Determining your skillset and understanding your limitations are critical components to becoming a successful sports bettor.
Below we discuss what’s important to winning over the long haul and the potential landmines to avoid.
Look in the Mirror
You can’t criticize the mirror if it’s the reflection you don’t like. And the same can be said for the excuses bettors often make when they lose a bet.
We all know someone who never loses an argument because they’re always right and whenever a problem arises it’s always someone else’s fault, never theirs.
Those people make lousy gamblers. After all, how can they learn from their mistakes because they refuse to even acknowledge them?
Unfortunately, some of them are reading this article right now and won’t recognize themselves as that guy…or girl.
But if you have even a modicum of self-awareness, as most of us do, then you can improve your sports betting acumen and ultimately make money over the long grind that is every sports season.
What you also need to do is determine how disciplined you are because if you are prone to chasing your losses then you either better bet small or find another hobby. Chasing losses is the number one reason why bettors go broke.
You could be up a few bucks after Week 6 of the NFL season but lose the early games in Week 7, chase your losses in the late games, then blow your entire bankroll on the Sunday Night Football game and suddenly you will be without action for the rest of the season.
No dough, no pay, no play. And all because you couldn’t call it quits. What novice bettors tend to do when they are on a cooler is manufacture opinions simply to justify a bet.
They so desperately want to recoup their losses that they have to contrive a reason to bet on a game that they would otherwise pass.
It is amazing how we can spend hours poring over statistics, injury reports, and historical data before we winnow down our selections.
But once those choices prove to be erroneous and all of our hard work not only costs us time, but money, we start to get angry because things didn’t go our way.
It’s a natural reaction but it is one that professional gamblers learn to control. Remember, there will always be another game to bet so let the bad beats and the hellacious losing streaks go.
Don’t chase. Never chase. You will find yourself betting bigger money on much less informed opinions and that leads to financial ruin. Don’t do it!
Form Good Habits
If you want to look good then you eat right, work out, and get plenty of sleep. Good habits can also be formed for sports bettors. Below we will discuss a few that are hallmarks of every successful bettor.
Seek Advice: While it is great to have the courage of your convictions it is also recommended that you solicit opinions on the games you are thinking of betting on. And if those opinions are different than yours, even better, but you must listen with an open mind.
Remember, this isn’t an argument you want to try to win, it’s all about the money you want to make.
Therefore, consider all sides and determine if you feel more or less confident about your potential bet after you’ve listened to similar and opposing views.
Sites like OddsTrader have some excellent tools that are free to use and there are also sports betting forums where bettors share their opinions and exchange information.
Have Multiple Outs: Any bettor who uses only one sportsbook is like a hockey player using only one skate. Getting the best line or sharpest odds is imperative if you want to make money over the course of a season.
OddsTrader has a list of the best online sportsbooks in the industry and we suggest you have funded accounts at three or more sportsbooks with which to compare and contrast lines. It can mean the difference between a cover and a loss.
Know Your Unit Size: A unit is essentially the average amount of your bets. If you are normally a $50 bettor then one unit equals $50 in your world.
Some sports betting systems will insist that each bet you make should be one unit. In other words, all bets are equal even if you feel more strongly about one wager versus another.
However, other sports betting systems ascribe to the 1-to-5-unit size system. A regular bet should be one unit but your most confident plays should be 5 units.
If you are to follow this system you must be extremely disciplined and a maximum 5-unit play should be few and far between.
During the NFL season, maybe a 5-unit bet should come around every four to six weeks if you are playing regularly.
And if it never comes, then so be it. Don’t force it. Lastly, choose your sportsbooks wisely.
Only do business with A and A+ rated sportsbooks that have a proven track record of integrity, reliability, and prompt payments to their customers when withdrawals are requested. It’s one thing to sweat the game but never the payout!