Tips for Online Sports Betting

For Beginner
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People enjoy playing sports; people enjoy watching sports, and most especially, people enjoy betting sports. Sports betting tips are some of the most common searches on the internet, and it is easy to understand why that is. Sports betting has been a major gambling activity all over the world for the longest time. And recently, it has reached a new peak in the US gambling market since online bookmaking became legal. Whether you bet for profits, or you bet for fun, your aim is betting to win. But gambling on sports isn't easy for the pros, and it is less so for beginners. Beginners often fall into the trap of betting blindly and while sometimes this can turn into a few lucky wins, you’ll almost always lose more in the long run.

The trick is to follow the rules around the basics of betting and we are here to help you with this. We are bringing you 12 solid betting tips that will help you formulate good betting habits for a strong foundation in sports betting, as well as some advice from experts to help you out too. With these tips, you can head straight to the sportsbook and start turning your losses into gains. Read on and we’ll cover all the top tips and one or two advanced ideas so you can start to improve your own betting and profits.

What to expect from this article:

  • Understanding The Basics & Setting Achievable Objectives
  • Bankroll Management & The Art Of Unit Betting
  • The Link Between Value Betting & Bigger Profits
  • Invest In What You Know & Keep Track Of Your Bets
  • Shopping For Odds & Branching Out From the Obvious Bets

1.Always Start Simple

Sports betting is all about checking the odds of obtaining winning bets, and not every game will provide the same chances. As a beginner, the easiest way for you to win as many bets as possible is to choose those odds that offer the highest chances of winning. These bets may not always be the most profitable, but they are a lot less risky to your bankroll. You should rely on short odd options like handicaps and totals and only go for an outright win when one team is clearly outmatched.

2. Have Realistic Expectations

How often and how much do you expect to win at sports betting?

Placing winning bets can be quite easy when you are well-versed in a particular sport, but don't go into the game expecting to win every bet you make. You may have been a sports fanatic all your life, but that doesn't mean you can predict the future. 

Some people might think or believe that betting on sports relies on their expert knowledge to beat the bookmakers. However, this mindset is misguided because it takes more than sports knowledge to win wagers frequently. 

Before you start being a profitable bettor, you should accept the reality that you will often lose more than you win. You should have a long-term goal of earning money at sports betting so that you don't get frustrated before you begin. Nonetheless, several expert sports bettors make a living out of their passion, so who's to say you won't become one of them.

3. Bet With Your Head 

You might have favorite players and teams, but don't let your ideal sports participants blind you into thinking that these options are your only chances. If you go about only betting on your favorites without paying heed to sound reason, you are sure to hit a downward spiral in no time. The key to being a successful better is making smart bets, so never bet with your heart but always with your head.

4. Read Up On Game & Player Stats

This tip is a follow-up on the previous one. When making smart bets, you need to utilize every betting tool that you can lay your hands on. Read up on the best match reviews from the top review sites in the industry.

Follow up on player stats and get to know the top picks by the experts. You could also join a betting forum where you get to meet and chat with fellow enthusiasts like yourself. Learning from these people will increase your capacity to place wagers that give possible chances of winning.

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5. Learn The Lingo

There are several sports betting terminologies that you need to be familiar with before you start betting, like:

  • Underdogs
  • Favorites
  • Spreads, and so on

In theory, sports betting is simple - pick a team that you think will win and bet on them. However, learning the basics before placing wagers will put you in a position to get the best experience of betting on sports. Learn the kinds of bets available, how to read the odds and other components of a sports wager. The basics alone won't guarantee that you make an overall profit, but they will get you started on the right track.

6. Set A Sizeable Budget And A Staking Plan

People often say you can start betting with any amount. Technically, you can because bookmakers accept bets as low as $10. But if you wish to make a profit, you need to set a sizable budget for your sports betting activities.

The reason is that you need to have a bankroll big enough to absorb the initial losses you make. Then, with a consistent staking plan and a smart betting mentality, you will begin winning enough wagers to cover up those losses.

