If you bet $11 on each game, and bet on 100 games, if you’re like most sports gamblers, you’re going to lose $150. You’re going to lose $50 because you pay vig of $1 on each game, and you only win 50 out of 100 games.
But what happens if you win 52 or 53 games instead of 50? If you win 52 games, you only lose $8, and if you win 53 games, you win $13. So if you can win 52% to 53% of your bets instead of 50%, you can break even as a sports gambler.
Follow the six steps listed below to start breaking even as a sports gambler.
1 – Focus on Getting the Best Lines
Winning half of your bets is easy in sports gambling. For example, if you make point spread bets, you’re going to average close to a 50% win rate, even if you let your dog make the picks. And you just learned how winning at a 50% rate still leads to an overall loss.
You also learned that the difference between losing and basically breaking even or winning is only two or three games. So I’m going to show you an easy way to turn a few games out of every 100 into wins or ties instead of losses, and all you have to do is one simple thing.
If you bet on a home team favored by three points and the team wins by three, your bet is a tie or push. But what happens if you placed the bet and only gave two and a half points? When the team wins by three, you win the bet.
What about if you’re on the other side of this bet? If you bet on the road team and get two and a half points, you lose the bet. But if you got three points, your loss is now a push.
With modern technology, like the internet, you can shop for sports betting lines in seconds. Before you make any sports bet, you have to look for the best available line. A small line change isn’t going to make a big difference in most games, but you only have to change the result of a few games out of every 100 games that you bet on.
2 – Stop Making Too Many Bets
Every week there are 100’s of games available for betting. But winning sports gamblers don’t bet on 100’s of games every week. Instead, winning sports gamblers only bet on games they think provides them with a good chance to win.
Every sports gambler has the same amount of time to find the right games to bet. You have to use the time you have for sports gambling wisely. If you don’t use your time wisely to evaluate games, you might as well do what losing sports gamblers do.
You can pick teams and games at random and win 50% of your spread wagers. So if you bet on too many games, your winning percentage will be close to 50%. If you bet on 100 games every week, you’re not going to have time to evaluate the games properly.
And you want to win more than you lose betting on sports, you must focus on finding quality bets and forgetting about quantity. You’re better off betting and winning one game a week than betting 100 games and winning 50 or 51 games.
3 – Specialize in a Small Area
If there are 100 games available, how can you know enough about each team and game to do a good job evaluating each game? Unfortunately, the answer is that you can’t know enough to do a good job.
Sportsbooks have more resources than you do. But you have an advantage over the sportsbooks.
The sportsbooks set lines on many games, and they set the lines in a way that helps them make as much profit as possible. The sportsbooks know which games will get the most action, so the books focus on setting the perfect lines for these games.
Most sports gamblers bet on popular teams and games. But you can focus your energy anywhere you want. In other words, you can specialize in a small area that the sportsbooks don’t waste a lot of time with.
When you focus on a small specialized area of sports, you can quickly build a base of knowledge and information sources that are better than what the sportsbooks use.
It’s not that the sportsbooks can’t access the same information; the sportsbooks are focusing on areas they feel are more important.
4 – Use Handicapping to Identify Value
Everything you’ve learned in the first three sections comes together in this section. The best way to win 53 out of 100 games is to learn how to use handicapping to identify value.
In sports betting, value means a game and line that offers a long-term return. It’s easy to look at the scores after a game and say there was value on a line, but this can be misleading. It’s also not helpful in any way when you’re trying to make money.
For example, if bet on the under in a football game and the total is 48, and the score is 24 to 20 with 12 seconds left. The team with 20 is deep in their own territory, and the quarterback drops back for a desperation throw, and he gets strip-sacked. A defensive player picks up the ball and runs it in for a touchdown.
You lose the under bet, but does this mean that there was value on the over? It looks like there was value because the over won, but nine times out of 10, the quarterback isn’t going to give the defense a touchdown, and his team isn’t going to score.
The long-term value of the game is still under, even though it didn’t win. Once you understand value, you’re on your way to making profitable betting decisions.
5 – Look for Bonuses and Rewards Programs
While effective handicapping is your best tool to make money betting on sports, there are a few other things you can do to help you win.
Rewards programs are found in many casinos, but a few sportsbooks also offer rewards programs. Some gamblers call these comp programs, but a rewards program is any program that gives you something in return for placing bets.
Online sportsbooks often offer bonuses to reward gamblers who make a deposit and place bets. Most sportsbook deposit bonuses are a straight percentage of the money you deposit, but some offer a free bet or a loss rebate.
Some rewards programs and bonus offers help you win. Even if a bonus only covers your cost of vig for a period of time, it makes it easier to make a profit.
You have to read all of the details about any reward program or bonus offer to understand exactly how the program works. For example, some bonuses don’t help you win because the terms say that you have to make so many bets that it eliminates the value of the bonus.
6 – Use Statistical Models
Handicapping is evaluating games and teams, and players to predict the outcomes of future games. You can handicap games by watching teams and players and using what you learn to find value.
But smart sports gamblers use everything they can find to get an edge. One of the things that many winners use is called statistical modeling.
Statistical models use stats from past games to predict the scores of future games. Some statistical models are simple, but the best models are complicated and use a wide range of statistics.
An example of a simple statistical model is using the average points scored by each team in the previous six games and the average score given up by each team in the previous six games.
You can use a simple statistical model in your handicapping, but you can’t rely on simple models to help you win. But you should test statistical models using more information to develop your own model to help you win more bets.
If you can increase the number of games you win when you bet on sports from 50% to slightly over 52%, or bet on games without vig; you can break even. Breaking even as a sports gambler sounds easy, but not many bettors can accomplish this goal.
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to improve your chances of breaking even. Follow the six steps listed in this post, and the odds are good that you’re going to stop losing betting on sports. If you can break even on your sports gambling, you can bet on as many games as you want.