The goal of sports betting is to make money. Sure, we bet to enhance enjoyment in sports, but this will become an expensive hobby if it’s not profitable. In this guide, we will highlight how to win betting on sports by covering a series of tips and strategies that you can easily apply.
You’ll find that the guide will cover some basic, generic approaches to sports betting that all bettors need to follow, and then we’ll deep-dive into specific sports. Our goal is to help you become a more profitable sports bettor and, in turn, increase your enjoyment.
How to Win at Sports Betting
The fact that you’ve taken the time to read this page shows that you want to become more profitable with your sports bets. Simply being proactive is a significant first step to learning how to win at sports betting, and in this guide, we will expand on that even more.
We wanted to highlight that we’ve already created a guide on betting strategies that we strongly advise you to read alongside this article.
Before we dive in, it’s essential to know that to be successful in betting on sports, you need to have a little luck. Sport can be volatile and unpredictable, which is why we love it so much. But these two features can cause chaos when it comes to betting, and you need to be prepared mentally for times when “sure things” lose.
There are three keys for how to win betting on sports:
- Work hard.
- Be consistent.
- Be comfortable with losing.
The three keys are relatively self-explanatory. Hard work is a given. You must research stats, data, team lineups, injury news, and weather forecasts – consider anything that could swing a result.
Consistency comes from placing bets on teams or markets you’re most familiar with. For example, if you’re a diehard MLB fan, it makes sense to start betting on these games, as it’s a sport/league you know most about.
Bettors don’t like to lose, but you’re going to lose at some point. You need to know that losing is part of the game, and obviously, we want to limit losses, but they will happen. As long as when you place the bet, you’re comfortable with the time invested in terms of research, then the result will matter a lot less.
General Sports Betting Strategy
In our guide on how to win betting on sports, we’ve listed a few general sports betting strategies that you need to become routine in your picks. You can’t be successful long-term without working toward at least some of the basics.
1. Ensure Good Bankroll Management
Effective bankroll management is essential for long-term success. Allocate a specific portion of your overall betting budget for each wager, typically a small percentage (eg 1-5%) of your total bankroll. This approach helps protect your funds and prevents you from making impulsive bets that could deplete your bankroll quickly.
2. Be Research-Driven
Thorough research is critical to making informed bets: study team statistics, player performance, injuries, historical matchups, and relevant trends. A well-informed bet has a higher chance of success, as it’s based on a solid foundation of knowledge.
3. Track Your Results
Keeping a detailed record of your bets and their outcomes is crucial for refining your strategy. Note down the type of bet, teams involved, odds, and stake. Analyze your wins and losses to identify patterns, strengths, and weaknesses in your approach.
4. Use Value Betting
Value betting involves finding bets where the odds offered by the sportsbook are higher than the actual probability of the event occurring. This strategy requires a deep understanding of the sport and an ability to spot discrepancies between your assessment of an outcome’s likelihood and the bookmaker’s odds.
5. Shop Around for the Best Odds
Different sportsbooks might offer slightly different odds for the same event. Line shopping involves comparing odds across multiple sportsbooks to find the best value for your bet. Even a tiny difference in odds can significantly impact your overall profitability.
Sports Betting Tips and Strategies for Different Sports
To succeed in sports betting, you must adjust your approach for each. In this section of our guide on how to win betting on sports, we’ve looked at specific sports to see what you need to do to succeed betting on each.
The NFL is one of the most competitive sports in betting, purely because of the volume of bets placed. Sportsbooks are sharp and market movements are small, so you must be on top of your game to make money here.
Home Field Advantage
Home field advantage capitalizes on the phenomenon where teams tend to perform better when playing on their home turf. While not foolproof, historical data suggests that teams often have a higher win percentage when playing at home due to crowd support, familiarity with the stadium, and reduced travel fatigue.
How it works: Look for opportunities to bet on home teams when facing opponents with a weaker away record or having to travel long distances for the game. While this strategy doesn’t guarantee success, it can be valuable when making your NFL bets.
