When you bet on sports, there are several key principles that apply, whatever the sport and however much money you are betting. Follow these and your life will be much easier, and your betting more lucrative. This is how you win at sports betting.
1. Odds: Shop Around
If you're looking for a new car, do you pick the first one you see? No, you shop around for the best package and the best offer. So why do so many people take the first bet they're offered by the bookmaker with the fanciest website? Probably because betting is based on numbers and figures, but a car is something physical. But the same principles should apply whether you are making a purchase, or investing your money in a bet.
It is for this reason that Bookiesmash offers reviews of a wide variety of sports bookmakers. You can trust all of them with your money, but they all offer slightly different packages to the bettor. Going through prices on each of the bookmakers' websites individually can be exhausting, so be sure to check our recommendations on events and competitors on which to bet. We'll also tell you when a bookie has a special promotion for first-time bettors; this increases your chance of a good return from your bet.
Odds are based on the likelihood, in the opinion of a bookmaker, of something happening. If a bookmaker thinks, for example, that England are 2/1 to win a football match against Italy, that means that the company believes that England have a one in three chance of beating Italy. To put it a different way, if the same players, in the same conditions, played the match three times, England would win one of those matches. Of course sport doesn't work out like this - we never have a sporting event that exists in a bubble, in perfect conditions, with all players fit and on top form. You can only beat the bookmaker if you find a bet where you believe the value of the offer exceeds what the bookie believes it to be.
To go back to that England-Italy match scenario, imagine you have just read news of a key player in the Italy team getting injured. Having seemed like marginally the stronger side, Italy now seem to be on an equal footing to an England side which has all players fully fit. This makes a 2/1 bet on England winning look more valuable. Bookies raise and lower odds depending on information they receive; to get ahead of the bookie, you need up-to-date information. Bookiesmash offers this, through betting tips and betting strategy updates.
2. Accumulate, But Don't Speculate
When you think about ways of increasing the value of your bet, one popular option is the accumulator. This is where a bettor places a bet on a variety of different, often separate, scenarios, coming true. One example might be a bet on Chelsea winning the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League, all in the same season. Obviously, the odds of Chelsea winning three trophies are considerably higher, and the probability lower, than the odds of only one of these scenarios happening. For each scenario you add into an accumulator, the probability of winning lowers. This is why you need to be clear WHY you believe all the bets in your accumulator are good value and are likely to happen before you place them. This sounds simple, but many people believe accumulators are all about passion and emotion. They're not; they're about the likelihood of getting a bigger payout than placing the individual bets.
3. Statistics Are Your Friend
Back in the day, football managers used to select their team based on feelings and "hunches". Our striker isn't running around enough. Our left-back isn't tacking hard enough. Drop them, bring in new players. However, a lazy-looking striker can sometimes complete more passes and score more goals than one who covers every blade of grass. How do we know this? Statistics. All professional sports teams now have seemingly-endless metrics detailing every aspect of players' performance. A game of football can be broken down into passes completed, possession percentages, goals scored, goals conceded, corners won, chances created, and thousands of other stats.
There are big professional sports-betting companies that employ people to analyze these stats from day-to-day to ensure each bet made is a good-value investment. As an individual, it is your duty to equip yourself with the most knowledge you can about the sporting event on which you are about to bet. At Bookiesmash, we sweat over stats so you don't have to, producing strategy articles explaining teams that can, for example, give bettors confidence due to the low number of goals they concede. Don't rely on luck. Arm yourself with metrics.
4. Form and Fitness: Knowledge is Key
Of course, stats are only useful if you also pay attention to the sports news. If you decide to bet on, for example, Rafael Nadal winning a tennis tournament. even though the sports media might have reported that he may be (hypothetically) carrying a knee injury, you might not be wrong to do so - but you are taking a greater risk with your money. Betting is, to a certain extent, all about mitigating and managing risk. You're investing your money in a bet because you want to get a return. Does Nadal's hypothetical knee injury bring an opportunity for another player, with higher odds, to win the tournament? Maybe a player who has won his previous ten matches, but is still rated at 7/1 to win the tournament? This is why it's crucial to study form and fitness, not just betting on the recognizable names. Studying stats and studying form and fitness are two aspects of preparing a bet that go hand-in-hand. Without doing one, the other is useless.
5. Be Pragmatic
We all have a sporting hero, or we support a particular sports team. But if being passionate about a certain team made that much of a difference to its chances of winning, then no-one would ever lose a match. The whole point of sport is that there can only be one winner. Someone will be disappointed. Placing money on your favorite team or player, without recourse to statistics and verified sports news in trusted sources, is the equivalent of throwing your money up the air and hoping you'll catch it all when it comes down. If you're going to bet on your favorite team, put emotion to one side, and look at how likely they are to make your bet produce a return. At Bookiesmash, we're committed to giving you a way of getting the best possible return from sports betting. In betting, as in life, the person who can remain cold-blooded will get the best return.
Image courtesy of bbc.com