Let’s start with a question; why do you enjoy betting on sporting events and match-ups?
While some of you may like to wager in order to enhance the experience of following your favourite team or player, it cannot be denied that the majority of punters want to see a return on their sports bets and the money that they spend.
This is far easier said than done, however, as while sports betting offers a competitive advantage to gamblers it’s also opportunistic and requires bettors to speculate on random outcomes. In this post, we’ll look at how you can double your sports betting winnings and see an improved return on your total spend.
When people pose the question “who’s your money on?” ahead of a sporting event, they’re effectively asking you who you think will emerge victorious at the end.
Your answer will be based on the variable probabilities associated with each potential outcome, while it will also depend on the nature of the contest and the individual competitors in question.
A similar description may also be applied to describe the odds provided by bookmakers, as these reflect the likelihood of each potential outcome. However, there’s a unique distinction here, as the odds deployed by bookmakers are often manipulated to minimise their losses and make certain wagers unprofitable.
This means that backing the clear and obvious favourites in a particular sporting contest may not in your best interests, even though the participant in question is extremely likely to win.
More specifically, these teams or players are likely to be ascribed with a prohibitive, odds-on price, meaning that punters would have to wager significant amounts just to bank relatively minimal returns.
Making this distinction is crucial if you want to optimise your sports betting returns, as this ensures that you identify odds that offer genuine value rather than simply backing the teams most likely to win.
If you do want to back the favourites in a sporting contest, however, you can improve your potential winnings by selecting rewarding and niche markets.
This is particularly true in sports such as football, which has seen a proliferation of new and in-play markets take centre stage of the last few years and deliver tremendous opportunities to bettors.
To understand this further, let’s consider the upcoming EPL game between Brighton and Liverpool at the Amex next weekend. The average price for a Liverpool win is around 1/3, meaning that a wager of £5 would deliver a potential return of less than £2 (including your initial stake).
This is hardly a compelling proposition, but there are a number of niche markets that can help you to seek out far greater value. The first of these is the handicap market, through which you can give one selection a virtual handicap that alters the odds and creates a more profitable proposition.
In this case, you could apply a 1 or 1.5 goal handicap to the Reds, meaning that Liverpool would need to win by two clear goals to ensure that your wager is successful. However, this would immediately lengthen the odds and increase your potential returns, without significantly reducing your chances of success.
Another viable option is to back Liverpool to win by a specific winning margin, as this market enables you to leverage the extent of the Red’s perceived advantage over their opponents.
The precise odds will vary depending on the winning margin that you select, but this market will undoubtedly help you to improve the available odds and pursue far greater winnings.
In many ways, sports betting is far more scientific than casino gaming, while it’s also fair to surmise that there’s an intrinsic link between wagering on sporting events and investing in the financial markets.
Because of this, some of the advice offered by successful investors can also be applied to sports betting, including the suggestion that you should use existing knowledge and insight to inform your decisions.
This way, you can leverage any competitive advantage that you have as a sports fan, whether this applies to individual disciplines or the participant that compete on a regular basis.
In simple terms, having an understanding of a particular sport or match-up helps you to seek out value in the published odds, while it also makes it easier to determine which outcome is the most likely in any given scenario.
If you also choose to follow local journalists or commentators who can offer detailed insight into a particular team or sport, you can combine your existing knowledge with real-time information to optimise the viability of your wagers.
Either way, the key is to bet on what you know and identify the most reputable commentators, so that you can determine the highest value wagers and increase your winnings simply by refining your selections over time.
Conversely, try to avoid wagering on sports that you’re unfamiliar with, as this undermines any competitive advantage offered by sports betting and could well diminish your bankroll considerably in a short space of time.
On a similar note, we’d also recommend that you avoid wagering on your favourite sports team or player.
After all, this introduces a partisan element to your betting selections, while it means that you’d be placing wagers that are based on emotion rather than hard data.
This also introduces us to the concept of emotive wagering, which can be extremely detrimental to punters both in terms of the frequency and the value of their wins.
The best embodiment of this is the desire to chase losses, by increasing your average stake amount following a sequence of unsuccessful bets. This is done under the impression that your so-called ‘losing streak’ will eventually come to an end, but it’s a genuine gambler’s fallacy that has accounted for many a punter’s hard-earned bankroll.
Remember, each sporting event should be considered on its own unique merits, as there’s absolutely no logical correlation between a sequence of individual and random results. This means that perceived winning and losing streaks are entirely incidental, while each individual stake should be based solely on the match-up in question and the odds that are on offer.
Not only must you avoid concepts such as chasing losses and emotional wagering, but we’d also recommend that you accept failed wagers as part and parcel of sports betting.
This will enable you to move on successfully from individual losses, without allowing these to impede your judgement or colour your future selections. Beyond this, you should also strive to learn from failed wagers and sports bets, while using these to inform your strategy going forward.