The thrill of placing a wager on a sporting event is hard to beat. But sports betting isn’t as easy as it looks, and even the most successful bettors have a few losses to go with their wins. This is because winning at sports betting takes a lot of research and knowledge. Here are some tips to help you improve your odds of success.
1. Know the game inside and out
The more a person knows about a sport the better their chances of predicting its outcome. This applies to both the teams and the individual players. It’s important to study each team and player’s past performances, current injuries, weather forecasts, and their recent home-field advantage. This type of knowledge is what gives the better bettors an edge over the bookies.
2. Don’t bet with your heart
Betting on your favorite team is a surefire way to lose money. In fact, most bettors only win less than 60% of their bets. But, if you can separate yourself from your bias and make a rational decision based on the facts then betting on your favorite team could be profitable.
3. Understand how the oddsmakers determine the favorites and underdogs
The oddsmakers have a complicated process of determining which team will be the favorite in any given matchup. It is not as simple as picking the best team, because the favorites must have superior players, a better track record of success and match up well against the other team. The underdogs, on the other hand, must have inferior players and a poor track record of success.
4. Don’t buy into the media noise
One of the biggest mistakes bettors can make is buying into the hype of a particular side. For example, if ESPN is pumping the tires of Seattle Seahawks all week then hundreds of thousands of other bettors will listen and follow suit. This will force the sportsbooks to shade the number in favor of Seattle.
5. Be aware of how the sportsbooks set their lines
In addition to determining who will be the favorite and underdog, the oddsmakers must also decide what the over/under (over/under total) should be for any given game. This is a complicated process that involves evaluating each team’s performance in the past, their injury reports and current form. They must also factor in the quality of their opposition and the strength of their home-field advantage.
The higher the over/under total, the harder it will be to cover. It is therefore important to keep in mind that the under/over line is only a snapshot of the overall market. It may change throughout the course of a season as the market adjusts. As a result, it is vital to monitor the market constantly. Moreover, it is important to check the vig (vigorish) at each sportsbook before making a bet. This will help you determine which sportsbooks have the lowest vig and which ones are offering the most value.