more exciting or to make a game they normally wouldn't be into more interesting. Many people use sports betting as a recreational hobby, and we think that is great.
The other reason that people sports bet is to make money. But wait, doesn't everybody bet with the intention of making money? Yes, of course. But what we are talking about here are people who want to use sports betting as a source of income. These are people that are taking things very seriously and want to have sports betting as an additional income source or potentially as their sole source of income as a professional bettor. Everyone wants to make money when they bet, but to these people, it's important that they win.
Is either of these goals better than the other? Nope! Honestly, most of the people who get into sports betting do it for entertainment purposes. Sure, the idea of doing it for a living is appealing, but there's only a small group who have the aspirations to take things that far. That being said, there is nothing wrong with having lofty goals for yourself when it comes to sports betting. What you will see (including in this guide) is that betting with a profit goal in mind requires additional work and effort that some people just aren't interested in.
Before you go any further with this guide, take a minute to decide which direction you want to go with your sports betting. Remember, just because you choose entertainment as your main goal does not mean that you're not betting with the intention of making money. What we're saying is that you're okay with sacrificing a little bit of an edge in the name of fun. You're not making your bets with the intention of paying your bills. That is the difference we are trying to make.
Now that you know what your goal is, let's talk about how that should be applied to which sports you choose to bet on.
Betting What You Know
For those of you who decided profit was your main goal, you're going to want to stick to betting the sports that you know exclusively. Why? It's simple. Winning at sports betting is about making correct picks. You're not going to be able to consistently make correct picks on a sport that you don't understand.
To take it a step further, you really should only be betting on sports that you consider yourself an expert on. Beating the books is tough, and it's a game that operates on very tight margins. If you aren't sticking to what you know, you're not going to have much luck turning a profit.
And to take things even one step further, you should make sure that you're only betting on the teams and players that you know.
Let's say that you're going to be betting on MMA. You consider yourself an MMA expert. Does this mean that you know every fighter out there? You probably don't unless you are fully immersed in the sport. In this example, we would recommend that unless you are using some sort of mathematical strategy to bet based on statistics, you should stick to betting the fighters that you know. Otherwise, it puts you in the same boat of betting on things that you don't fully understand.
Sticking to betting on what you know can be tough for a lot of sports bettors for several reasons.
Just because you casually watch a sport or think that you're an expert doesn't really mean that you are.
You've got to be brutally honest with yourself on whether or not you really are an expert on the sport. If you aren't an expert, that's okay. Don't bet at first and dedicate some time to learning the sport and becoming an expert. Then, when you finally start making bets, you're going to be cleaning up nicely.
Remember, none of these sports are going anywhere for a long time, so there should be no hurry for you to start betting immediately. With some dedicated study, it shouldn't take you long to get yourself up to par to start firing some bets.
Is that sports bettors are known for loving action. You don't get into sports betting if you're someone who is risk-averse and likes quiet and relaxing hobbies. You get into sports betting initially because you love the action and you love the sweat that the games and the bets bring. This is great from an entertainment standpoint but can be your Achilles' heel if you don't get it under control.
If you want to make a long-term profit betting on sports, you need to stick to the sports that you are an expert on. If you aren't an expert on a sport, but you want to bet it, take some time to put in the work to become an expert BEFORE you start firing off bets.
Betting What You Don't Know
If entertainment is your main goal, you're free to bet on absolutely anything that your heart desires. This doesn't mean that you should make wildly silly bets, but if you want to, go for it! The point is that when you're betting for entertainment, you should be doing whatever makes you happy and brings you that entertainment. If you want to bet on an obscure sport that you know nothing about, go for it! If you want to bet on teams you've never heard of because you want something exciting to watch, go for it!
Betting for recreational purposes is probably the most popular form of betting and is the real end goal of most bettors. There's nothing wrong with making a little extra cash, though, while you're having fun.