If you set a unit staking plan, for example, $1 per bet, a bankroll of $50 should suffice. For high rollers, a staking plan of $20 and a bankroll of $1000 is a good start.

You need to decide how much money you have prepared to put at risk and make sure that you don't start risking more if you lose it all. How you choose to set your budget is entirely your own decision. 

The standard options are:         

  • Daily budget
  • Weekly budget
  • Monthly budget
  • Annual budget

7. Choose Your Bets Wisely

The number of sports betting options available are numerous, and with online betting on the rise, players have even greater opportunities than ever. It is easy to get tempted to try them all, but this is just as dangerous as betting too much money at once. It is more profitable to pick a few smart bets than a plethora of random ones. 

The most successful bettors are the most selective. They focus on games where they get the best value for their money.

8. Understand The Concept Of Value Betting

The reason why it is so hard to beat bookies is that they always set accurate odds. They survey the teams' strengths and weaknesses for an upcoming matchup and provide odds that are mathematically equivalent to their chances of winning or losing the game.

Luckily, bookmakers are not perfect, and they sometimes make mistakes by either overpricing or underpricing a team. Understanding value is being able to spot when the odds are too high and take advantage of it. 

If you come across odds of 2.25 on a favorite which should have been priced much lower, that is a value bet laid out on a platter. 

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9. Search For The Best Odds

This is a tip that many players neglect. One of your main priorities, as a sports bettor, should be to get the best prices available. Bookmakers do not always offer the same odds and lines, so you may find it more profitable wagering on a game at one sportsbook than at the other. Bookmakers are all after their own gains, so it would be a fallacy to expect that they would easily let you win, but some will offer odds with higher value, and that is good enough. You have the opportunity to visit as many sportsbook sites as you like with online betting. Besides, comparing odds and lines is exciting and very quick.

10. Don't Experiment With Bets

Ever heard the saying “Stick to what you know”? That should be the motto for every sports bettor. If you feel the desire to experiment with exotic sports and leagues, brush it off. Or at the least, don't dig into your professional sports betting wallet for it. Certain bets offer the promise of jackpot payouts, but you can expect that there will be equally high risks for such a high reward. 

Parlays are one such bet. The chances of winning multiple odds at the same time are very slim, and of course, if you lose one, you lose all. Sticking to a betting pattern is the best way to become a successful sports bettor.

11. Learn Simple Betting Strategies

A strategy is indispensable when you play for money. Unfortunately, very few players pay attention to them. Basic sports betting strategies include:

  • Betting against the public
  • Chasing steam
  • Arbitrage betting, and more

These strategies are usually straightforward and do not require complex reasoning. There is no need to master every single one. Having a good grasp of one or two will go a long way in helping you achieve your betting goals. See our complete guide on the best sports betting strategies.

12. Take A Break

This is probably not the tip you want to hear, but it is essential. Always take breaks away from betting. This helps you cool off from the pressure of it all and allows you to come back with a calm and refreshed mind. Think of it as taking a break away from the office, school, or any other commitment. 

Betting Advice from the Professionals

It doesn’t matter if you decide to bet on sports or bet on the slots, understanding the basics of betting is a fundamental lesson to ensure an enjoyable experience in the long run. By the basics, we mean the basic betting terms and different bet types that you should stick to when you first sign up and bet online. Find a betting glossary online and read through the various terms and explanations to improve your knowledge.

After you’ve got the lingo down, take time to read up on the different bet types available in the sports betting world. If you understand the pros and cons of an accumulator and you realise the importance of finding value in your betting selections, then you’ve already started to improve your betting knowledge.

One more top tip from the betting professionals is based around the hard truth of betting. What is this hard truth? The truth is that no matter how much research you put into your bets; you can’t expect to win every time. You’ll enjoy your betting a lot more if you accept the fact that you will lose from time to time.

