Let’s get one thing straight before we begin.
Sports betting is an excellent way to lose money.
Is it possible to make money sports betting?
There have certainly been individuals that made a great deal of money from sports betting. Google the names:
Jim ‘Mattress Mack’ McIngvale
Matthew ‘Moneyball’ Benham
Billy “The Great White Shark” Walters
Each as eccentric and unique as they were good at making long-term profit.
But for us mere mortals?
SPORTS BETTING IS NOT REALLY A CAREER OPTION…
You can certainly make some extra dollars here and there if you do everything correctly. But, even then, you need lady luck on your side a little bit.
Even the most successful sports bettor can only expect to win around 55% of the bets that they place. It’s never going to be an exact science. There will be streaks of both kinds. But nobody can maintain a percentage of winning bets more than about 57%
For an excellent understanding of how the math works, read – Winning percentages of professional sports bettors
Because of the way that online sportsbooks rig things in their favor, there is no such thing as even money when you place bets with them. They charge you for the privilege of choosing their betting markets. A sum referred to as “juice” or “vigorish”. They charge 10% so that even a 50/50 chance is represented like this: -110. So you have to bet $110 to win back $100.
You can see where this is going…
That means that to simply break even you have to win 52.5% of the bets you make on a monthly basis.
We’re assuming that, if you’ve clicked on an article about sports gambling, then you’re not totally naïve.
Sportsbooks are not in the betting game for the fun of it. To feel the thrill of the battle between information-greedy algorithms and gut-felt punters.
THEY ARE IN BUSINESS TO MAKE MONEY. AND THEY DO IT EXCEPTIONALLY WELL
Now, there’s nothing wrong with that. We appreciate the existence of sportsbooks. Especially now that online wagering is such an easy option.
We love betting and appreciate its facilitation in any way possible. Especially after so many years in the wilderness. Putting ourselves in the hands of “other sportsbooks” and simply hoping that they chose not to steal our money.
But it pays to remember that even the best sports betting sites with the most enticing offers are not your friends. Their only goal is to hook you into spending all of your money sports betting, knowing that they will probably take more of it away than they have to give you.
So. The scene is set. You are suitably demoralized
But hang on
We’re talking about managing your expectations here. Not giving up the ghost.
As far as we’re concerned here at The Jump Hub, betting on sports is a life-affirming pastime that enhances any game we happen to be watching. We use it purely for entertainment purposes and it is CRUCIAL that you do the same.
Certainly to begin with. If you have come here even as a clued-up sports enthusiast expecting to find a quick and easy way of making money, then you will be sorely disappointed.
Consider your motivations. Do this frequently, in fact. Sports fans are an eager, emotional bunch at times and sports gambling has a way of speaking to us that can be very dangerous if left unchecked.
If you are coming into this because you need fast money then you are making a mistake. look elsewhere
Even the sharpest sports bettors can’t guarantee to make money and most of them have taken emotions out of the equation. They stare at cold-hard statistics and bet according to their deductions and conclusions made over countless thousands of hours.
Now we’re not saying that you either have to give this your complete and full attention like professional bettors. But if you want to progress further than randomly throwing a few dollars at your favorite team every weekend then it takes a little more effort.
And, to be clear, we have absolutely no problem with people who want to pay no attention whatsoever to the finer details. They just want to kick back, watch their favorite sport and make a few fun bets.
WE LOVE THAT
We’ve been all about that ourselves. It’s especially entertaining if you have a group of friends and chip in together to raise the stakes. This means a lot of you will waste your money on idiotic parlay bet after another. But that’s a rant for another time…
What is a parlay bet? It is evil incarnate. Don’t even look directly at it.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
If you do not have a system of bankroll management in place before you begin then your journey through the land of sports bets will be a short one. If you do only one thing before diving in then PLEASE read our article – How to manage your bankroll in sports betting.
It underlines exactly why it is so important to any successful sports bettor. Of all the people we have met in the course of creating this website, most of them started betting before they were ready. All of them agree that this is the one thing you must do to stand any chance of making more money than you lose.
read the article. If you are too bone-idle then here is a brief synopsis:
You only ever bet a small percentage of the total amount you have in your account on any individual bets.
