As a sports bettor, your main advantage over a bookmaker is that you can choose which games to bet on and how much to bet. These two conditions are the key to long-term success.
Another very important thing: never be so sure of your bet that you risk almost all the funds at your disposal. I accept betting much more than your average bet on really great games, but you never risk all your sports betting funds. Bet with the idea that you will win, but always leave room for error so that when you are faced with a setback you still have enough money to survive it and stay in the sports betting business. You can easily achieve this by sticking to 1-4 unit bets.
You need to know the difference between a good bet and an excellent bet to be able to determine when to bet on a large amount. And you need to vary your bet sizes to maximise your profits. You should be most confident about the game on which you are making the maximum bet. It could be a bet on the winner of the game at odds of 1.28, or a bet against an injured team, or a team that will rest its starting line-up, or a bet on a prize that looks really good. In these types of situations you should place your maximum (4 units) bet.
If your big bet loses, you can survive and bet another day. Crazy and even impossible things happen more often than you can imagine. I’ve seen a team seeded #15 beat a team seeded #2 in the NCAA Championship. I’ve seen the Lakers, down by 27 points after the 3rd quarter, still manage to come back to win the game. I’ve even seen John Starks dunk over Michael Jordan. And I’ve seen 30-point underdogs win a game in college football. In professional sport, and quite often in college sport, the skill level is so similar that things don’t always go as planned. Big surprises happen! So never put all or most of your resources into a game.
In addition to the usual bets, I tend to make significant bets on the winner of the play-off series. Usually the teams with the stronger line-up and more solid season performance will win. I like to make big bets on games where players are injured or the team has other line-up problems. I also try to take the opportunity to bet big when the bookmakers have got the handicap line completely wrong.
MVP bets, other award winners bets and division winner bets are just a few examples of long term bets that are another opportunity to make some decent money. I like this type of bet because it allows for small errors. A team can lose several games but still have a chance to win the standings, as long as you have done your analysis well and picked a really good team.
If you have found a really great game and you want to make a big bet on it, then there are a few things that you should observe before you do so. First, make a table with two columns, on one side list the pros of the bet, on the other the cons. If you have trouble figuring out the cons, then you can move on to the next step. Once you have identified all the pros why your bet will win, try to approach the bet from the other side, i.e. what would your arguments be if you had decided to bet on the opposite outcome. I am sure you will be able to find a few arguments. If you don’t come up with any arguments that would allow you to bet on the opposite outcome, try consulting one or more friends who are well versed in sport. If your friends are not of a different opinion and agree with you completely, this could be a good sign, but if your friends have a different opinion to yours, then take it into account. Of course, you should not be completely influenced by their opinion, but you should include it in your analysis.
Once you have looked at the bet from all angles and still think it is excellent, then you can make it with confidence. If I think I will be in for a huge shock if my bet loses, then I know that my bet is excellent. I don’t often find great bets, but when I do, my bet is so big that the handicap line is literally destroyed.