Selectivity Makes Sports Bettors More Money Long Term

Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys. Tom Pennington/Getty Images/AFP

One of the hardest factors in sports betting is to determine the number of games you should wager on. When a Saturday or even a Wednesday, Thursday in college basketball rolls around in January and February, you can have 75 to 125 games to choose from. Multiply that times two when you include totals and one could easily make 30 individual game wagers.

However, when bettors make that many plays against the betting odds, the sportsbooks just smile, because they know more often than not, a good collection of cash is coming their way.

This topic was covered for comparison sake for football here at Oddstrader, but we will take a broader view than just football, wanting to also consider the aspects of daily sports into our thinking.

The More Games You Bet, The Lower Your Percentage, Which Could Go to Your Bottom Line

If you go on Twitter, one of the most hilarious aspects is that nobody loses. The amount of bettors, handicappers, or wanna-be handicappers that go 7-1 or 10-2 daily or every other day is incredible.

That’s not to say it is not true, but because 95+ percent of these people only monitor their own results and accentuate the positive, we don’t get the full picture. Understandably, they want to create a rosy picture, yet the bottom line is they lose, just like everyone else.

For the most part, for every 7-1, at some point, there is a 1-7 in the mix. So at 1-7 and flat betting, that would be a net loss of 6.7 units. If your average wager is $50 a game, that would -$335. If you picked your four best sports picks for the very same day, even if you went 0-4 and had a rough day, you are -4.4 units and out -$220. That saves you money.

If you bet regularly, almost anyone at some point will have a 15-5 hot streak. Those are loads of fun and doing anything in life where you hit 75 percent is awesome. What is harder to do is reach that level at 30 bets (22-8 or 23-7) or 40 wagers placed (30-10). Though it happens, this is infrequent and your percentage will start falling in time. When that happens, the money you made can often disappear in a hurry. Being selective can help you keep more money.

An Easy to Understand Comparison

We are not saying you cannot win or profit more from the heavy volume, because there are bettors that work on margins, who play money line underdogs, and with plus-odds, you can make a profit if you have the skill of hitting dogs regularly. But in the world of betting $11 to make a profit of $10, that is much harder.

Here is an exercise to consider. Let’s make four bets six days a week and you have a .500 record. Having a 12-12 record at $50 a pop, you are out -$60. Next, let’s increase the volume to seven plays a day in the same time span, which is 42 and you are 21-21. Making the same $50 wager, you are down -$105.

If we extrapolate that over a month, that adds up to -$180 difference. And let’s be honest, it’s well within even the best bettors to have a .500 record over 60 days and that loss just moved to an extra $360 with a larger volume.

Instead of spreading your bankroll in several games, shop around for the best line to spot “bad spreads/totals” in two or three games.

Doing simple math, to overcome that amount of money lost at the same volume per month, you would need a 26-16 record to have a modest profit of $60. Impossible, no. Likely, not so much. Let’s face it when you are hot against the betting odds, winning can cover up mistakes. But what happens when you are not?

That’s where more skill and discipline are required and if you have the correct mindset, you can reduce risk with fewer wagers, and using your best plays should enhance your chances of collecting more cash.

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