Divisional games in the NFL are known for their intensity and competitiveness. Teams within the same division play each other twice per season, creating a familiar and often heated matchup. Divisional games can be more predictable than other matchups due to the teams’ familiarity with each other’s playing styles.
How it works: Pay close attention to divisional matchups, especially when one team has a solid recent record against the other. Historical trends within divisional games can provide insights into potential outcomes. These games often feature tighter point spreads and can be influenced by factors beyond stats, such as emotions and rivalry dynamics.
Injuries can significantly impact NFL games, affecting key players and potentially altering outcomes. Monitoring injury reports and understanding their potential influence on team performance can be a valuable betting strategy.
How it works: Stay updated on injury reports for both teams leading up to the game. If a star player is injured or a key player on one side of the ball (offense or defense) cannot play, it can create opportunities for value bets. Oddsmakers might not fully account for the impact of injuries, providing an edge for bettors who do their research.
The MLB has thousands of games a season, meaning the betting opportunities are vast. When we look at how to win betting on sports, baseball can be one of the most profitable. Take note of the strategies linked to the sport below.
Starting Pitcher Analysis
Starting pitchers play a crucial role in the outcome of MLB games. A strong starting pitcher can significantly impact a team’s chances of winning. Analyzing the starting pitchers’ recent performance, pitching statistics, and how they match up against the opposing team’s lineup can help inform your betting decisions.
How it works: Look into the starting pitchers’ earned run average (ERA), strikeout rate, walk rate, and recent form. Additionally, consider how well the starting pitcher has historically performed against the opposing team’s lineup. A team with a strong starting pitcher facing a weaker one might increase the likelihood of a win.
Use the Run Line
The run line in MLB betting is similar to the point spread in other sports. It involves betting on whether a team will win by a certain number of runs or lose by less than a certain number of runs. Analyzing teams’ offensive and defensive capabilities can guide your run line bets.
How it works: For a favored team, a -1.5 run line means they must win by at least two runs to cover the spread. A +1.5 run line for an underdog means they can lose by one run and still cover the spread. Consider the teams’ recent scoring trends and the quality of their bullpen, as a strong bullpen can help protect a lead late in the game.
Weather and Ballpark Effects
Weather conditions and the ballpark dimensions can influence an MLB game’s scoring and overall outcome. Wind direction, temperature, and humidity can impact how far the ball travels. Understanding these effects can give you an edge in your MLB bets.
How it works: Check the weather forecast for the game day and the ballpark’s characteristics. For instance, a ballpark with shorter outfield fences might lead to more home runs. Wind blowing out can favor hitters, while wind blowing in can benefit pitchers. Consider how these factors might affect the teams’ offensive and defensive strategies.
Like the MLB, the NHL has a long season with a huge array of games to bet on. This allows you to be selective in the games and the markets, often creating a bigger edge for players compared to the likes of the NFL.
Goaltending is a critical factor in NHL games, often dictating the outcome. Analyzing the starting goalie’s recent performance, save percentage, goals against average, and how they match up against the opposing team’s offense can provide valuable insights for your NHL bets.
How it works: Research the starting goalie’s statistics, recent form, and historical performances against the opponent. A strong goaltender can steal games, so consider backing a team with a reliable goalie against a weaker one.
Home Ice Advantage
Home ice advantage can be significant in NHL games, where the rink’s familiarity and the home crowd’s support can impact the outcome. Some teams perform much better at home than on the road.
How it works: Look for teams with a strong home record and compare it to their performance on the road. Betting on teams with a notable home ice advantage against opponents with weaker road records can offer opportunities for value bets.
Special Teams Analysis
Special teams, including power plays and penalty kills, play a pivotal role in NHL games. Analyzing teams’ efficiency on power plays and penalty kills can give you insights into their offensive and defensive strengths.
How it works: Research teams’ power play and penalty kill percentages, which indicate how successful they are during these critical moments in a game. A team with a strong power play might capitalize on man-advantage situations, while a strong penalty kill can prevent opponents from scoring during power plays.
