Sportsbook Tutorial

Why Sports Betting is Profitable

Sports betting appeals to the smart bettor because it is not a game with a fixed house edge where the casinos are raking off fixed percentage. Sports betting requires more skill than luck similar to live poker. You won’t win every time but the skilled handicapper has a huge advantage over the recreational bettor. Before going into more detail you need to understand how sports betting works. We will take a look at football where a point spread is involved. (Basketball also uses a point spread.)


The casino Sports books make their money on sports bets by collecting a commission on losing bets. This is called the Vigorish or Vig for short. The most common odds are 11 to 10. This means that if you want to win $100 you are risking $110. For example you place a bet on the Giants at the casino sports book and pay $110. If the Giants win you collect $210 when you cash your winning ticket. If you lose your bet you lose the $110.

Ideally the Sports book would like to have the same amount of money wagered on the two teams playing. If the Giants are playing the Colts and they have one player betting on the Giants and one player betting on the Colts they would pay the winner $100 but collect $110 for the loser. This gives them a $10 profit so they really don’t care who wins as long as they have an equal amount bet on each team. To accomplish this they assign a line or spread to make the contest equally attractive for both sides.

The Point Spread

Many people believe that the point spread is the predicted margin of victory by which one team will beat another team. This is not true. The line is the handicapper’s prediction of what number will be required to split the wagering evenly on both teams. For this reason the line may change from the opening line to the line at game time. The Sports books goal is to have the betting as evenly as possible.

If the public is swayed by sentiment to bet on a certain team then the odds makers need to adjust the line to get some action on the other team. Otherwise the betting would be heavily lopsided. The general betting public reacts from the opinions of others. This is why you see so many people “Jumping on the band wagon” of a winning team.

For the sports books the line is flawed if it does not attract the same amount of action on both sides however from a smart handicapper’s point of view, the line is flawed when it does not compute to his predicted outcome of the game. A weaker team can actually become the favorite if public sentiment is with that team. When this happens the underdog presents a huge overlay for the seasoned handicapper meaning that the odds are in his favor. For example: Team A should be a 3 point underdog to Team B however The public loves Team A and are betting on them and the line moves to make Team A a one point favorite, then Team B becomes an excellent bet. This is the contrarian principle and why many smart handicappers go against the general betting public.

The Handicapper

A winning handicapper formulates his own opinions about the game and ignores most of the public sentiment. A handicapper takes information for numerous sources, assigns weights and values to it. They will make their own power ranking and predict what the point spread should be without looking at the official line first, and then compare their predictions to the line to look at discrepancies. The large amount of data available via the internet and other sources means that the handicapper has more information but it means there is more to sift through to find the gems. The use of computer programs can help when searching through the data.

Why don’t more people win at sports betting? Like any other endeavor it takes time, patience and practice to become successful. A person of average intelligence can become a winning handicapper if they have the desire. Based on the odds of -110 for a straight football or basketball bet a handicapper only need to be right 52.38 percent of the time to break even however many sports bettors cannot achieve that percentage of winning over the long run. The chart below shows the break even points for the various odds you will encounter when you make a bet on the money line. With higher odds you have to have a higher winning percentage to break even. If you bet the underdogs you can have a lower win percentage and still make money.

Winning Percentages

Favorite Winning % Underdog Winning %
-110 52.38 +110 47.62
-115 53.49 +115 46.51
-120 54.55 +120 45.45
-125 55.56 +125 44.44
-130 56.52 +130 43.48
-135 57.45 +135 42.55
-140 58.33 +140 41.67
-145 59.18 +145 40.82
-150 60.00 +150 40.00
-155 60.78 +155 39.22
-160 61.54 +160 38.46
-165 62.26 +165 37.74
-170 62.96 +170 37.04
-175 63.64 +175 36.36
-180 64.29 +180 35.71
-185 64.91 +185 35.09
-190 65.52 +190 34.48
-200 66.67 +200 32.26
-220 68.75 +220 31.25
-240 70.59 +240 29.41
-250 71.43 +250 28.57

How to Make Sports Betting a Money Making Business

Unlike other forms of gambling that are purely luck-based, sports bettors can use their extensive knowledge and research tactics to give themselves a distinct edge against the oddsmakers. From football to basketball to tennis, several key sports betting strategies apply across virtually all types of wagers. You need to start off with a healthy bankroll, bet conservatively, find the best deals on lines, and even place bets against yourself if need be to guarantee a profit. The most successful sports bettors need to put a lot of time and effort into researching their bets, but here are five simple sports betting strategies that anyone can use.


Start with a Bankroll

If you want to make sports betting a part of your financial life and not just a fun thing you indulge in every once in a while, you’re going to need to create a sizable bankroll for your gambling before you begin. While most sports bettors simply wager on English Premier League (EPL), NBA or other big events, serious gamblers wager day in and day out on virtually every sporting event. You can’t possibly spend your entire bankroll on just one bet, so you need to have a large amount socked away to even begin seriously gambling in the first place. Of course, make sure you’re financially comfortable in all other aspects of your life before saving for gambling purposes.

Find the Best Line

Different sports books release different betting lines all the time. If there’s a game or match you really like, look around the Internet at the various sports books to find the fairest line. It’s a good idea to have accounts set up at multiple sports books anyway: they often reward you with generous bonuses for signing up and depositing money in their accounts. Once you have accounts at three to four different books, look at each of them, and find the fairest line. The extra money you make by shopping around like this doesn’t seem like much in the short term, but it can add up quickly.

