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Sports Betting: Coming out a winner at the end of the season

Professional gamblers in any niche of the betting industry will tell you that in order to win you have to have a strategy.

 When it comes to sports betting, there are several areas in which gamblers can find themselves in real trouble at the end of a season. It’s important to take the professional approach and go into the season with a strategy when it comes to betting that will help to maximize your returns and have you in the black at the end of the season. We’re going to take a look at some ways that can help you come out of any given sports season in the black. The first part of this mini series will deal with the cold cash that you place on games during the season.

 Create a budget. In order to make sure you don’t get over your head in sports betting, it’s important to have an idea going in about how much you can afford to play with. Creating a budget at the beginning of the season will give you an idea on how much you can bet per game. You can go even further with this and divide the money up further; some to be used for games which are great value (you’ll want to put a little more on these) and some which you are pretty sure about but could go either way.

 Stick to the plan!!! When it comes to sports gambling, winning can be a real rush. Within the first two weeks of the NFL season a good streak can have a new gambler betting much higher than planned. The thought process here is usually, “I can’t seem to miss and think how much money I COULD have won if I’d bet more, earlier!”

 This thought process is a total profit killer. You have to remember that sports seasons are long, and especially in today’s age of parity, teams have a chance of winning or losing every night. Your own record is no guarantee of a win on your instincts. Further, a team on a really hot streak is usually a bad value bet; the money lines and spreads are so high that a loss or failing to bat the spread could wipe out a couple weeks worth of wins if you don’t stick to your dollars-per-game plan.

 On the other side of the coin is the person who has been on a losing streak during the season or the day and badly wants to make the money back. These bettors are even more vulnerable than the winners, because they risk digging themselves into a deep, deep hole. Trying to win back the money you’ve lost by betting more is a sure fire way to scuttle your payroll quickly. Winning or losing, just stay steady with your bets. The odds are good that by the end of the season, it will all have evened out.

 Do your homework. For some, gambling seems like an easy way to make money, but the real winners are the ones who study the games they are placing money on. There are many variables that can affect the outcome of a game, and you want to try to account for as many of them as possible when you start handicapping. There are lots of resources out there that a sports gambler who wants to win should be consulting weekly. Here are some things to check.

• Injury lists: Who’s injured? Who’s sick? This kind of information can be critical if you are trying to handicap a game. The injury of a star quarterback can be big headlines, and a lot of the time the sports lines will reflect the public biting into this fact. What you need to find out is, what about the rest of the team? Maybe the backup is still able to guide the team to a huge victory, in which case you don’t want to bet on the other team. Players that don’t make the headlines can be incredible leaders on their team; their absence might have a huge effect on the way the team plays.
• Lineup changes and trades. This is particularly important when you are betting at the beginning of the season. The Toronto Blue Jays might have absolutely owned the Minnesota Twins the previous season, but a few personnel changes might upset the balance considerably. Mid season trades make a lot of press, but getting in on some good value sports betting at the beginning of the season because you understand the changes a team has made might be that extra boost you need to have a winning season.
• Team idiosyncrasies. Some teams are awful at home, some can only win at home. Streak betting is popular, but keep in mind that streaks only take one game to end.

 Visit our Sport Stats page for all the above data.

 Buy low, sell high.

 This idiom is huge in the stock market, but it’s important in sports betting as well. What it means is, look out for a team that has good value at the beginning or middle of a season, but don’t commit to them forever. Here’s an example.

 Let’s say that the New England Patriots are coming off of a horrible season. They’re the laughing stock of the NFL and no one expects them to do that much. This impression will be doubled if they lost a few games in the new season. The result is a betting public that has lost faith and won’t touch the Patriots either for spreads or for wins. Now’s the time for the professional gambler to think about laying some money down on the Saints. To start with, book makers will be trying to even the action by increasing the spread, so there’s a better chance of beating it. You will probably be able to ride a team like this for the rest of the season, even if they start winning. Once they start turning into favorites, though, you’ll want to proceed with more caution. Don’t bet on them too heavily.


Published on 07/04/2007

More in Betting School:

 Parlay Cards, Futures and Totals
 Spreads and Money Lines - when to use them



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