The NBA is one of the most popular sports to bet on in the US. Our guide on how to win betting on sports outlines tips that you can use in your betting strategy to become more profitable.
Player Performance and Matchup
Star players and individual matchups heavily influence the NBA. Analyzing player statistics, recent performance, and how players historically perform against certain opponents can guide your NBA bets.
How it works: Study players’ points per game, field goal percentages, assists, rebounds, and other relevant stats. Consider how well a player matches up against the opposing team’s defense and how previous matchups between the two teams have affected player performance. Betting on player point totals (over/under) or player props can be influenced by this strategy.
NBA teams often play games on consecutive nights, leading to fatigue and potential changes in performance. Analyzing teams’ performance in back-to-back games and how they fare against opponents who are also playing back-to-back can provide insights for your NBA bets.
How it works: Research how teams have performed in recent back-to-back scenarios. Fatigue can impact shooting percentages and defensive performance, so consider betting against a team struggling in back-to-back situations, especially when facing a well-rested opponent.
Line Movement and Public Betting
Monitoring line movement and public betting trends can offer insights into where the money flows and how oddsmakers adjust lines. This strategy involves capitalizing on market sentiment and identifying potential value bets.
How it works: Track how point spreads, totals, and odds change leading up to a game. If the public favors one side, oddsmakers might adjust the line to balance the action. Look for situations where public perception doesn’t align with your analysis, which can lead to favorable odds on the opposite side.
Golf has multiple tournaments a week that run throughout the year. Favorites can go off at much bigger odds than most sports, meaning that when you win at golf, it can be huge. Read our guide on how to bet on golf for even more tips.
Head-to-Head Matchup Betting
Head-to-head matchup bets in golf involve selecting one golfer to outperform another in a tournament. These bets focus on the performance comparison between two specific players rather than the entire field.
How it works: Sportsbooks pair two golfers against each other, and you choose the one you believe will have the better tournament performance. Consider factors such as recent form, course history, and suitability for the specific course conditions. This strategy allows you to leverage your research on individual golfers and their strengths, increasing your chances of success.
Top 10 or Top 20 Finish Betting
Betting on a golfer to finish in the top 10 or top 20 of a tournament provides a wider margin of success, as it doesn’t require a golfer to win the event outright. This strategy can be useful when you expect certain golfers to perform well but not necessarily win.
How it works: Select a golfer you believe has a good chance of performing consistently and finishing within the tournament’s top 10 or top 20. While the odds might be lower than outright winner bets, this strategy offers a higher probability of winning due to the broader range of potential outcomes.
The MLS is the biggest soccer league in the US, but most bettors tend to take on larger leagues and tournaments across Europe, such as the Premier League and Champions League. Use the tips below to become more profitable at soccer betting.
Asian Handicap Betting
Asian handicap betting is a popular strategy in soccer that offers a different approach to traditional point spread betting. It aims to eliminate the possibility of a draw by assigning a handicap to the teams, creating a two-way betting market.
How it works: In an Asian handicap bet, one team is given a handicap in goals (eg +0.5, -1.5) before the match starts. If you bet on the favorite, they need to win by a margin greater than the handicap for your bet to be successful. If you bet on the underdog, they either need to win outright or lose by a margin less than the handicap for your bet to win.
Double Chance Betting
Double chance betting provides a safety net by allowing you to bet on two of the three possible outcomes in a soccer match (home win, away win, or draw). This strategy increases your chances of winning but typically offers lower odds.
How it works: You can bet on either the home team to win or draw, the away team to win or draw, or that the match will not end in a draw (meaning you win if either team wins). This strategy is useful when you expect a close game and want to reduce the risk associated with a single bet.
Horse racing is a global sport, and most online gambling sites will have coverage of races worldwide. It’s a tough sport to master, and to do so, you need to invest time into improving your betting process. The tips below will help you do just this.
Each-way betting is a popular strategy in horse racing that provides a combination of win and place bets. It’s advantageous when betting on horses with longer odds, increasing your chances of winning or getting a return on your bet.