Bankroll Management & Unit Betting

Before you jump into your betting, we always recommend creating a bankroll management strategy that suits your budget and style of betting. If you can work out a monthly limit that you can afford to lose and then stick to that amount per month, you’ll keep control of your betting in the long run.

It’s all too easy to start increasing your bets when chasing losses but if you stick to your monthly limits then you always know how much money you are spending. As an extension of your bankroll management, we also suggest that you calculate and maintain a unit betting plan.

Basic betting strategies suggest that you should only ever bet 1-5% of your bankroll. This can either be fixed unit betting or bankroll percentage unit betting and we’ll explain both of these with a simple example:

5% Fixed Unit Betting: Every wager amount is fixed and this helps to keep a consistent betting strategy. If you had a $100 bankroll then you would place no more than $5 on each wager.

5% Bankroll Percentage Unit Betting: Your wager increases or decreases depending on the size of your bankroll. A $100 bankroll would suggest $5 wagers at first but if you won and your bankroll increased to $200, your new wager amount would also increase to $10.

Now that you have set aside a certain amount of money that you can afford to lose the next thing is figuring out how to get the best return on your money. Many beginners start out with big bets of 25% or even 50% of their total bankroll, seems great right? You can make a quick few extra bucks while enjoying the games in the US. Sure, getting the W is great but what happens when the loss will eventually come? Just as quickly as you have built up your roll you will give it all back to the bookie. That’s not what we want to do with our side change.

  • Slow and steady wins the race

Slow and steady wins the race and a great way to demonstrate this, is to see your bankroll as divided into “units”. Let me explain what I mean with this concept. 

  • At the start of the betting season, you take the money that you are willing to invest and divide it by 100. 
  • Effectively now one unit is one percent of your starting bankroll and this unit will stay the same for most of the season. In this way you will not be thinking in dollar amounts but more objective units. This will make you more clear-headed in placing your bets and will prevent blowing up your bankroll.
  • As a betting tip you can keep track of the confidence level you place in a bet by the number of units that you reserve for the bet. Standard bets are 1 unit, medium confidence bets are 3 units and your high confidence picks are 5 units. 

Never have more than 5 units placed in one game and limit your risk to 10 units total for an entire week. Another important betting tip: having 5-10 units to spend doesn’t mean you need to risk all of the allowed units. We want to bet where there is value, not just risk our money because of greed or your love for your teams

Recognize the Benefits of Finding Value Bets

Finding value in your betting selection is at the core of securing profit in the long run. Instead of betting on the likely outcome you should be trying to find the bets that offer true value. Whilst you are likely to win multiple bets by backing the favourites, you won’t make a significant profit.

The idea here is that you need to try and find the bets where the odds are in your favor and not to only focus on picking out winner after winner. Without diving into the mathematics of finding betting value too much, we want to make the following clear; betting value is found when the probability of a bet winning is greater than the odds are suggesting. This is commonly known as ‘positive value’.

How do you find this positive value? It all comes down to research and analysis of the event or team that you are betting on. Our advice is not to rely on your sports knowledge. Make good use of the online statistics and historical data to find which betting markets offer this positive value.

It will take time to find these bets but it should pay off in the long run as you make a bigger profit on each winning bet, rather than tirelessly backing odds-on favourites every time.

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Never Bet with Your Heart

A quick tip but one that many punters fall into the trap of is when they bet with their heart. One classic example is when you are a lifelong supporter of a sports team and you base your bets on that fact only. You want them to win so you back them to win. One betting rule to live by is to never place bets when your own team is involved.

Invest in What You Know

Warren Buffet said it best with the words “invest in what you know” and this works just as well in the betting environment as it does out in the business world. If you follow basketball then stick to betting on basketball, and if you don’t understand the rules of ice hockey then it’s best that you stay clear of those markets. It’s simple yet effective advice if you want to find more winning bets.