Learning a New Sport
There is one exception where betting on a sport that you don't know is okay if your end goal is profit or a professional sports betting career. This is going to be less of a strategic tip for your bottom line, but more of a tip to help you keep focus. Learning a new sport with the intentions of betting on it in the future can be a grueling task. You may find yourself bored and less interested than you probably should be.
Betting can help. What we recommend doing is making a few smaller bets on some of these new sport games or matches to help keep you interested during the learning process. There are a few key "rules" that you need to pay attention to, though. First, we said small bets. You should not be firing off the same sized bets you would on a sport that you are an expert on. Bet much, much smaller where it really isn't going to have an effect on your bottom line but is enough to keep you interested.
You can consider this a cost of doing business. It's much like an investment in your education. By putting up a few bets that you very well may lose, you allow yourself to focus more on learning and paying attention to the games. This will help you to get more out of your research and get to the point where you can start making profitable bets sooner. You also open yourself up to be able to catch mistakes that could be made, but for a much smaller price. You may end up seeing something that you messed up, but it only will end up costing you a small bet instead of a normal-sized bet.
If you don't need to do this to stay interested in learning a new sport, then don't do it. This is only for people who need a little bit of sweat to keep their minds interested in what they are doing. Eventually, you'll be an expert on the sport and will be making bets more in line with your regular sizing, and this won't be an issue. We only wanted to mention it in case you are here looking to expand your array of sports that you bet on.
One Additional Exception
Okay, we lied. There is actually one other exception when we think it's okay to bet on sports that you might not be that knowledgeable on, even if your goal is profit or a professional betting career. Before we tell you the exception, we want to put out a disclaimer. This is a tip that is NOT going to help your bottom line. This tip will most likely have a negative impact on your bottom line.
But we understand that people are human, and we want to try to give you a plan that you realistically can stick with. This is like when you start a diet and you plan to run twenty miles a day, and then the next thing you know you are running zero miles because you chose an unrealistic workout plan that you couldn't stick to. We're trying to give you that "workout plan" that gets the job done but still lets you be a normal human being.
The exceptions we are talking about are the major sporting events for each sport.
While we are advocates of only betting the sports that you're an expert on, we know that it would kill the heart of a sports bettor if they didn't have at least something riding on the biggest moments of the sports calendar.
So you have our "permission" to place some bets on these major events, as long as you are aware that it is probably going to be counterproductive to your overall bottom line. If you can get by without placing them or with placing smaller bets, then go for it. We're only introducing this exception in case you need it to make it through the year. This is like the diet cheat meal. If you can get by without the cheeseburger once a week, you're going to end up better for it. But if you have to get some 100% Grade-A Angus beef in your belly once a week, we aren't going to frown upon it.
This only applies to the once-a-year championship of a sport, and we are only referring to one bet. Why are we reiterating that? Well, here are a few examples we know some of you are going to use to try to bend the rules. Just because the UFC has the word "championship" in its name, it doesn't mean we are giving you the okay to bet every single one of those cards if UFC is not your specialty. This also doesn't mean that you should be betting every single title fight in the UFC or boxing or any other combat sport with a bunch of different divisions and weight classes.
Secondly, just because March Madness is once a year, this doesn't mean that we want you betting every single basketball game in the bracket and destroying your yearly profits you've gained from the sports that you know. We're referring to placing one bet on the championship game of the bracket, and that's it.
We aren't here to sound like your mothers; we just want you to succeed. If your end-of-the-day goal is to be a long-term winner at sports betting, then you are going to need to exercise some discipline to get yourself over the finish line.
The Final Word
By now, you should have a pretty strong idea of which sports you should be choosing to bet on. If you're in it solely for the money, you're going to want to stick to what you know. Bet only the sports you honestly are an expert at and only bet the teams/fighters/games that you understand and know the best. If you're in it for fun and entertainment, the world is your oyster. Feel free to bet on whatever sports you'd like, and have a ball. You're a winner as long as you're having fun, and any money you win is just an added bonus.