Sports betting has come a long way since the Supreme Court struck down PASPA, with states legalizing wagering and more sportsbooks opening every day. With this newfound popularity, sports bettors are entering the market with more enthusiasm than ever, but it’s important for them to understand what it takes to make a profit from a bet. It starts with avoiding the most common mistakes and taking the necessary steps to become profitable in the long run.
Mistake #1: Betting on your favorite team
It’s easy to let the excitement of supporting a beloved player or team influence your betting decisions. But you must be able to separate your emotions from your research and analysis, otherwise, you’re more likely to lose money than you would if you made objectively sound choices. This can lead to chasing losses and betting more than you should, which rarely leads to positive results. Instead, it’s better to focus on bets that you can research and analyze thoroughly, and stick with a regular bet size that works for you.
Mistake #2: Not keeping track of your bets
Another mistake that sports bettors frequently make is not tracking their bets on a regular basis. It’s important to keep a record of each game you bet on, whether it’s in a spreadsheet or on your phone. This way, you can see your wins and losses clearly. You’ll also be able to spot any patterns in your betting habits, which can help you improve your strategy.
Mistake #3: Chasing losses
Once you’ve experienced a loss, it can be tempting to try and recoup your funds by placing larger bets than usual. However, this rarely leads to positive outcomes and is often the reason why so many people lose money in the long run. The best way to approach sports betting is to treat it as a marathon, not a sprint. Sticking to a budget and risking only 1% to 5% of your bankroll per bet will give you the best chance to survive losing streaks and take advantage of winning ones.
Mistake #4: Not understanding betting odds
One of the most confusing aspects of sports betting is how betting odds work. A bet on a team or player will have a plus sign (+) or minus sign (-) in front of the number, which indicates whether they are the underdog or favorite. In general, a team with a plus sign will have the lower odds than one with a minus sign. For example, if a team’s odds are +200 to win, they are the underdog while -150 means they’re the favorite. This applies to both individual player and team props. It’s important to remember that odds are always subject to change, especially after news about a player or team breaks.