Record Your Betting History

If you keep a simple record of all your winners and losers, either on your phone or in a spreadsheet, you’ll start to build your own strategy of profit-winning bets. Doing this will help you find different angles in the bets that you make the most profit from.

If you’re finding continued profits in the under/over markets then stick with that strategy. The same goes for if you find out that you’ve lost successive bets when backing both teams to score, it’s obviously time to hold back from those bets in the future.

Knowing the odds & Finding an edge

What most betting tips forget to mention is that all betting lines are based on an estimated percentage of the bet winning, or the so-called implied odds. 

  • Looking at standard handicap or spread bets you will find usually a line of -110 or -105.  In American odds the line is the amount to risk in order to win 100 back. 
  • When placing a bet on an underdog or positive betting line you find the amount you will receive when risking 100. A favorite of -150 will need $150 to win $100 dollars, in European odds this will mean a line of 1.67. 
  • The important thing here is that the implied odds to win the bet is 60%. If you want to find out more about this, which I recommend you check out our expert article on odds.

While math might seem boring it is essential if we want to have a profitable season, who knows how much more we would win if fractions were taught in school with betting lines. Bookmakers make the betting lines available based on their analyses of the game. These estimations are sometimes made by specialized analysis companies or done by the bookmaker himself. The most important thing for us is that these are estimations, and with estimations there is always room for error. 

  • Favorites are difficult to bet on because they don’t pay well, and underdogs are risky if they have a low percentage of winning.

Finding an edge in the betting line is all about finding where the differences in betting lines are. Maybe you find a game where there is a small advantage in the betting line for one of the teams. Sometimes you will even find games where the odds are completely wrong, and you can have a huge edge. 

  • The best betting tip is to check the lines early before a game starts. 

This is usually when the estimates are made quickly and with more error. As the money starts coming in you sometimes see the bookmakers adjust their lines and the edge will become smaller or disappear.

  • Another important sport betting tip is to keep in mind that sport betting is a marathon, not a sprint. 

The season of the NHL is long and there are many games and opportunities to win money. The way to win money consistently is to find your edge in the betting lines and place money on it. Over time chance will even out and if you pick the right side consistently you will find yourself with a nice bit of extra cash to spend. Don’t worry about a single game, trust in your analysis and check out the different lines for each game. Even if there is no advantage in the money-line or handicaps, sometimes the totals or team totals offer good bets. Lastly, the safest betting tip is not to bet at all, don’t risk your money if you can’t find an edge!

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Shop Online For The Best Odds

A wise punter will sign up to several sites because they know that the best odds are not always found with one individual bookie. If your strategy covers various betting markets then you can be sure that your go-to bookie will not offer the best possible odds in all of them. This is where shopping around comes into play.

If you have accounts with several bookies then you can simply find the bookie with the best odds for that bet and enjoy the biggest profits if you win. It’s another simple tip but one that can result in hundreds of extra dollars over a single year. Be sure to check our featured reviews to find out which of the betting sites are currently offering the best odds.

Don’t Fill Your Acca With Odds-On Selections

A classic betting mistake made by many punters across the world is filling your accumulators with odds-on favorites. Backing the favorite is the obvious choice but rarely do you ever make a good enough profit on these bets. If you back eight favorites in an accumulator then you can almost be sure that at least one or two of them will not come through for you and your bet is lost.

Many experienced punters suggest that anything over four selections and you quickly lose your chance of winning. Plus, the total profits of backing multiple favorites does not relate well to the stake you need to place down in the first place. Reduce the number of selections and find better value odds to create bigger returns.

Branching Out To Other Markets

We often find that punters only stick to one or two markets and these are mainly based around outright winners and over/under points/goals. We can see why these bets are popular, the whole experience from placing the bet to following the results is easy to follow.

If we think back to the tip about finding value then searching out alternative betting options can bring you those value bets that you are looking for. Doing your research will guide you to these new markets and new ways to find profit will start to appear.

