If you’re like many sports fans, you’ve predicted many games correctly. Maybe you follow your gut, perhaps you look at the rankings or you have a system that helps you predict football, tennis, basketball, and baseball games. But have you ever thought about turning those predictions into profit? This is where sports betting comes into play. It’s a way of leveraging your sports knowledge to try and win real money. All the same, predicting sports for fun is different from real money betting. With the latter, you put your money on the line. Don’t worry, though. In this guide, we’ll help you navigate the world of sports betting successfully. Let’s get started.
Start Off as a Casual Bettor
Many people bet on sports for a variety of reasons. Some do it because they love sports and want to get more involved. Others want to make profits from their spare cash.
Regardless, start off by betting casually. This means create a small budget for betting. You could spend $5 or $10 per match. The goal here is to find out how good you are at predicting sports. As such, you shouldn’t focus on the profits so much.
With time, you’ll know whether to spend more money and time on real money betting, or whether you need to take a break from betting. In the UK, you can exclude yourself from major betting sites with the help of gam-stop.
Although it’s a great service, gam-stop has its flaws. For example, some people find it difficult to get accepted at major betting sites after using the service. You can avoid this problem, though, by learning how to get around gamstop.
Learn the Fundamentals of Betting
As a regular sports fan, you know betting means picking a winner when two teams meet. You can support one team to win and you end up being correct. As a real money bettor you’ll discover that betting involves a lot more than that.
For example, there are plenty of bet types:
- Match winner
- Correct Score
Learn about these bet types before you get into serious sports gambling. The explanation is simple. Match winners don’t always offer the best returns. You can make more money through handicaps and totals.
Another basic thing you need to learn is how to stake each prediction. We mentioned earlier on it being wise to start off by betting small amounts, however, you have to follow a sportsbook’s betting limits.
Learn How to Read Odds
Everyone’s objective in sports betting is to win. Smart punters, however, think beyond being correct. They look for maximum returns in every prediction and this happens only when you wager through proper odds.
Depending on where you live, bookmakers provide betting odds in three types:
- American Style
Nowadays, betting companies provide an option to toggle between decimal and fraction odds and you can also switch to American odds, if that’s your style. All you need is to ensure you understand how the odds work.
Decimals and fractions are pretty much alike. They’re based on betting €1. If you predict €1 on a game with 2.00 odds, you win €2 plus your initial stake. Likewise, staking €1 on a game with 2/1 odds means you win €2 for every €1 you spend.
By comparison, American odds are based on betting or winning $100. These odds also provide a hint of the favorites and the underdogs. Odds with a plus sign (+200) indicate the underdog. Odds with a negative sign (-120) indicate the favorites.
Choose a Reliable Betting App
It is not 2000 anymore. This means you don’t need to leave your house to bet on football and cricket, you can do it from the comfort of your couch through your laptop or iPhone.
According to the Gambling Commission, the UK is home to more than 500 betting websites. They include well-known brands like Bet365, Ladbrokes, 888 Sports and BetVictor.
But how do you decide which bookmaker to join? Prioritize your interests. To expound more, pick an app with your favorite sports, payment methods and bonuses.
The top-rated sportsbooks cover all major sports: football, tennis, cricket, rugby, basketball, baseball, hockey, boxing, American football and eSports, to name a few. They also feature a variety of payment methods.
However, they all differ on the bonuses they give out. Some bookies award you bonuses immediately you create an account. Others want you to make a deposit before you get a bonus. Regardless, ensure these promotions have fair terms before you get involved.
Importantly, a good betting app needs to run on both android and iOS devices. It should have a well-organized interface, quick-loading pages and attractive visuals.
Learn Things to Consider when Betting
Professional sports gamblers don’t base their betting decisions on emotions. They have a system of predicting games. They look at the following things before they bet:
- League Stats
- Team Rankings
- Form and Lineups
- Injuries and Play Styles
- Past Records
- Match Importance
If you want to bet on an English premier League, the first thing to consider is how the two teams rank on the EPL. Perhaps it’s a game between No 1. Manchester City versus relegation bound Leeds.
Next, you want to look at the odds. Maybe Manchester City have 1.05 odds to beat Leeds. In that case, there are no profits to make in this game.
If it’s a competitive game between top sides Liverpool and Manchester City, you want to look at a lot of things. The odds for Liverpool to win might look good. But is the starting line up strong? Is the team in good form?
Keep Emotions Out of Betting
Emotions can ruin your betting career. Think about it. If you’re too happy, it’s easy to become confident in your favorite football team. If it frustrates you too much, you’ll tend to think it will lose. Either way, emotions could lead to wrong predictions.
Another way emotions can ruin you is when you lose bets. You might get emotional and think betting more will help you recoup your earlier losses. In truth, chasing losses leads to more losses.
Emotions can also make you bet when you are not in the right frame of mind. And in doing so, you limit your chances of winning.