LIKE – 2% TOPS
Even if you think a bet is a dead-cert (they don’t exist) you have to be disciplined. As your bankroll grows (hopefully), so does the amount that you can wager. But the percentage NEVER changes. This way, you can keep betting on sports even when your account starts flagging. No single game can break the bank and while you still have money to play with, you are not beaten!
If you reach the point where you need to add fresh funds then the sportsbook has won that round.
SPORTS BETTING BASICS
A betting model is not as crucial as a money-management system. It just means that you are giving yourself the best chance of success in the long run.
If you are serious and want to learn – How to build an NBA betting model – then we are here to help. But it is not something we recommend to everyone and you need to think long and hard before diving in. Building a betting model is a complicated, lengthy business. It can be simplified as necessary but is still an involved process.
If you don’t have the time or inclination to build a full betting model then it makes sense to at least have some kind of NBA betting strategy, even a bare-bones basic one.
Flailing around wildly each weekend and picking your betting markets based on gut instincts alone will not serve you well.
If that’s the way you roll and you’re not overly worried about losing money then that’s great. It bodes well that you’re not stressing too much over it and it’s seen more as a form of entertainment.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Before starting, any sensible bettor should at least know the sports betting terms used. From there, it is time to decide what kinds of bets you prefer to make and the level of research you are prepared to put into the endeavor.
If you’re on the minimum end of that scale, then it might be that straight “Moneyline” bets are a good option. It merely beholds you to choose a team to win and that’s about it.
Even a cursory glance at the tables and stats will show you their recent form.
From there, the levels of analysis that you can involve yourself in are almost terrifying. Months and years have pored into every minuscule detail of research. Some folks enjoy that.
It’s like a giant puzzle without a set of instructions
Which statistical trends tend to lead to other events?
When they’ve been on the road or at home?
When they’ve recently been beaten?
How about after wins?
AND SO ON AND SO ON, AD INFINITUM
It really is an infinite wormhole that you can fall down. Hopefully willingly. Always looking for the edge. What have the algorithms missed? How can I level the playing field?
Like any knowledge-based skill, it’s going to take time. Looking at simple numbers like home/away results, scoring trends and other habits, and against-the-spread records is a great first step. But there is always another level to dive headlong into and investigate. Each one opens up like another wing in a giant creepy mansion.
Why is it creepy? It Just sounded better
Once you have a preferred side or set of bets you wish to place, it’s time to shop around. Even the tiniest advantage that you can find is worth taking. You’re already at a disadvantage going in, so failing to maximize your chances is just letting them off the hook easily.
DON’T DO THAT…
Finding the best odds can be quite the challenge in itself.
But if you make a routine and stick to it then it shouldn’t be too bad.
You’ll get a feel for which sportsbooks are better for different bet types. Which offers the best lines for live betting. Which often has the best line early on but changes as more bets are laid later? All of this will become second nature with time.
FOCUS ON ONE SPORT
This might sound obvious if we’re taking our sports betting seriously. But it is extremely common for sports bettors to spread the love over any number of sporting events.
From horse racing to tiddly-winks, you’ll find individuals who will bet on anything.
And that’s fine if they can afford it and are not hooked on doing so. It is a poor strategy to employ. Keeping up to date on the lasted NBA news and injury reports keeps us busy enough.
If we also need to keep an eye on which archer has strained their release finger too then we’re going to lose focus…
OTHER SPORTS BETTING TIPS
CLAIM ALL THE RISK-FREE BETS AND NEW CUSTOMER PROMOTIONS THAT YOU CAN
Almost every online sportsbook in the United States will offer you free bets and signing up promotions.
There is no legal limit to how many different betting sites you can use. Sign up for every available sportsbook and maximize your freebies. Beware, there are rules and regulations. You’ll have to bet a certain amount in a limited period of time to be eligible for most deposit matches.
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR ODDS BOOSTS
Sportsbooks sometimes offer boosted odds for certain games and events. You might expect to see an improvement of anything from 10% to 40%. This effectively eliminates the juice that the sportsbook makes and any winnings will increase accordingly.