For example, a relatively untapped source of betting value in soccer can be found in the first half/second half scoring markets. Your research might show that a team often starts strong and is known to score goals in the first half. Backing a team to score over 0.5 or 1.5 goals in the first half will show a lot more value than backing the same number of goals across the full game. The same goes for total corners, an attacking side are likely to win more corners as they constantly push forward looking for goals.

Do your research and think outside of the typical betting markets. You will soon start to find some great value bets amongst all of those betting options. With a bit of luck, your profits will start to grow as well.

Sports Betting Tips FAQ

  • Should I have multiple accounts?

    When people start out with the basic betting tips and find out about bankroll and risk management usually one of the first things they think about is to split up their bankroll. Having multiple betting accounts can definitely help out with finding the best odds and limiting risk management. The downside is that you might lose track of all the different bets and drown in spreadsheets. Especially as a beginner, I would recommend starting out with just one account, maybe two at the most if you want to play in different markets. Once you grow your bankroll you can always expand, in the beginning just keep things simple.
  • What is your opinion about betting progressions like Fibonacci?

    Betting progressions can be useful to make up for some losses but the obvious downside of this betting tip is digging yourself a deeper hole. In theory progressions like the Fibonacci are the perfect betting tip because with the right odds you will always recover your losses. In reality, you can run into uncomfortably big betting sizes and even bet restrictions by your bookmaker. Catching one bad losing streak will wipe out your entire bankroll and you will be out for the season. If you do choose a progression, I recommend the betting tip to run an ABC progression. After the 3rd loss you cut your losses and start a new progression.
  • Can sports betting provide a steady source of income?

    It is 100% possible to make meaningful money from betting. However, you need to understand that the journey is not that simple, and even the most seasoned professionals lose money sometimes.
  • How can I deposit funds for online betting?

    To do this, simply head to the sportsbook site's cashier section and choose the payment option you prefer.
  • How much should I bet?

    There is no stipulated amount to bet with at the sportsbook, but players are advised never to stake more than they are comfortable losing on a bet. If you're a low roller, this should be minimal, while high rollers can stake much more.
  • What are the popular betting markets?

    It all depends on your betting style. The standout market for beginners is the outright winner. Many experienced punters start to look at both teams to score markets and the over/under markets as they gain more betting knowledge.
  • What is the best stake amount for a beginner?

    It all relates to your budget and the amount of money that you can afford to lose. Bankroll management comes into play by helping you focus on a stake that fits your personal situation. Stick to the 1-5% of your bankroll rule for each bet and your money will last a lot longer.
  • Can I really profit from sports betting?

    Yes, you can profit from sports betting but only if you take the time to research your bets and learn about value betting. Successful sports betting is based on finding the right odds and maximizing your profits over the long term.
  • How do I get better at sports betting?

    Improving in sports betting requires patience and lots of research. If you study the sport and keep up with the latest sports news, you’ll be in a better position to make more informed betting decisions. Keep in mind that the finer details are what separates newbies from ‘wise guys’.
  • What sport is easiest to win betting?

    It’s more about the player or the team that you’re backing rather than the sport. If you have a betting strategy in mind and want a decent return, the sport you’re betting on should not be the most important factor. The most important factor to consider is the value of the bet for your money and the research it took to take that betting decision.
  • Can you get rich from sports betting?

    If done right, players can make a good return. But it’s all about being organized, having a strategy, efficient bankroll management and a deep understanding of the sport and the events players bet on.
  • Is prop betting a good way to go for US teams?

    Even though you might know the local teams from up close, it doesn’t necessarily help with prop bets. Proposition bets seem like a great betting tip because it seems like a 50-50 bet because either the outcome is yes or no. Most prop bets are highly unlikely to happen which is why they offer such high returns. For example, even the coin toss prop bets are usually offered at lower than 50% betting odds. The best betting tip for this category is to only place prop bets for fun with a small number of your profits. This way you can keep the excitement in it and get the real profit from bets where it is easier to find value.