Research Analytics

These days, many sports have been thoroughly analyzed and broken down using advanced statistics, metrics, and analytic data. Most of this information is available online, and you only need to go looking for it to find it. For instance, if you’re betting on college basketball, analyze the data of the team you wish to wager on to either see how they perform at their home court or own the road. Some teams are dramatically worse on the road, so that information can help sway your bet. For baseball, look at the advanced statistics of the game’s starting pitchers, and go with the one who has historically performed better in the ballpark they’re playing in or against the batters he’ll face. Its simple stuff, but this extra level of research can help give sports bettors a big competitive advantage.

Hedge Bets

It seems counter-intuitive, but a good way to either make money or prevent big losses is to place opposite bets. For instance, if you bet on the Manchester United at -3 at one website, go to another sportsbook and bet on their opponent by their spread. Only do this if you are unsure of the outcome, or if you do research at the last minute and find out about a factor like an injury that you weren’t previously aware of. This strategy can help absorb some of the loss, and can even result in a profit if you wager more heavily on the underdog.

Bet Conservatively

Above all else, if you want sports betting to be a long-term lifestyle, you need to bet conservatively. This means only betting between two and five percent of your overall bankroll on each individual bet. This helps to absorb your losses over the long haul and guarantee, if you’re making smart bets, which you’ll walk away with about a 60 percent profit margin. Though many people think you can get rich quick betting on sports, it’s a much safer and more sustainable strategy to bet with small percentages each time you wager.

Sports bettors need to be conservative with their bets and take the long view of their betting strategies. Hedging bets, doing heavy research beforehand and shopping around for the right line are all effective ways of improving your gambling strategy and making more money over the long haul. Though many people bet heavily once or twice a year on big sporting events, if you truly want to make sports betting part of your financial future, you need to take it seriously and give it the kind of thought and attention that it deserves.

A Rookie in Sports Bets? No Worry, here some tips for you


Are you a Rookie in Sports Bets? Felt Intimidated when everyone is winning in bets? No worry, here is some pro tips suitable for beginner just like yourself.

Sports betting tip #1 – Money Management
This is without a doubt the most important aspect of betting sports and possibly the most neglected. The first key to proper money management is to be sure not to bet more than you can afford to lose. If you are going to bet on sports, it is important to set aside a certain portion of your money for betting and to stick with that bankroll, win or lose. Winning money on sports is not a sprint. If you bet your whole bankroll on one game and lose, you will be more likely to try and chase your losses. If you spread your bankroll among several smaller bets, you are more likely to make a profit in the long run if you do the proper homework. Remember, there are no locks in this business and any team can lose on any given night. And on the subject of chasing: Don’t do it! There is no worse way to mismanage your bankroll than to chase your bets after a losing day. If you didn’t like the game before you lost your money, why would you like it after your losses? Chasing bets is a losing proposition almost every time. If you are on a winning streak, increase the amount of your bets. Wins and losses often come in streaks, and it can be profitable to ride out a hot streak.

Sports betting tip #2 – Shopping for Numbers
The second most important aspect of betting on sports is shopping for the best number. There will be more discrepancy in the numbers on different sports at different sports books. The NFL, for example, will have very similar numbers at most of the betting shops you visit. On college sports and daily events like the NBA, you will be able to find different lines at different sports books. These books change their numbers according to the betting patterns of their customers, so it is not entirely uncommon to find two or three point differences in the lines. When you are betting your hard earned money, getting the best line is a top priority. And since the lines the bookmakers release are increasingly strong, the difference between a point or two is usually the difference between a win or a loss.

Sports betting tip #3 – Never Gamble While under the Influence
There is a reason the casinos in Las Vegas supply you with free drinks while you are gambling. Because alcohol clouds your judgment and usually helps you to make rash decisions you usually wouldn’t otherwise make. To be a successful sports bettor you need to operate with a clear mind. If you have had too much to drink, it is in your best interest to stay away from the betting window.

Sports betting tip #4 – Do your Homework
As a bettor, you have the advantage of streamlining your research, which is something the sports books are not at liberty to do. They must keep on top of EVERY sport and EVERY game. The best way to win money betting sports is to develop a niche and follow it closely. If you become an expert on a smaller conference like the WAC, you have a good chance to beat the house because sports book operators do not have the time or resources to follow this conference the way you can. There is a wealth of information on the Internet; it is just up to you to find it and research it daily.

Sports betting tip #5 – Check the Odds
Some sports books have better odds on parlays and teasers. When you are betting big bucks the difference in odds translate into a huge difference in your payout. All it takes is a little research of the sports books you usually bet at. Most books have their payout odds listed in way that is easy for the bettor to find them. It should be noted that we advise against playing parlays and teasers for the most part. (Especially anything over a 2-teamer)

Sports betting tip #6 – Play Home Dogs
There is probably no better bet in sports than playing an underdog at home. Teams play inspired ball at home. Slim underdogs regularly win outright. Big underdogs often find ways to cover the spread and they rarely give up toward the end of a game in front of the home crowd.

Sports betting tip #7 – Bet at the Right Time
The sharp bettors tend to bet underdogs, and they tend to bet them early. Squares usually bet later in the day (or week, for football) and they tend to pick the favorites. If you like an underdog, it is best to get your bet in as late as possible, where there is heavy action from squares on favorites. If you are going to go with a favorite, it is best to place your bet early in the week when the Pros are laying heavy money on the points. Not all games work according to this formula, but it is usually a good rule of thumb.


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