It is important to check the terms carefully as boosted odds often come with certain restrictions. There may be stake limits and other prerequisites. It also pays to bear in mind that boosted odds don’t always represent a good opportunity. If you’re boosting an extreme long shot then it really makes little to no difference. Chances are you’ll be losing your stake either way.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ONGOING PROMOTIONS
Any decent sportsbook will throw out tempters to keep you coming back. It’s no good if they let you go once they’ve grabbed your attention and so they drip feed promotions to keep you interested.
There are occasional free bets to be had and loyalty schemes that can provide worthwhile outcomes.
Whether it should be considered a promotion or not (it is fairly standard practice in Europe) – cashback is one of our favorite options.
You will be offered a certain amount to cash your bet out early. Less if it is losing and more if it seems like you might win. This has saved our necks a few times, even if it just meant not losing our whole stake. There have been occasions when we wished we’d let the bet ride but you’ve got to take the rough with the smooth!
REFERRAL BONUSES AND PROMOTIONS
Pretty straightforward stuff. Entice a friend to sign up and get a small reward. They probably have to spend money first so check the conditions as always.
If nothing strikes you as worthy of a bet then you don’t have to wager any money. Take your time and do your due diligence. If there are markets that provide an edge then away you go. Otherwise, pass.
Parlays are for groups of friends getting hammered and watching a game. Throw in $10 each and get a few minutes of entertainment and giddy speculation. If you are seriously considering attempting to do better than break even, put the thought of a parlay bet immediately and permanently out of your mind.
Fade the public (sometimes)
The practice of betting against the general throng is known as “fading the public”. Since we can assume (correctly) that most casual sports bettors lose their money, it’s somewhat logical to do the opposite of what they do.
Will it always work?
The way to utilize this tactic is to follow the reverse line movement. That is to say, take note of the line movement in relation to the number of bets taken on either side. If the line moves in the opposite direction from the higher number of wagers then it most likely means that the larger bets (typically made by sharp bettors) are on the other side. Then it is worth considering a fade.
Use your common sense. It’s no good betting against the public if the result is an almost foregone conclusion.
Make prop bets
We’ll assume that you have done your homework and studied the form of every player in a game you’re planning to bet on. Then maybe, just maybe you can find a bit more value in the prop market than there is in straight bets and total bets.
The advantage here is that there are so many different prop bets available, that you have a better chance of finding an edge the bookmaker has missed.
Having said that – avoid prop bets that come down to complete luck. Guessing whether a game will end with a total score that is odd or even is nothing more than that – a complete guess. You can’t use your hours of deductive research and statistical analysis to help you here.
And besides, 50/50 bets are not in your favor – remember that?
The juice sees to that. If you are going to reach that magic number of 53% and actually start making money then a 50% chance is of no use. Especially when it’s less than that because you’re being charged a fee to bet.
As with all of our articles giving our best advice on how to wrangle money from the dreaded sportsbooks, we want to add a caveat or two.
As we alluded to earlier, entering the world of sports wagers is not for everyone. Before you start betting, ask yourself a few pertinent questions:
Do I have an addictive nature?
Can I handle losing money emotionally?
Can I afford to lose money?
Will I be able to maintain sensible bankroll management or am I likely to get carried away?
Have I got time to check the latest injury reports?
What is the limit on how much more money I will add if my first deposit is lost?
As we always say in any article we publish that pertains to gambling – look after your mental health and pay close attention to how and why you are pursuing this hobby. Yes – it should be a hobby.
The number of lives that have been ruined through reckless, our-of-control gambling is too numerous to calculate.
We’ve been there ourselves. It’s easily done and difficult to turn around without help.
DON’T BECOME A STATISTIC
If you think you might have gambling problems then seek help. The National Council for Problem Gambling is a great place to start. You can have a judgment-free chat with someone experienced and get the ball rolling.
Talk to friends and family. Ask for their honest opinions.
Do they think you have a problem?
MOST OF ALL – WHEN THE FUN STOPS, STOP
Thanks for reading. Look after yourselves and each other.