How it works: An each-way bet consists of two equal parts: a “win” bet and a “place” bet. The “win” bet is placed on the horse to finish first, while the “place” bet covers the horse finishing within the top positions (usually the top two, three, or four, depending on the race and number of runners). If your horse wins, both parts of the bet payout. If your horse only places, the “place” portion pays out at a fraction of the odds.
Handicapping involves analyzing various factors to assess a horse’s potential performance in a race. It’s a comprehensive strategy that considers factors such as past performance, track conditions, jockey and trainer statistics, and more.
How it works: Handicapping requires studying a horse’s past races, paying attention to factors like speed figures, recent form, distance preferences, track conditions, and jockey-trainer combinations. By comparing these factors for all horses in a race, you can identify contenders and assess their likelihood of success. This strategy is more time-intensive and requires a deep understanding of horse racing, but it can yield better-informed bets.
Tennis is played almost all year round and has dozens of games that can be bet on daily. The standard of games and tournaments varies massively, which is often good for bettors as it’s easier to find value. If you want to know more, check our guide on how to bet on tennis.
Set betting involves predicting the exact score of sets within a tennis match. This strategy offers higher odds than standard match betting and can be particularly profitable if you understand player tendencies and matchups well.
How it works: Research the playing styles of both players, their strengths and weaknesses, and how they’ve performed in recent matches. Consider factors like surface preference and head-to-head history. For example, if you expect a game between two strong servers, you might bet on a set score of 7-6 in favor of either player.
In-play betting, also known as live betting, allows you to place bets on a match while it’s ongoing. This strategy takes advantage of changing odds and momentum shifts during the game.
How it works: Watch the match live or follow live updates to observe shifts in momentum, player performance, and match dynamics. If a player is down a break but shows signs of turning the match around, you might find favorable odds for them to win, offering value in your bet. Be quick to react to changes in the game to seize betting opportunities.
Types of Sports Betting Markets
To win betting on sports, you must familiarize yourself with different betting markets. Professional bettors can find value in all areas of a game, which means they need to be able to target different markets for different games.
Below we’ve created an outline of various betting markets and a brief explanation of how each works.
- Moneyline Betting: Moneyline betting is the simplest form of betting, where you wager on which team or player will win a game or match. The odds indicate the potential payout for each side. Positive odds (+) are associated with underdogs, while negative odds (-) represent favorites.
- Point Spread Betting: Point spread betting involves wagering on a team to win by a certain margin of points or to lose by less than a certain margin. The point spread evens the playing field, making it possible to bet on either team with roughly equal odds.
- Over/Under (Totals) Betting: Over/under betting, also known as totals betting, is about predicting whether the combined score of both teams in a game will be over or under a specified total set by the sportsbook.
- Parlay Betting: A parlay is a single bet that combines multiple individual bets into one wager. All bets within the parlay must be successful for the overall bet to win. Parlays offer higher potential payouts but come with increased risk.
- Proposition (Prop) Betting: Prop bets focus on specific outcomes within a game or match that isn’t directly related to the final result. Examples include betting on which player will score first, how many points a player will score, or the outcome of the first play in a football game.
- Futures Betting: Futures bets involve predicting the outcome of a long-term event, often before a season begins. Examples include betting on the Super Bowl winner or the MVP of a league.
- Live Betting (In-Play Betting): Live betting allows you to place bets on a game or match while it’s in progress. The odds and available markets change dynamically as the game unfolds.
- Teaser Betting: Teaser bets involve adjusting the point spread in your favor by a certain number of points for multiple games. The catch is that all selected bets must win for the teaser to be successful.
- Round Robin Betting: Round robin bets involve creating multiple parlay combinations from a selection of bets. This strategy allows you to cover various outcomes while still enjoying the benefits of parlay bets.
- Spread Betting: Spread betting involves placing a bet based on the accuracy of a prediction rather than simply winning or losing. Your potential payout is determined by how correct your prediction is.