Ways to Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses as a Bettor

Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass. Stacy Revere/Getty Images/AFP

Sports betting is an entertaining hobby especially if you make money over the course of a year. But to do that you must take stock of yourself and find out what makes you tick. We all have strengths and weaknesses so let’s identify some of them below and find out how to maximize the positive and minimize the negative.

“To thine own self be true.” It’s a line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet but one that is apropos when determining personal betting patterns that can help or hurt you. We’ve all got them so let’s try to replicate what the pros do and incorporate them in our own sports betting process.

Sports Betting Checklist

Do Your Homework: If you don’t like to do the research then don’t complain about the results. Those who want to maximize their sports handicapping potential understand that there is work involved but not everyone wants to do it. If that’s you then make sure your wagers are low because if you bet regularly you will wind up in the red over the long haul of any professional sports season.

However, if you do want to put in the time, it will pay dividends. Will it automatically make you a winner? No, but it will either cut your losses or enhance your gains. There are plenty of tools available right here at OddsTrader that allow you to view head-to-head matchups and stats based on each team’s season record. Injury reports are vital to any handicapper’s sports betting process so make sure you are on top of the latest injury information and analyze how the teams have fared recently and against each other.

Get the Best Line: If you don’t want to sign up at more than one sportsbook then you are severely limiting your options. Many pros have three or more “outs” which allows them to compare lines and betting odds at the various sportsbooks.

If there were four gas stations all within shouting distance of each other would you go to the first one you saw or would you go to the pump with the cheapest gas? It’s the same thing only instead of buying gas you are buying a ticket, so why bet the Packers -8 when you can get them -6 ½ somewhere else? It will truly hit home when Green Bay wins that game by seven, as getting the best number can be the difference between covering, pushing, or losing.

Don’t Chase: Successful betting has as much to with discipline like anything else. There are some very sharp sports bettors out there who cannot come to terms with their losses. Losing is inevitable but when we make a wager, we only make it because we are convinced the side we

are betting will win the game, or cover the spread, depending on the wager we are making. Some of us can’t fathom losing and will continue to chase that loss just to get even for the day. Instead of making money, our goals have suddenly devolved into simply breaking even. That is a recipe for disaster.

Make your wagers and let it go – win, lose or draw. There will always be tomorrow so don’t manufacture opinions on games that you have already researched, and deemed not worthy of betting, just because you are down money on the day or evening’s events. Ironically, the undisciplined bettor will put more money on the “chase games” than the thoroughly researched games because getting even doesn’t come cheap. Don’t be that guy because it will cost you dearly in the long run.

Set Your Bankroll: This is another critical aspect of sports betting where discipline is vital. Set a limit of how much you can afford to lose over the course of a season without losing sleep. Sports betting is meant to be a shot of adrenaline while the game is being played but not a soul-crushing episode if you lose.

At the beginning of the season, put an amount of discretionary income aside that will not be painful if you lose. Everyone’s financial pain threshold is different. A doctor might agonize over losing $100 on a wager while a store clerk wouldn’t blink an eye. Determine your financial pain threshold and make sure you are under it when setting your season limit. Once you do so, try to keep each wager as one to two percent of that initial total.

Remember to bet with your head and not over it.

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